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Stick to the list

The cashier asked, “Did you get everything you needed?” “Everything and more,” I replied.

Just once I should go to a store and buy only what’s on the list. Once while shopping I found someone else’s list. When I read it, I became intrigued by several items and wound up buying things that were strange to me from a stranger’s list. I’m convinced it was the store’s marketing strategy to leave a random list for an unsuspecting customer like myself to find, causing impulse purchases and increased store profits. Shrewd!

When my husband does the grocery shopping, we do what I call the ‘reading of the list.’ He’ll scroll down and ask, “Bread, what do you mean bread?” I answer his question with a question. “What do mean, what do I mean by bread?”

“Question three is same as the first — “Yes, what do you mean by bread?” We have started phrasing all our sentences in the form of a question and have started playing Jeopardy. I must stop the insanity.

I phrase my next sentence to end with a period rather a question mark. “Bread, you know the thing you put meat and cheese between to make a sandwich. It’s been around forever. You love bread.”

“I meant what kind of bread do you want — white, wheat, rye or what?” “Just buy whatever’s on… oh wait, buy the bread on this list I found.” He does a reading of the stranger’s list and asks, “You want me to buy bread from a total stranger’s list? What if we don’t like it?”

“Oh, I doubt that, so far I love everything I’ve bought on their list.” His voice is filled with doubt as he says, “I’m off.”

“Bye and remember — stick to the list.”

— Cindy Argiento

Cindy Argiento’s first column appeared in the Greensboro News and Record as a Personal Ads feature on April 30, 2002. Later that year, her first “As I See It” column appeared in the High Point Enterprise, where it would become a regular feature for several years. Her columns also have appeared in the Reidsville Review, Eden Daily News, Gilroy Dispatch, Hollister Freelance, Hopewell News and Foothills Paper. Other essays have appeared in Chicken Soup For the Soul books, Family Matters and Married Life. Three of her pieces were recognized as a finalist, semi-finalist and honorable mention in “America’s Funniest Humor” writing contest. She blogs at Cindy’s World.

Reflections of Erma