Which is why I hesitate to complain about this one, small, insignificant issue…
On Sunday afternoons, Chris drives me absolutely insane. INSANE, people! It hasn’t always been this way. We used to enjoy Sunday afternoons together. But in the past couple months, those days have gone out the window. Why? Well, it began with a Target RedCard.
I do my grocery shopping at Target, and since I was spending about $100 a week there on groceries, I decided to get a Target RedCard. The RedCard has two different options. One is a credit card, and the other is linked to your debit card. I got the one linked to my debit card. It has no enrollment or annual fees, and costs me nothing to use. What it does is send you a specific debit card to use only at Target. When you use that debit card there, you automatically save 5% on your total purchase. So, basically, I’m saving 5% of my own money at a place where I would be spending it anyway. It’s a huge win-win.
So, I started saving money that way. Then, I started clipping more coupons. I use Coupons.com and the Target website for coupons. Both are pretty awesome. With all of these things, I started saving a pretty good amount on each grocery visit. I could easily take $10 off my bill every week. I was bragging to Chris about this about a month ago, and he went out and surprised me by using a Groupon to get us a weekend subscription to the Orlando Sentinel (at 1/2 price, no less!) so that I could clip even more coupons. It was a really sweet gesture and it really helped with our grocery bill. I was now lowering our bill by $20-$30 a week. It was amazing!
And that’s when Chris decided he wanted to help. (sigh)
Two weekends ago, I was sitting down at our kitchen table on Sunday afternoon, planning our meals for the week and creating my shopping list. As I did this, Chris walked in with the newspaper. I wasn’t really paying attention to what he was doing, until he started asking me questions like, “Do you use Pantene?” and “Are we out of stick butter?”
I turned around to find Chris going through the coupons in the newspaper, clipping out what he thought I might need. Which is really nice, I know. But he was also throwing out coupons before I got the chance to look at them. And since I’m the one who makes our list and does the grocery shopping, I really wanted to see the coupons to make sure that he wasn’t overlooking something I might need. When I mentioned this to him, he got really irritated.
“It’s not rocket science, Kate,” he snapped. And then he stormed out. I dug the coupons out of the trash can and continued on my way.
This weekend, I sat down on Sunday to do my list and couponing, and here came Chris again. Sorting through coupons and throwing stuff out that I might actually have needed. Not wanting to hurt his feelings again, I took a more mature approach. I just ignored him when he tried to talk to me about what coupons to cut. I focused on making my grocery list and let him look through the coupons on his own. When I was ready to start clipping, I dug my coupons out of the trash and went on my merry way.
But then, due to some poor planning on our part, we ended up at Target with the whole family. Chris, both kids, and me. It was my worst nightmare. It’s hard enough to go with the kids, but with Chris it is next to impossible. He puts the most random stuff in the cart, and yet he questions everything I put in there. Drives me crazy.
When we were first married, we used to do all our grocery shopping together. It was so much fun. We’d pause for a kiss in the frozen foods section, stroll through the home decor aisles and decorate our imaginary summer house, and spend most our time in the cookie aisle, arguing over who picked the cookies we got last week. It was what newlyweds were supposed to do. But now, grocery shopping is different. For one thing, I’m shopping for four people now, so I’m trying to make sure I get everybody what they need. But mostly it’s different because we’re on a budget, and using coupons requires a little more thought. I have to check my list for what I need, then see if I have a coupon for that item (before I leave home, I usually put a little star beside each item on my list that I have a coupon for to remind myself to use it). When I find the coupon, I have to check to make sure that I am buying the right brand, size, quantity, or whatever is required to use the coupon. Then, I look at the other products to compare prices to make sure that I’m not paying more, even with a coupon. It isn’t hard, but it does require some concentration.
Now, imagine digging for coupons, searching for products, and doing math on the fly, all while having your husband fire 1,000 questions at you:
“Do you have a coupon for that?”
“Is that the flavor we normally get?”
“Is that other brand cheaper?”
“Do you want me to check the next aisle over?”
“Is that the one I liked?”
“Will Bean eat that?”
“Will I eat that?”
“How much is that coupon?”
It drives me CRAZY. CRAZY.
Today, we were two aisles into the grocery trip and Chris asked me his 200th question of the day so far.
“Hey, see those beans behind you? Don’t we have a coupon for those? I think I saw a coupon for that in the newspaper.”
And that’s when I turned around and snapped at Chris in the middle of Target, “WILL YOU PLEASE JUST LEAVE ME ALONE AND LET ME SHOP?!?!?”
And that’s when he snapped, “FINE!” and stormed off, taking the two children with him.
And that’s when I danced a happy jig. Yes, my husband was mad at me, but I was willing to accept that in exchange for a blissful, peaceful grocery shopping trip. He finally reappeared in the snack aisle and decided it was more effective to silently pout beside me for the rest of the trip. Even still, it is much easier to do simple math when someone is silently pouting next to you, as opposed to helping you until you want to punch them in the face.
In the produce section, over a bunch of bananas, Chris said to me, “I just like to do things with you.”
There he goes again being nice and sweet. And there I go again focusing on checking items off my to-do list and completely missing the little moments of love that fill my day.
Yes, our life is very different now than when we were first married. Much like grocery shopping now, life these days requires a little more attention, a little more concentration, and a little more thought. But shame on me for letting a little more effort replace the importance of things like kissing in the frozen food aisle. Sometimes, I think newlyweds have more insight into marriage than seasoned married couples. They have their priorities right. Love above all. Even in the grocery store.