September 2005 Sincerely Sire Newsletter

Where’s my Award?

A long long time ago, in a faraway land, before Roe worked outside the home, when our daughters were little munchkins, Roe did all the food-shopping, and pretty much all the cooking too. (I would occasionally barbeque burgers and make scrambled eggs—I was very good at scrambled eggs.) Then, when the girls got big, like about twelve and fourteen-years-old, Roe started working fulltime selling real estate, but she continued, without missing a beat to do all the food-shopping and cooking as well. Then, when the girls got even bigger, they moved out, and that’s when something really terrible happened: Roe lost interest in food-shopping …and cooking too. No, now wait a second, that’s not totally accurate. Roe still likes to cook, she just doesn’t have much time for it anymore because she’s totally thrown herself into work, which I might add, she enjoys very much. But as far as the food-shopping goes—I have discovered she never had any interest in that job to start with. This has been a rude awakening for me, because I sometimes, now, have to go food-shopping myself.

Here’s why I started to go food-shopping: No milk, no eggs, no bread, no apples, no meat, no cheese, no bananas, no lettuce, no tomatoes, no crackers, no chips, no pasta, no Nachos, no nothing. During one stretch I found myself eating only peanut butter for three days straight. And the worst part of it was, the woman didn’t care. I don’t even think she noticed. I said to myself, "Wah happun?"

She just stopped. For thirty years she goes food-shopping and then one day, bam!, from out of nowhere, it’s over. Makes a guy a little uneasy if you know what I mean.

So, I did the only thing a man can do in that situation, I changed. I made a list and I went to the store. Yes, that’s right, I started shopping for food, and after doing it several times now, I would say it rates right up there with pounding sand and doing the laundry, which—thank you, thank you, thank you, Roe—she still does.

The thing that surprises me most about food-shopping is this: I thought it was easy—but it’s not. I find it physically and mentally exhausting. Yes, I said mentally exhausting too. I mean buying the staples is not that tough, the bread and eggs, and things like that, but what about stuff for dinners? That takes planning. Organizational skills. Creativity. What are we going to eat Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday night? And there are so many nights, and they just keep coming, one right after another. It’s incredible. So you buy chicken for Monday night, and maybe, I don’t know, chicken I guess, for Tuesday night, but what about after that?

And then there’s the specials that drive me crazy. Like the other day I needed one avocado, and it just so happened there was a special on them, buy one for two bucks, but buy ten for only ten dollars. And why are they selling ten avocados for a buck a piece? because they’re ripe, of course, and must be eaten before you leave the store. What am I going to do with ten ripe avocados?…but still, I can get them for half price…what to do, what to do? You see what I mean about mentally exhausting?

It seems like the supermarkets today are designed for people with at least twelve or thirteen kids. Either that, or for people who consume a great many avocados at one sitting.

And you know how many times I’ve walked into the store and bought all the frozen stuff first? And then, as I’m checking out an hour later (I’m not too fast yet), with all the frozen things dripping big puddles onto the floor and countertop, I say to myself, "Oops, next time, got to remember to get the frozen stuff last lame brain."

So, after driving to the store, getting all the food, planning for all the dinners, lugging it all home, and putting it all away, Roe comes strolling in the door from work and says, "I’m beat."

She’s beat? She’s beat! "I just went food-shopping," I say. "I just carried all the food in from the car all by myself. Just now. It was all right here on the counter just a second ago. It filled the entire countertop. If you would have come home just a few minutes earlier you would have seen me putting it all away."

"Oh, that’s good," she says, as she flips on the TV and flops down on the couch. "What’s for dinner?"

What’s for dinner? What’s for dinner?! Has she gone completely mad? Didn’t she hear me? I just went food-shopping! Where’s my award? My big trophy?

And that’s when the little light blinked on for the first time ever: Roe had food-shopped for me, and our girls, for thirty years, had cooked a million dinners, raised our children, did the laundry, cleaned the house, and yes, took my shirts to the cleaners, for me, and listened to me and all my troubles for all those years, and, oh, did I mention given birth, twice, to our beautiful baby daughters—and she also sold real estate.

Here’s what I’ve done for thirty years: sold real estate.

I love the woman.

I’ve been spoiled.

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