Sep 6, 201202:27 PMBecause I'm the Dad
Parenthood through a Father's Eyes
Have you ever walked into a place and been completely overwhelmed? Everything looks so shiny and clean and there are so many feasts for your eyes and there’s music softly playing in the background.
You might think I am talking about a resort or some kind of entertainment facility. But no, I am talking about my own special brand of self-torture—the grocery store.
My wife doesn’t often send me to the store. I really can’t understand why. After all, if I didn’t go, who would come home with the candy bars, chips, pudding cups or the peach pie? How would we sustain ourselves?
Things are quite different these days. When I was growing up in western Pennsylvania, we made a weekly shopping trip to the little Shop ‘n’ Save. BIG FUN! Everything was arranged neat and orderly. There were maybe two brands of ketchup, the five basic Campbell’s Soup flavors and the other staples. We were in and out with our rations in record time.
Today, you have to go armed with everything needed for a stint on Survivor. The superstores should hand out a GPS and shin guards in case you get banged by one of those extension carts where the kids are driving the little “car” in front. And would I be completely out of line to ask for a complete comparison chart to help decipher the difference between the 623 brands of tomato sauce? How can there be so many kinds of lettuce anyway, and why would I buy patio furniture when I just stopped in for juice?
But hey, I am just the dad and I do admire the champion shoppers. They can sort through the coupons, plan an entire week’s menu, drink a 48-ounce specialty coffee AND keep an eye on three kids as they hang all over the cart screaming their heads off.
On a recent trip, I had to pick up milk from one end of the store, then remembered that I needed to get peppers from the other end. By the time I made it to the produce, I remembered that the Mrs. asked me to get a loaf of bread—from the end of the store I just left. Three beaten hours later, I finally made it home to hear, “I was wondering if you were ever coming back.”
Now that food prices are increasing faster than the national debt, I do tend to pay closer attention. But that usually is not the case and it has gotten me into a lot of trouble. About five years ago, I was alone, salivating in the ice cream aisle, about to pull out a half-gallon of some gourmet dessert when our neighbor Jean snapped my attention back into reality. Something came over me and I sheepishly ask her if five dollars was too much to pay for a container of ice cream. Her response? “Oh God, yes! She’ll kill you if you buy that—I know I would.”
It’s best if I just stay home.