June 2018 Column Winner

Shopping is different on Venus
J. D. Meisner, Bristow News

I was visiting with a friend of mine who had recently visited Washington DC and had visited the Smithsonian Institute with her husband. She said it was amazing, but added that when they visited the Air and Space Museum, her husband had to stop and read every single sign on every exhibit and that she had eventually left him behind, then had to wait for him on the next floor.
Sorry friend, I empathize with the husband because that would have been me… wanting to take it all in and not miss a thing – I mean who doesn’t love airplanes and rockets?
I did try to put myself in this friend’s shoes however, or my wife’s shoes for that matter… to understand their point of view – waiting not-so-very-patiently while the husband loitered at every diorama and exhibit, absorbing all the knowledge offered, pushing all the interactive buttons, looking at the incredible flying machines and wondering what it would have been like to pilot them.
Meanwhile, the wife taps toes impatiently while the guy goes from exhibit to exhibit wondering what it is we find so interesting.
I reached an epiphany and had to share it. Men are from Mars and women are from Venus.
I mentioned to my friend that she now knows what husbands feel like when shopping with their wives.
She laughed, then had her own epiphany and said maybe there was something to that.
So yeah, I said it. Shopping with the wife is a study in patience and understanding as much for her as for me.
My shopping philosophies and her shopping philosophies are two completely different things.
My strategy is even though I’ve got a big ol’ list of stuff – like the full-on six-month freezer and pantry restock list – the plan is to get in and get out as quickly as possible.
Milk – grab the half gallon with the latest expiration date – boom. Bread – find the favorite loaf and grab it as you go by; yogurt – grab the one wife keeps in the fridge, canned vegetables – grab four cans each of corn, peas, green beans and spinach, who cares what brand; next item… in and out, quick as a cat, grab only what I have on the list, work from back of the store to the to front, check out, load the trunk and split.
Wife’s strategy is much different. Maybe shopping is as much entertainment and fun for her as it is pure hell for me.
During the major six-month replenishment trip to the local superstore with wife, I am taken on a journey that includes every item on every shelf on every aisle of the store – stationary, clothing, kitchen appliances… you name it, we’re there, looking at stuff.
When we get to the grocery section, things get even more detailed.
Take the yogurt section for instance: first off, there must be a thousand different brands of yogurt, each of them offering an estimated 500 different varieties including strained yogurt, unstrained yogurt, traditional yogurt, Greek yogurt, goat’s milk yogurt, camel’s milk yogurt, sheep’s milk yogurt, Icelandic Skyr yogurt, Australian happy pipes yogurt, almond milk yogurt, soy yogurt, probiotics yogurt, yogurt with granola, yogurt with granola you flip, yogurt with raspberries, frozen yogurt… the list is endless and I don’t understand why anyone eats any of it, but Wife loves the stuff.
Me? If I’m going to put anything fermented into my belly, it’s going to have to give me a buzz.
I digress – at the yogurt section, wife has to touch, handle and read the back of every variety looking for God knows what, before settling on a certain brand and particular variety and flavor… oddly enough, the same variety and flavor she keeps in the fridge. This decision took a good 15 minutes.
By the time we get to the canned vegetables section, I’m beat – I’m so done with this expedition that I go for the grab-four- of-everything technique and tumble them into the cart.
“Um, no.” says wife, as she grabs four cans of each – a specific brand that is not the brand I randomly tossed into the cart, I mean green peas are green peas, right?
Wife explains, “Look how much sodium is in yours. For whatever reason, I’m trying to keep you alive.”
“What makes you the expert on which has more sodium?” I ask defiantly.
“Because while you’re over there fidgeting, I’m learning stuff.” she says. “What you call touching every can on the shelf, is me reading labels so I can keep you’re cranky butt alive long enough to drag me through another airplane museum, or force me to watch another Star Wars movie.”
Point taken… next item.

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