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Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
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12:37 p.m. - 2011-01-10
Getting by with a little help from my guy.

I have business out in the world today. Another job application, banking, the grocery to pick up the couple things I forgot to get on Saturday. Frankly I'm shocked there aren't more foodstuffs to get, Shoprite was a madhouse and I had Mick and Wolf with me. Not ideal conditions to do a thoughtful food shopping. The budget got knocked cock-a-loop from the holidays and from the ill-timed paychecks this month so I was trying to do one of those shoppings that would piece out all the disparate ingredients we already had at home and muddle on through the next two weeks without zeroing out the checking account prematurely. I'd warned the guys not to interfere and to please, please to NOT be 'helpful'. Wolf's not so bad, he just dogs my heels making inane suggestions that I not forget things like milk. Milk? Oh wow, Wolf, thanks! What would I do without you?

Mick? Oy, this man. His desire to help is genuine. I love him for it, and in the abstract revel in having a partner who doesn't just dump the responsibility for everything on me as the ex used to. It's fantastic that Mick does his share and more. The sheer relief of not being in charge of every single stinking thing makes me swimmy-headed at times. And I don't think I'll ever become blasé about the wonder of a husband who can process laundry and not screw it up. The ex? Well after using my best damask tablecloth to soak up an oil spill in the driveway he'd cheerfully chuck it in the washer with his coveralls, the baby's pajamas and all of my bras, set the washer on HOT and dump half a gallon of Clorox directly onto the clothes. And then he'd be a total dick weasel for the next week if I didn't praise him for his 'fantastic' job and immediately drop to my knees and blow him with slobbering gratitude and joy. No exaggeration.

So no one should get the idea I'm a horrible termagant and poor Mick is my whipping boy, in so many ways my husband has made my life creamy and fun. But grocery shopping with Mick when I need to concentrate and stick to a budget is bloody impossible. For one thing he's always pod-wracking off and returning with things from aisles I hadn't gotten to yet, thus clogging up my orderly progression and the cart and messing up my running mental tally. And it saves no time because I still have to go down those aisles anyway to get the other six things he didn't come back with. Plus, to put it delicately, Mick is a marketer's wet dream. Inevitably Mick always chooses THE most expensive brand in THE most costly portions and packaging. Say for example we need sour cream and I am foolish enough to mention this aloud while in the produce aisle, Mick will zoom off to the farthest back corner of the store where the sour cream lives and return not with the $1.29 pint of house brand sour cream I had in mind, but a gaudy shiny box of Donald Trump brand sour cream in individual serving size gold-plated packets, a whole six ounces for the low bargain price of $15.99. When I veto his choice and suggest he return it Mick is crestfallen and then gets humphy and mutters about how I don't appreciate his help.

GAH!!!!!!!!!!!

Look, when we have some wiggle room in the budget I'm happy to let Mick do the marketing. He comes home with lovely treats for everybody, all the goodies and extras I routinely reject from force of habit. I don't buy chips and candy and dvds and roses and probably wouldn't even if I won the lotto. I've been broke for way too long to ever be a free-wheeling big spender at the grocery store. So Mick's largesse and desire for the good life makes a nice counterbalance to my ingrained denial and parsimony. But there's just as many times when I've GOT to squeeze two weeks worth of food out of $75 and that gold-plated sour cream just ain't gonna fly. Such was the case on Saturday.

Also on Saturday as I mentioned at the top Shoprite was complete bedlam. During the month of January Shoprite has the Can-Can sale. Every week there's crazy good bargains on selected items, a bonanza for the poor and thrifty. Nutty prices like 25 cans of corn for $2.00. But to wade through the screaming hordes, do the complicated math required to stay on target, make spontaneous decisions about how best to use that package of Italian sausage back home in the freezer and buy the proper accoutrement, deal with the constant yelling on the PA, and fend off Mick's 'help'…um, no. I'd wanted to go to Shoprite by myself, but since the roads were still slushy and icy he was having none of that. Despite managing to survive for the previous 44 years before we met, Mick is convinced I am something of helpless dimwit, and in any case far too precious to him to allow me to risk my gorgeous neck on the horribly dangerous trek of 2.3 miles between here and Shoprite. HE would drive and there'd be no nonsense about it.

See what I mean? How can I not love him for his tender care of me?

And how can I not want to throttle him for being so 'helpful'?


Such is the life of a spoiled darling. ~LA

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