Thursday, April 09, 2009

Not Exactly a Brain Surgeon

I refuse to stand for this any longer! My own stupidity, I mean.

I'm a guy who doesn't do details very well. On the whole I am okay with who I am. But there's one area where I have lost patience with my lovable, old self. It has to do with groceries and lists.

As I have written previously (but am too lazy to look up the references which is okay because no one would bother to check them anyway, and I really don't blame you for being such a sensible steward of your time), I have a problem with groceries and lists. Almost invariably, I fail in either the making of that list or the shopping of same. It's not that it happens on occasion; it's that it happens frequently: so frequently that I'd pull out my hair if I still possessed a strand or two.

This time around, I managed to get all of the ingredients on the list for my Hamburger Noodle Casserole: pasta, beef, stewed tomatoes, cream of tomato soup, cream of celery, onions, and green peeper. Yup! They all got on my list. But they didn't all get home: namely, the green pepper. It was on the list; I just plain missed it.

I could forgive myself the occasional goofup, but we are talkin goofups plural. It happens over and over again. More frequently, it's that I don't get all of the ingredients listed in the first place, but it can be that I simply miss picking up an item that's on the list. Either way, it drives me crazy. I drive me crazy.

So, I made up some new rules. (i) Cuppa will double check the lists that I make, especially when I have copied the ingredients from a recipe. (ii) I will rewrite any haphazard list in an orderly fashion to make it more difficult to overlook something when I am shopping. (iii) I will take a writing utensil to the store and carefully cross out items as I place them in my cart. (iv) If I forget to bring a writing utensil, I will borrow a stubby pencil from the bakery department. (v) I will steal the dangblasted pencil if I have to.

Having decided on this protocol, I went shopping. This time, because we love our tender moments of togetherness, Cuppa came with me (isn't it touching?) and did the bulk of the shopping whilst I stared into space and did what I do best — gathered much mental wool. Towards the end of the expedition, however, she made a fatal error in judgment ... and left me to pickup the coffee cream, butter, and juice from the dairy-end of the store. I managed fine with the juice and butter, and the fact that the store was out of coffee cream wasn't my fault.

What was my fault, however ... was the buttermilk that I so sincerely added to the cart. Cuppa had written butter on the list, which you may recall I was able to obtain, but somehow my brain added another version of butter to the list — buttermilk. So you see, even when I don't forget to add items to the list and/or I manage to retrieve every ingredient on said list, I am likely to make up a new version in my head and add items willy nilly.

The thing is that although I will never be asked to perform brain surgery, I'm actually not all that dumb. But I sure feel dumb when I keep doing this ... over and over ... and ...

14 comments:

KGMom said...

AC--stop berating yourself.
There's actually another explanation altogether. I am not sure if you know of (or even accept) the concept of personality typing.
Several years ago, my husband & I went through it and light bulbs went off. So, that's why I. . .fill in the blank.
Myer-Briggs personality typing is based on Jungian pyschology.
One of the categories is how you process information--do you pay attention to details or not?
I suspect you are an N (in Myers-Briggs parlance that means you are intuitive). Ns do NOT notice details. They see big picture. Are you a forest or a trees guy?

I am a strong N--so I have gone to the grocery store for peanut butter and brought home CRUNCHY--which we do not eat--instead of SMOOTH. Details--pifffttt!

Perhaps arranging the list in the order in which items are displayed in the store?

Mary said...

AC,

I wouldn't worry too much about this if I were you. We all make mistakes. My hubby is famous for doing EXACTLY what you do. I have also taken a list to the grocery store and forgotten a much needed ingredient. Seems it is a human trait. Everyone does this kind of thing and I suspect you are a deep thinker.

Enjoy the nicer weather. Thank goodness it is neither raining or snowing today.

Blessings,
Mary

Heather said...

I think the human brain can only handle so much competence and has to let itself slip up in one or two areas. I think we each have those areas where we slip up. For me, it is almost always forgetting to pick up whatever my husband asks me to pick up on my way home.

karla said...

AC? If you wrote a book, I would buy it in a heartbeat and drive to our Nations Capital for a signed copy. I just love your sense of humour and writing style, brain farts and all.

Donna said...

!!!!! I want those darn References...like, NOW!!!HAhaaaaa....
Don't beat yourself up to badly...Always drink wine Before you start cooking! That way, you won't notice the missing ingredients...HAhaaaa...
well...it was just a suggestion....hughugs

Amanda said...

You are not alone there :o)
I do things like that all the time too!

Ginnie said...

My thing is writing a detailed shopping list and then leaving the list at home !! Never fails.
I would venture that you're bored so much by that menial task that it's hard to concentrate on it.

Mara said...

I write a list, forget to take it with me and somehow manage to buy everything on the list. But if I do remember to take the list, one or two items will stay on the list and never in my cart and other things (usually sweet and tasty) find their way into the cart as if it were magic....

Kila said...

I am completely stunned. I thought you were a detail-oriented, non-forgetful guy. You had me fooled! I feel like the rug has been pulled out from under me! ;)

I do hear this complaint about nearly every guy I know. They always forget things that are on the list!

Lorna said...

I'm sure your friends and family just find it endearing. I know I did.

dabrah said...

I have a shopping list saved as a word document. It has anything I would ever want to buy in the supermarket on the list, sorted by the category and aisle order. When I'm going to go shopping I upload the list and read through it, deleting any items I don't want to get and only leaving the items I want to buy. Then I print off the amended list, and close the file without saving so that the next time I've opened it all the deleted items will be back on the list. In the supermarket I cross the items off as i find them. Despite all of this I still make mistakes. It's like sometimes my eyes pick out the item I want, and my hands lift the item next to it, and I usually don't spot my mistake until I get home! Happy Easter.

Ruth said...

I am sure that most, if not all brain surgeons would be lousy shoppers...
Maybe brain surgery would be your forte.

Woman in a Window said...

I've got nothing for you. You're in for a world of trouble. See, I make my own lists and hide my own mistakes. I highly suggest it!

simplycol.com said...

It made me chuckle at how you made a (check) list to remember a (grocery) list. Are you just a list making kind of guy. :-)