It wasn’t long until I got the expected call. “Jane, you had the list last. You forgot to give it to me. You need to go over it again to make sure I have everything.”
I am certain he left it in the car but until he goes back and finds it, it’s obviously my fault. I rummaged through the garbage where I had thrown my scratch copy—the long list that I had to pare down so he wouldn’t be overwhelmed.
“Parchment paper.” I read.
“I got that.”
“How big of a turkey?”
We have only been buying turkey for about 35 years. We never buy one less than 18 -20 pounds. “Big, hon.”
“I got an 18 pounder. Is that big enough?”
“Yes hon. Now, did you get vanilla ice cream?”
“Oh yeah. The gallon or the good kind?”
I had already told him what kind at least three times when I made the list. “The good kind, hon.”
“Well, I’m not in that aisle yet.”
“Carrots, potatoes, lettuce, apples.” I sighed.
Wait, I got all that except the apples. What kind of apples?”
“I’m in the baking aisle. What did you want there?”
He couldn’t have told me that in the first place! “Icing sugar.”
“Oh, that’s right. You wanted a lot. How much again?”
Hello, we had that conversation too. The man couldn’t remember anything. "Twenty bags. It’s going to go up in price and I want some for storage. Make sure you get the two pound size.”
“They don’t come in two pounds. Lets see…Hytop, oh, here’s the two pound.”
“While you’re in that aisle get five boxes of devil’s food cake mix.”
“There is no devil food. There’s angel food.”
“There is devil’s food. If not, any chocolate cake will do. Just make sure it’s not brownies.”
“Jane, I don’t like chocolate cake. Do you want yellow cake mix?”
NO! I don’t want yellow. I want chocolate!”
“But I don’t like chocolate. Here’s some more angel food.”
“I don’t care if you don’t like chocolate. I have yellow and white and angel. I want chocolate.”
“Oh here it is. Devils food. How many do you want?”
I am now gritting my teeth trying to be patient. “Five.”
“OK, now what do you want?”
“Apples, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberries and walnuts.”
“I have the potatoes. How many sweet potatoes do you want?”
“Just one, medium size.”
“How come you want sweet potatoes? I can’t find them. Oh, here’s yam’s. Do you want yams or sweet potatoes.”
“Yams will be fine. Get yams.”
“Do you want two? Oh this ones’ broken I’ll get another one. So two yams?"
I grunt. “Yes.” Then shove a pencil in my mouth and bite down hard.
“Now, what kind of apples did you want? What do you want them for, to eat or to cook?”
I pry the pencil out of my teeth. “We are going to eat them. Get an assortment.”
“Whatever is cheapest! Did you get the cranberries?”
“Where are the cranberries?”
“Walk to where the lettuce is. They are to the right of the lettuce.”
“What kind? There’s three kinds.”
“The one’s in the bag, Rick.”
“How many do you want? One bag?”
“Yes dear, one bag. Don’t forget the walnuts. Get them in the bulk food section.”
“Do you have any idea how annoying you are to shop for?” Rick said.
It was a good thing I had taken the pencil out of my mouth or I would have choked to death.
“What kind of walnuts do you want—spiced, salted, canned?”
Canned! Canned! Who buys canned walnuts. There are no canned walnuts in the bulk foods. It’s bulk! I’m annoying! I was biting huge chunks of flesh out of my cheeks. “Raw walnuts, about one pound.! Don’t forget the ice cream.”
“The gallon or the good stuff? Oh yeah, the good stuff. Anything else? Janie, are you there?"
“That’s all.” I manage to choke out. I was stuffing Kleenex into my mouth to staunch the flow of blood.
The next day Rick and I had another little conversation. Turns out the list was on the seat of the car, just like I knew it would be. I decided to read my blog to him before I posted it, to see if he could redeem himself in some small way. It was not to be.
“So, now do you see how annoying you were?” I asked after reading my story.
“Jane, you are not specific, you just tell me to pick up a few things.”
Hmmm, perhaps I could have included a map of each aisle in relationship to all the exits.
“Rick, how much more specific can I get than telling you to buy five boxes devils food cake mix.”
“Well, is devils food always chocolate? Can’t it be white like angel food?”
No! Devils food is always chocolate.
I suppose he means me. I am the ridiculous one for not explaining to him that devils food cake mix is chocolate not white. One would think he just got off the boat from China and this was his first trip to an American grocery store.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone and don’t forget--do your own shopping.