Why I Always Make A Grocery List

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Photo by cohra

So, lists are cool, right? I know I’m not the only person who has added something they’ve already accomplished to a to do list simply for the pleasure of crossing it off. Am I?

Well, I don’t get that same satisfaction from grocery lists. Grocery shopping is a tedious and annoying chore, usually fraught with inconsiderate, germy people who try to run you over in parking lots and block the aisles while staring blankly at the vast array of hot dog bun options. I just want to get in and get out, acquiring all my items with one strategic sweep through the store. I don’t like to take the time to pull out a list, find a pen and cross things off while pushing a cart, holding my purse, collecting my purchases and plotting a course to my next target all while dodging children, stockers and the afore-mentioned aisle-blockers, It’s just too much multi-tasking for five items or less. I have a great memory — I can remember 5 or less items no problem and not deal with a list… Or so I thought.

About a year ago I was running sound for a community theatre production and I was also very ill with some horrid upper respiratory plague (no doubt caught from one of those diseased actors). At some point between work and rehearsal, I had to run by the grocery store for about three necessary items. I can remember three items without a list I should think — even while tired, sick and certainly not at my best. Well, I had collected two of the items and was walking quickly and purposefully past the aisles when I noticed I was passing the row with trash bags and went into a stream of thought roughly like this, “Oh, we need trash bags too, don’t we? No, wait. Garian got some the other day — although he bought the name brand kind instead of the off-brand which is just as good and cheaper; you throw them away for goodness sake, not like you need all these fancy features… But at least he remembered that we needed them — he’s so thoughtful sometimes, and handsome, and I like him…” About this point in my thought process, I noticed that I had kept on walking purposefully through the store, but now had no idea where I was going or why. I would not stop dead in my tracks to figure it out like some despicable aisle-blocker so I kept up my walking while looking frantically at the items in my basket and the products I was walking towards, hoping for some kind of clue while trying to give off the “I’m perfectly normal and all fine here” vibe. I was actually terrified that if I looked the least bit lost or confused, some helpful associate would ask me what they could help me to find and I would be forced to admit that I didn’t know what I was looking for.

Finally, as I saw the cookie and cracker aisle, it came to me and I abruptly (and probably loudly) exclaimed, “CRACKERS!” As several stockers and contemplative shoppers jumped at the sudden interruption, I realized that I had probably just blown my Not-A-Crazy-Person Cover. So I belatedly attempted to look startled and glance around as if trying to determine who had just foolishly shouted “crackers.” However, I had no choice but to proceed to pick up the crackers and walk (rather quickly) to the check out, hoping no one would put together the clues and think I was suffering from some form of Grocery Tourette’s Syndrome.

The mental anguish of this incident was no doubt magnified by the decongestants I was on at the time, but nonetheless, I still feel vaguely insecure and panicky whenever I think about going grocery shopping without a list.

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One Response to “Why I Always Make A Grocery List”

  1. Paula Singletary Says:

    hee hee hee. Really laughing at this one. I mumble through the store even when I have a list. On my phone now, not paper.

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