Friday, January 4, 2008

Man Shop

The battle of the sexes is never more clearly thrown into relief than in the quest for food. There is something of a primal revolution between the hunter/gatherers and the nurturer/growers that takes place when one or the other utters the phrase, “Honey, I’m going to the store, do you need anything?” When this Darwinian battle between male and female is combined with the stated New Year’s Objective to be frugal about spending and only buy what we need, not what we want, there are issues.

First day. Man makes the offer, more as a courtesy, as he already has a preconceived notion of what he will get. Woman responds by saying, “Wait a minute, I’ll make a list.” Man is impatient. Wants to get going. Waits for list. List is left in car. Woman angrily goes to grocery store to get items on list, also feels entitled to free associate spend, after all, he did. Critical items get forgotten until a third necessity shop via running into the 7-11 is done.

Four days later. Man makes the offer. Woman is ready, having pre-prepared the list with legible print. She hands him list and coupons. Man follows list fitfully and willfully ignores coupons due to hassle factor. Woman complains about budget. She shops the next day, uses coupons and gets things, makes a point of how she saved money. Man points out they would have saved more if she hadn’t shopped at all.

Friday. Man is driving home. Gets drafted to shop by Woman via a text message list. Man goes in to get target items only. Man cannot find items on list. Buys every possible alternative he can think of, except the ones that would actually serve as acceptable substitutes.

Weekend. Woman decides to go shopping for the week. Man gives budget. Discusses need to pare down and simplify. Woman goes and gets items SHE KNOWS she will need . Blows budget by a factor of 4. Man shakes head.

The Next Week. Man decides to go shopping next week. Gets items sparingly. Stays in budget. Brings home humble offerings. Woman and man both complain that there aren’t any special things on the menu. Midway through week, order take out the rest of the nights for dinner.

The following week. Woman decides to go shopping and splurges just a little bit, staying mostly on budget, cutting corners where she can and still getting a few extras for a gourmet meal that evening. Man has invited friends over for dinner that weekend. A splurge shop at the high priced gourmet grocery store follows.

The Tipping Point. Man goes to shop with sole stated goal of staying on budget. Comes home with Four gallon Jar of Ragu and seventeen boxes of pasta. “We’ll drink water.” He says. After three days, both go together to the store and buy like drunken sailors.

They also order pizza to eat for dinner, being too exhausted from gathering food to cook.

Next Week’s Battle of the Sexes: The Laundry would take up much less of our time if you just followed my system.


Larramie said...

Whoa, what a wonderfully funny -- albeit potentially dangerous -- example of miscommunication...all too true.

Christine said...

I am the budget shopper. I buy boring things. On new year's eve, I offered to buy snacks for the ball drop. Mike only let me out of the house when I promised "to shop like a Dad".

He still ended up going for a second trip, because I hadn't stocked up enough junk or seafood.

I surrender.

suburbancorrespondent said...

I shop. He doesn't. It's not worth it.

And you do sort of have to feel for all those guys in the grocery store aisles being nagged by their wives via cellphone, don't you?

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!