Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Groceries - deadline 8-23-12 10 am NY time (08/16/12)
TITLE: Let Him Buy Icecream
By Laura Hawbaker
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Glancing around, I expected to see an errant child, and I nearly laughed out loud when I realized who the recipient of her harangue was. Not a child hanging around the candy bars, but a husband lingering in front of the ice cream freezer, longingly perusing the selections.
Ah, yes, shopping with husband. I can understand her frustration, but I felt sorry for the man as he meekly walked away from the Raspberry Ripple and the Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Temptation.
I usually shop solo, but occasionally my husband accompanies me. I have discovered my husband and I have very different grocery shopping personalities. And, oddly enough, we become each other in the grocery store. Typically, I am the disorganized, come-what-may type of person and my husband is the orderly, let’s-get-this-job-done kind of guy. In the grocery store I become the nerd, he the free spirit.
I stride through the store, computer-printed list in hand, checking off the necessary items: flour, sugar, milk, bread, chicken… Very sensible, very efficient. Very boring.
When my husband offers to take me shopping, I know the experience will neither be sensible nor cheap, but it will be fun!
My husband checks his fiscal conservativeness at the door and as soon as enters the store, he gets a dreamy look in his eye. He sees items I didn’t even know the store carried. He gallantly offers to push the cart and while I dart around with the list, he strolls through the aisles.
That end cap display that I usually zoom right past catches his attention and he lingers. The bright faced, smiling little girl on the boxes of attractively arranged snacks cheerily grins at my husband. “How is our Nutty Bar supply?” he asks.
“Our Nutty Bar supply?”
He doesn’t beg exactly, but they do come with a dollar off coupon, so into the cart they go. It has been a while since I bought any Nutty Bars so the supply actually is quite low.
At the meat counter I am a bit more understanding. His expertise at the grill gives him the upper hand in this department. Remembering the smoky, delicious taste of his perfectly grilled beef, I ignore the price tag on the well marbled steak he is purchasing. “After all,” he explains, “This is a lot cheaper than eating out.” Add that to the fact that he is doing the cooking and I cannot argue.
Strategically located near the meats, he sees a wide array of sauces, rubs and marinades. “Oooo, this looks good.” He is caressing a big bottle of sweet and spicy chipotle barbeque sauce. Sure, why not. It goes into the cart next to my store brand ketchup.
Before long wild rice and pumpernickel rye bread to eat with the steak, sparkling grape juice and a toffee chocolate bar for an after-the-kids-are-in-bed treat share the cart with my sensible groceries. A slice of jerky to stave off starvation on the trip home and a cherry coke to quench the thirst created by the salty leather, and we are ready to check out. Of course, the final tab is a several dollars more than my usual fare, but we not only have a cart full of essentials we also have the makings of a delectable meal. We have not only conquered the grocery list, we have experienced the store. My husband has taught me that the fun, the magic of meal preparation begins with shopping.
I nearly laughed when I heard the woman yelling at her husband to stop looking, but I should have told her to relax and enjoy the moment. Let him buy Haagen-Dazs once in a while. Serve it in pretty glass bowls, eat it on the porch swing after dark and call it a date!
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