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“My Story of T”
So it’s happened again and I’m wondering if there are any other men who have gone through the same experience. It started shortly after getting married. We quickly agreed that I would do the weekly grocery shopping. I’m fine with that. It’s my hour, hour and a half away. And since I like to cook, it makes sense. I typically shop without a list…or if I do have a list it’s the “exceptions”…things I don’t get week to week.
After a few months of being married, Ronnie asked me to add a certain item to the grocery list. I looked at her like “really?”, but being a new husband, agreed. I’ve since found out that most guys would just nip that in the bud then, and never had to go down this road. But not me. What did I know? I grew up with 2 brothers and I’m not sure this was ever discussed in our house. In fact, I remember my first encounter with this item. I don’t remember how old I was, but I looked through my Mom’s pocketbook for some reason and saw something in a plain white wrapper. I think I thought it was some type of lollipop. I said “what’s this?”…and she just said “just a thing”, clearly not comfortable with the conversation. I may have asked if I can have one but I’m trying to suppress that memory.
So while I agreed to buy this item, I wouldn’t write it on the list. But I just wrote a big letter T with a circle around it. Later, at the store, I finished my shopping, except for the T. This wasn’t just a matter of finding the right aisle and shelf and grabbing it…it took some planning. As I was shopping I made note of where the personal health items aisle was. To prepare, I walked several times back and forth in the back of the store passing the target aisle. Finally, when NO ONE was in the aisle, I’d make my way down looking left then right, trying to spot the T. 3 or 4 passes, and I had it narrowed down. Although, if someone would come down the aisle, I’d make it look like I was looking for deodorant or shaving cream.
Finally, I thought I had my chance. But when I got closer, I noticed there were more choices than kinds of Oreos. Geez! Which one should I get? So I went to the end of the aisle and called Ronnie, telling her there were too many options. She said “get the compact ones”…so I went back down the aisle, scanning the boxes looking for the word COMPACT. And you know what…there’s light… regular…super…super plus…double stuff (well that may have been in the Oreo aisle)…but NO FREAKIN COMPACT! I called Ronnie back now in a sweat. She said “Just get a variety pack”…Variety pack? What am I getting little boxes of cereal? But I said ok, and when the coast was clear, I found a variety pack of T. Mission accomplished!
As the years went by, from time to time, T gets back on the list. And believe it or not, it’s gotten a little easier. Except for a recent episode when I was shopping at BJs. Yeah, with 2 girls growing up, the Stop and Shop boxes don’t cut it anymore…need to get the BIG boxes. As I’m almost done shopping I text Ronnie…”at BJs…need anything?”…and she responds “yes…we need T”….But it’s 11 or so years after the first experience and I’m sort of OK with it…I walked over to the aisle, not even caring that there were other people around, I picked a box and threw it in the cart….It’s not a big deal I thought. Time to check out!
I don’t have many items, so the good part is I can check out myself and no one even knows I have a box of T in my cart! Easy peasy nice and easy! I stroll on my way out and just have to get by the receipt checker guy. What does this guy really do anyway other than give a quick glance and poke a hole in my receipt?
Not this guy …he’s actually counting my items…and then looks at me…and says…”this receipt says 8 items…I count 9 in your cart…go back to the customer service desk”. I look at the receipt and almost immediately notice what the problem is…there’s no T listed on the receipt!!! But I scanned it…I swear I did!…But now I have to go to the lady at the desk…confess I missed an item…and hand her the box of T. The sweat from 11 years ago has come back. I pay for my item…and head back out again with my head down. I could swear the receipt checker guy had a look of pity thinking “you’re not a man…you’d never catch me buying this”….I gave him the 2nd receipt, and when I walked past him I just said “trust me…if I was going to steal something, it wouldn’t have been this.”
Not more than a week later, I was back in BJs. This isn’t typical because I normally don’t go more than once or twice a month, but on my way home I wanted to stop for a rotisserie chicken…I figured it was safe to text Ronnie..”in BJs, need anything?”….and I couldn’t believe it when she texted back “we need another box of T”….WHAT???? What are they doing with these things?….As it turned out, Ruthie doesn’t like regular or super or super plus…she wanted Sport! I had my chance there to say NO…NO WAY…NO HOW…I’M DONE BUYING T! But of course I didn’t and found the box, and threw them in the cart. I guess I’m just a regular, super guy who’s really a good sport!