Great moments in grocery shopping

By Steve Galea

Last Friday, I had a free afternoon, so I went grocery shopping. Normally, Jenn and I go to the grocery store together, but I think she thought it would be healthy for us to take a break from our date nights. Plus, she was working. 

So, I decided to go it alone. Partly because I wanted to take my time and ensure our next date night is more romantic than the last. 

Fortunately, Jenn was with me in spirit. Unfortunately, it was a spirit that texted me a detailed list as well as instructions on what to watch for in terms of produce freshness. It’s not that Jenn doesn’t trust my shopping skills. It’s more like she doesn’t believe we can survive for two weeks on beef jerky, cream soda, and cherry-flavoured Nibs.

Even though I am living proof that you can, I followed her list carefully. This meant I had to alternate between checking my cell phone and apologizing for knocking over carefully stacked displays of cans.

For the most part, the list made shopping easy. But one of the things on her list was not very specific. Jenn wrote that I should get her a “nice snack.”

You would think that would mean “beef jerky,” but she had already told me it didn’t. 

So, not knowing what to do, I bought her a can of cashews. And, frankly, I was kind of proud of choosing an item all by myself – just like a grown up.

As soon as I got to the car, I phoned Jenn to tell her about this.

“I think I got you something you’ll like,” I said. 

“Oh, what?” she asked.

“Cashews,” I said proudly.

“Cat shoes?” she yelped incredulously.

“No,” I said, “cashews.”

“Cat shoes?! What the…” she replied.

“No,” I said, “ca-shews….ca-shews. You know, the nut.”

“Oh,” she replied. “That’s great. Thanks.”

An awkward silence then fell upon our conversation while we both took in what had occurred. 

And, after about 15 seconds, I finally said what had to be said. 

“Cat shoes?” I muttered. “Really?”

“Look, I thought you might have said cashews but I wasn’t sure…” she replied. 

“So you chose instead to believe that I bought you cat shoes?” I stated. 

She said nothing.

“Because,” I continued, “given the choice between a grocery store carrying cashews and cat shoes, you thought cat shoes was the most probable of the two? I mean every grocery store in the province carries cat shoes, right?” 

“I mean it could have….,” she began.

“Could have what?” I interrupted. “Could have been possible? Hmm? In what world could I approach a grocery store employee and say, “Excuse me, where is the feline footwear department? I’m looking for two pairs of cat shoes in a size three-quarter for our kitty Mumbles. Preferably the kind with no laces, or he’ll be playing with them all day.”

“OK,” she said laughing. “You are right. It was a silly thing to say.”

For the record, this was the second time in our relationship I have been right. So, naturally, I had to write about it. 

Having said that, you really can’t blame Jenn for it either. After all, she grew up reading Puss and Boots. 

In any case, we are still laughing about this. Better still she is enjoying the cashews.

Plus, we learned a lot about how misunderstandings occur in our relationship.

And we even discussed a few ways to avoid it.

For instance, from here on in, I will never phone her to let her know I bought catsup.