Last week my wife asked me to stop by the store and buy two things for dinner, canned corn and corn bread mix. Two items, that’s all I had to find. My wife had a certain level of confidence in my ability to successfully track down two items and bring them home… I knew better.
5:05 PM I arrived at the store and began walking the aisles.
5:08 PM I find the canned foods aisle and find the corn.
I didn’t realize all of the choices I would have to make to successfully choose a can of corn. I found sweet corn, creamed corn, no preservative corn, regular yellow corn, and a few other options of corn that I couldn’t see a good reason for. I made a choice based on the best criteria I knew… price.
5:09 PM With the cheapest can of corn in my hand I confidently headed off for my final item. 4 minutes into my adventure and I am already halfway to my goal.
5:18 PM I find myself returning down the same aisles that I already searched. I wander past other men staring blankly at a whole row of items that only confuse the male mind. I begin searching for an old lady who would certainly know where to find corn bread but all I can find are more confused looking men picking up items for their wives.
5:23 PM I am ready to give up. I walk to the front of the store with a can of cheap corn and ask the girl at the check out stand where I can find corn bread mix. She tells me aisle 7 or 8 so I return to the place I had already checked out several times just minutes before.
5:28 PM I find a 16 year old boy who is stocking shelves and ask in desperation if this store even carries corn bread mix. He turns around and points at the corn bread mix section and wishes me luck. I reach down and pick the first bag of mix I see and head off to the long lines of after-work shoppers.
5:35 PM I finally check out and head home. I arrive home and my wife already found a can of corn at home and it was too late to make the corn bread. She says, “thanks anyway” and we sit down to eat dinner.
I can find cereal, milk, meat, and drinks in the grocery store. Anything beyond that is too much to ask a man to accomplish. Maybe this is a lack of training or maybe I am just instinctively following the example of Bill Cosby. He says men purposefully mess things up so that their wives quit asking for help. I didn’t do this on purpose but I don’t think I will be asked to “pick up a few items after work” anytime soon.