Want something special? Put it on the list
Leada Gore, Editor
My husband, Greg, was a bachelor for many years and his idea of fine dining was anything with the words "Super Value Meal" in the name. I jokingly said his move from Hazel Green prompted the closure of at least two fast food restaurants.
It's been a big change for him to eat something besides hamburgers every night and to actually have something besides pretzels and an old jar of mustard in the house. He has learned a new vocabulary, including words like "grocery store," "shopping day" and "the list."
It's the "list" part with which he's had the most fun. I handle the grocery shopping – we haven't quite worked up to him attempting that on any sort of large scale yet – and like to take a list of everything I need. I keep this running list of the side of the refrigerator.
Greg has discovered the list and has learned if you write what you want on it, sooner or later it will magically appear at the house.
I noticed he was testing the list notion, writing simple things like "syrup" or "waffles" on it. He wrote, I shopped, he ate. It was a simple arrangement but one that worked well.
Then, he got more elaborate and even picky.
"Bread. Not the brown kind you're buying that tastes like cardboard. White bread that's soft and tastes like bread should."
"Rice. Again, no brown kind. Get the normal white kind of rice that 99 percent of the American population eats."
"Sandwich meat. The real meat kind, not the pressed stuff that is made out of strange animal parts."
Then, one day, I noticed Greg walking around the kitchen looking in the cabinets.
"Where are the potato chips?" he asked, rummaging through a cabinet. (I didn't tell him this is where the plates are kept.)
"You didn't mention you wanted any potato chips," I said. "They weren't on the list."
Greg spun around then pointed to a note pad on the refrigerator.
"Yes, they are! See, they are right there on the list," he replied.
"That's not the right list," I said. "That's the list of things we're having for dinner, not the list of things to get at the grocery store. You have to make sure you're writing things on the correct list."
He looked crestfallen. He had just gotten the whole list thing worked out in his head and it was working like a charm. Suddenly, I introduced a new wrinkle and rocked his world.
"Can you just have one list?" he asked. I complied, mainly because he looked so upset about the entire thing. I guess I was just moving too fast for him.
You can't expect someone to go from Super Value Meals to culinary planning in just six months.