Sunday, September 9, 2007

Grocery Shopping

Friday was a good day at work. I successfully defended two motions for summary judgment on behalf of my client in a complex business litigation matter in which I am involved. A loss on these motions would have effectively precluded my client from pursuing upwards of $750,000.00 in damages against the defendants. Needless to say, our win has a significant impact on the case.

After oral argument, I decided to take my husband to lunch. The subject of “marketing” as in ‘going to the grocery store and buying food’ came up. I admit I have no idea how to shop at the grocery store, despite the advice I’ve read in Sunset Magazine or Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa at Home. Planning a menu for the entire week is not only difficult, but unrealistic because inevitably, we spend at least two to three nights eating out due to working late, my husband will have a meeting with his Cricket team and won’t be home for dinner, or I lose interest in the creative dinner menu I selected three days earlier. In short, the food ends up going bad, getting freezer burn and ultimately thrown out. I can’t stand throwing away food particularly when I read stories like this morning’s front page article in the Los Angeles Times on Zimbabweans flooding South Africa because they are starving for food. As a result, I end up going to the market a lot. Not fun.

This past week, we returned from a three-week trip traveling through Southern France and Northern Spain. I went to the market the day after our return. I bought groceries for breakfast (which usually seems to last a little longer), fish, pasta and vegetables for my Summer favorite: Gazpacho soup. I also bought peppers and sea salt so that we can try to make the delicious pintxos we had in San Sebastian. Perhaps I was a little too focused on the pintxos, but I bought enough groceries to cover at least two dinner menus.

Apparently, my marketing didn’t quite cut it. Two days later, my husband tells me he is going to the market. Surprisingly, that stung quite a bit! In the past this would not have bothered me. Go get it yourself, right?! But my feelings are different now. I’m trying really hard to create our “home” and him telling me he was going to the market, after I had just gone, felt like I failed.

I decided to go with him. We walked up and down each aisle. I watched him pick and choose what he wanted (hoping to glean what it is I should be buying). He selected two jars of jam (we already have three in our pantry and I had purchased another one on my shopping trip two days earlier), two loaves of bread and English muffins (he didn’t like the wheat variety I selected two days earlier), two bottles of dishwashing soap (we already have two in our pantry) and so on and so forth. He also selected a few items that I just totally forgot when I was at the market the other day.

I came away from the experience realizing that we are just different people. I don’t know if it is a male vs. female thing. Whatever it is, apparently I’m still shopping for one person and he shops for a family of five. Does this ever get any easier? I’ll keep reading.

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