Women can be straight assholes when they send a man to the store. How do I know this? Because I was one...until I was sent to the store by my friend. She asked me to get tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, cheese and salad dressing. When I walked in the store, I headed straight to the produce section. Tomatoes. I grabbed a bag threw the tomatoes in and headed to the lettuce. And that’s when it hit me: We are complete assholes. Why? Because there are literally 35 different varieties of lettuce. So here was my thought process: Does she want iceberg. Nah, nobody really eats iceberg. What about romaine? Maybe, but she seems like the spring mix kind. But maybe she likes green leaf or red leaf. Does she want it in a bag? Oh God, there are 23 different types of bagged lettuce.
For that moment, I felt a moment of empathy for men. Because then I got to the peppers. Red, green, yellow, orange…this is some straight b.s. And then on to the cheese, where I took a deep breath and fought the urge to throw a temper tantrum in the middle of the aisle. At that point, I called my friend for clear, explicit instructions and tried to hide the twinge of anger and irritation in my voice.
So what did I learn from all of this? Men function best when they have clear instructions. It feels like a waste of time to wander around the store or to try and guess what we want. So here are some tips to prevent making anyone in your life feel like I did:
Issue: Using “any kind” or “anything” For example, “Bring back any kind of wine.” or "Bring me some tampons."
Channeling My Inner Male: Cut it out and stop being annoying. A guy really does want to bring back exactly what you want. And using the word “any” opens up his world to about 7,327 ways to mess up and find himself in the middle of an argument when he comes home with the wrong thing.
Solution: Be specific with your requests. If you want wine, write down the specific name of the wine. And always have a back-up plan. “If they don’t have that wine, get this particular wine. (Write down the name of it in print. Don’t use cursive.) Or say something like, “If they don’t have that wine, bring me a six pack of Yuengling.”
If you are sending him out for pads or tampons, this requires patience and attention to details. Take a picture, describe the colors, show it to him on the internet, or rip off part of the package. How is he supposed to know the difference between super, regular, overnight, ultra thin, wings, without wings, and lightdays, unless you tell him. And God forbid the company should decide to change the design of the packaging in teh last month. No man should have to go down the aisle of feminine products without some kind of guidance. Even I have brought home the wrong type.
Issue: Using the phrase “get something” when you ask a man to go to the store.
Channeling My Inner Male: “Get something for dinner” does not give you the right to complain when a man comes home with that “something” that you don’t want. If you had something specific in mind, you should have asked for it.
Solution: Be as specific as possible. Talk about possibilities or choices before he goes to the store. Write a list for him or send a text. If you need a brand name item over a store brand, let him know. If they don’t have something at the store, be specific on what he should do. For example, “If they don’t have something on the list, call me.”
I’d like to end this blog with an apology to my father, brothers, friends, and former boyfriends for the grocery lists that were written before my epiphany.
© Kristen Crockett