Everyone has different roles in their relationships. Sometimes one person is more comfortable fixing leaky taps. Or changing plugs. While the other is better at budgeting. Or choosing wallpaper. Then there are the dud jobs, like taking out the rubbish or picking up the dog poo, which for some reason, always end up being mine.
But in our house, my husband is the one who typically lands up buying most of the groceries. Not always, but quite a lot more than he used to. Maybe because he is better at buying things in bulk and I am better at cooking them up into delicious meals. But this is when the disconnect often happens. Because the ingredients that I need to cook up these meals can often cause him much irritation and discomfort.
For example I sent him off to the shops with this shopping list on Friday:
Now this may seem like a strange assortment of ingredients but we were having a dinner party and I had already bought a lot of the other stuff the day before. The first call came in at about 10:30:
“What is tahini? I mean, I don’t even know what sort of substance it is. How am I supposed to know which aisle to look in?!”. I tried not to giggle and explained that I was making hummus and that tahini is a core ingredient of that.
The next call came in at 10:37. “WTF are breadsticks. No one here (at Checkers) has even heard of them. They keep sending me to the bread aisle and showing me the baguettes”. Me: “Um, they’re long thin biscuit things – try the snack and biscuit aisle”.
10:41. “Okay I found some long thin biscuit things. I mean, they’re not that long. They’re like half a pencil or so? Or like an extra long Nik-Nak? (they were cheese straws). “Okay love, just get those then” (because it doesn’t really matter what you dip into hummus because it will always be delicious am I right?). But there was more: “And what are WHITE beans? All of the tins say butter beans or cannelini beans but NONE OF THEM SAY WHITE BEANS and I know this because I’ve looked at nearly every tin”. Me: “Oh ja, sorry – that just means you can get any type of white beans.” Irritation levels now rapidly rising.
10:48. “Hi again (with a hint of desperation in his voice), is Parmesan sometimes called something else? Like Parmigiano something?”. Me: “Affirmative”. Him: “And NO ONE here has heard of dried basil. Can I get dried something else? There are A LOT of herb bottles to check and none of them say Dried Basil”.
In between each of these phone calls, I know I shouldn’t be, but I am laughing so hard that a little tear even escapes from one eye. I think it’s just because something so mundane as grocery shopping can make him so mad. And for some reason this really amuses me.
The same thing has happened before when I’ve sent him to buy creme fraiche. Or heavy cream (“is this the same as thick cream because none of the bottles says HEAVY CREAM!!!!”). I also sent him once to buy nail polish remover, which I don’t think he has ever imagined existed in the universe (but he found it). I think that this general grocery sourcing problem is compounded because there aren’t a lot of helpful people hanging around in grocery shop aisles, typically.
Although there was this one helpful fellow customer that apparently tried to assist when I sent him to buy Dettol recently. Now this is quite an unusual one so I probably should have qualified why I was asking him to buy Dettol antiseptic on my list (it was for a charity drive and I needed two bottles). Anyway apparently a lovely fellow shopper tried to steer him towards the Dettol antispectic but he had already spotted the Dettol handwash and the Dettol floor cleaner and the Dettol soaps and this threw him into such a state of confusion that he exclaimed very loudly in the middle of the Pick ‘n Pay and frightened the helpful lady away.
Grocery lists hey. Who knew they could drive some people so crazy?
P.S. Have you ever had a similar problem? Which ingredients have caused your partner to be mightily confused?