It all started a year ago with these words from my youngest son, "Why don't we buy brown eggs?" My answer was based in mathematics and economics as I explained the amount of money we saved by buying white eggs instead. Another mother, standing nearby, overheard my explanation and saved her breath by suggesting her children listen too. However, as summertime grocery shopping with my sons continued, on a weekly basis, he kept asking me about the brown eggs. Finally he wore me down and 50¢ more didn't seem like so much to spend. As a bonus, switching to brown eggs solved my guilt over the styrofoam cartons the white ones always came in.
Recently, to amuse myself, I started writing, "brown eggs from happy chickens" on the grocery list. I'm usually the one going to the store. And I go to the store A LOT. Well, my wonderful husband didn't get the memo about, "brown eggs from happy chickens" being the same old carton of brown eggs we'd been buying at Kroger, just with A Janean Name written on the grocery list. So he'd go to the store and think they were all out. Then we'd put eggs back on the list and I'd pick up a carton the next time I was at the store. It wasn't until today, when he came home from grocery shopping baffled and saying they were out of eggs from happy chickens that I finally realized he didn't get it. I took the half full cardboard carton of brown eggs from happy chickens out of the fridge and showed him what I meant. He said, "Well they had THOSE!"
Then he said, "For everything else you're so specific" and he gave examples… Then he clarified he'd been looking for a carton that read, "Happy Chickens" somewhere on the package. His advice going forward was, "Just say "cage free". I know what that means. Don't put, "happy chickens". Chickens aren't "happy". They are chickens." Can I just add, at this point I was doubled over with the refrigerator door wide open Laughing Like A Loon. Turns out that making the environmental choice of cardboard cartons and the animal friendly choice of cage free results not only in happy chickens but in hilarity as I cracked up this morning and laughed longer than I have in some time. Felt good.
Through my gales of laughter I assured him I wasn't laughing at him. I am thankful he doesn't mind making the occasional trip to the grocery store. It's amusing when I think back to when we grocery shopped together after we first set up our household. It was an Outing and All About The Togetherness. After our second son was born, things shifted again in our household. In order to grocery shop, without the boys in tow, my husband started getting groceries on his way home from work. I did that too. That was when I learned to Be Specific on the list, because I might not be the one getting the groceries that week. The most recent Seismic Shift was nearly two years ago, when I left my job as Art Director to be a stay at home mom. Grocery shopping was suddenly an outing again. A Destination on a list of Things To Do. I rediscovered how nice it was to grocery shop in an unhurried, time to compare prices and make thoughtful choices kind of way that I'd forgotten existed in my Harried Working Mom Days of Go, Go, Go Gotta Get to What's Next I'm Already Late. I'm still not good at "go with the flow" but I am more serene and peaceful than I was two years ago. "Brown eggs from happy chickens" isn't the first time I've baffled the man I married. And it won't be the last. (I am SURE of it!) Thankfully, he loves me anyway.
© 2011 Janean Baird, Turquoise Tangles
gjd writes:I know just what you mean… Too specific and they can't begin to find it. Too general and they come back with something totally not what you wanted. 🙂
Cell phones make it easy to call home for product clarification or the shelf location in the store. Otherwise, there is always a food drive to donate random items to that were purchased by mistake with very good intentions.