18 November 2009

"You can go your own way..." --Fleetwood Mac

I went to the store for Coke, cheese and crackers. I came home with ~$50 worth of stuff. That's not including the Coke, cheese and crackers, which I got, too.

I am the person they put the impulse items out for.

My Id: Look! Cookies with jimmies! We were just talking about jimmies!
My Superego: We were also talking about how much weight you've gained recently.

I didn't buy the cookies. But it was a close call. Even when I was on the other side of the store, I thought about circling back. Because, you know: JIMMIES!!

Yes, I go to the store with a list. But a list for me is just a vague idea of what I'm going to get. Kind of like a couple weeks back when we went to a party...

At home:
Hubby: Do you know where she lives?
Me: Yes.

After half an hour of circling, downtown, with me giving directions:
Me: What is it? You look irritated.
Hubby: You said you knew where she lived.
Me: I do. I was there last week. I'll find it. We're pretty close.
Hubby: Yeah, you've been saying that for a while, too.

After another 15 minutes:
Hubby: Does any of this look familiar?
Me: I'm not sure. Um, take a right.
Hubby: I can't take a right here.
Me: Oh. Um, okay, go around.
Hubby: What do you mean go around?
Me: The block.
Hubby: Just tell me: straight or left?
Me: Mmm, left.

After another 10 minutes:
Me: That's her building! See? I told you I knew where it was.
Hubby laughs, looks at me, incredulous.
Me: What? I got us here.
Me: What?!

Question 1: Do you have a specific list you stick rigidly to when you grocery shop?

Question 2: When you say you know where some place is, do you mean you know specifically or you have a general idea and will eventually stumble upon it? (What?!)


J.M. Tewkesbury said...

This cracked me up: "But a list for me is just a vague idea of what I'm going to get."

Or, to quote Captain Barbossa: "They're more like guidelines than actual rules."

And what are cookies with jimmies? Never heard of this before.

Shannon said...

You couldn't find my building? Even though you've been there half a dozen times?

I'd laugh, except that every morning I have to remind myself that my office is "next to a Starbucks." Which, downtown, is just not that helpful.

Kate said...

List. I'm a list girl. And I go nowhere without knowing exactly where I'm going, mapquest in hand. I leave nothing to chance. I MUST CONTROL THE UNIVERSE.

erin said...

I write the dinner plans on the top of the list:
1)turkey meatballs mushroom gravy and a veggie
2)veggie soup and egg noodles
3)spinach enchiladas sourcream cheese sauce

and then I just get what I have to get for those dinners.

Produce and snacks are whatever is on sale or whatever I have a coupon for.

I never get directions. I just assume I know where something is. This is always getting me in trouble...you'd think I would learn my lesson!

Barbara said...

The list thing is why it's not good for me to go to Costco. The biggest problem there is you end up buying things you don't need in vast quantities. I love lists, but I need to develop a discipline not to expand them.

I'm probably more like you than your hubby in the directions arena. I have an excellent sense of where things are. I sometimes forget about the fact that there are one-way streets and Rock Creek Parkway in between. I really like navigating by instinct. I seldom get hopelessly lost.

The Bug said...

I'm like Kate - except that even with Mapquest I get lost. Or at the very least have to circle the block because I missed it the first time.

I have to have a list at the grocery store or I'll go there for milk & come home with milkduds instead. But I am certainly open to slipping impulse buys into my cart!

Brett said...

I never make a list (written, at least) because I know I'll never stick to what's on it. The best hope for me is to try to get in and out as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Also, I am HORRIBLE at reading maps. Does not compute. I need visual landmarks or typed directions. But I hate getting lost, so I usually look them up beforehand.

Liebchen said...

I generally make a list, but then play it by ear depending what's on sale and what looks good.

And if I know where something is, it usually means exactly, as opposed to a vague idea. But only because I've been badly lost enough times that I like to have a solid game plan.

Drama Queen said...

I'm assuming jimmies are sprinkles? At least that's what we call 'em here in Cowtown!

And OMG - for a minute, you scared me - I thought you had been eavesdropping between Hubby and me in the car. We've had that EXACT same conversation!


1. I'm OCD - so I LIVE by my LISTS!
2. I live lost. It's just a way of life for me. I own it. I never know where anything is...but I can tell you what I wore when I was there the last time. And if I looked fabulous or not. :)

The Maiden Metallurgist said...

1. When I moved to a less affluent neighborhood at first I lamented the lack of awesome stuff in the grocery store, but now I love it. My potential for straying from the list is significantly less, and I am pretty much in and out, no deviation.

2. My husband is like you with the directions, and he is no longer allowed to navigate. Drives me crazy, especially in this era of mapquest and it's ilk.

AbbotOfUnreason said...

I'm loathe to admit it, but I'm more like you with the directions. It didn't really work out so well when trying to ride bikes across the US. I think the worst bits were riding halfway up a huge hill before realizing it was a wrong turn and the correct turn had another hill. The first horrible hill like that was outside Pittsburgh. But if we hadn't gone up it, we'd have never met the drunken old women who showed us their WWII war-support certificates for going to DC and "helping out FDR."

I'm surprised I'm still married.

Parts of that trip were very very quiet.

And we only made it to Minneapolis.

Also, it's hard because I dread being early or late for anything. I want to be exactly on-time. So most of the time I do force myself to look at google maps. But every once in a while I let my confidence guide me. And I really like to try routes I've never seen before because there's all kinds of new stuff to experience.

And suddenly we're living in California, because my wife isn't going to let me drive back to Maryland.

Wow, that was a long and wandering comment. Kinda like my driving. I call this kind of comment a 'bloglet.' Like, "Lookee there, the Abbot left another bloglet on the front porch. Get the bucket."

Mike said...


Q2 - Wife - I know where were going.
Me - What's the address.
Wife -
Me - look up the address.
Me - (prints map)

Titania said...

(1) Almost never, and if I do, I completely violate it. Not good with lists. And I should learn to never go buy groceries when I am hungry

(2) I have zero location sense, I could get lost in my own house. So, I got myself a GPS a little while ago, which has helped a lot. I still get lost from time to time, but not as much as I used to.

Little Ms Blogger said...

Rule #1 I always eat before I grocery shop.

I create a menu plan and make a list from it. I don't really deviate from the list because I really do have the world's smallest fridge.

I mapquest everywhere.

brad said...

I like lists. Lists are neat. I usually even make them brand-specific. But I almost always go off-list when I'm in the store. It's good to know I'm not alone in this.

Bilbo said...

I always go shopping with a list, then later find out that I left some critical ingredient off the list and have to go back out again.

I have the world's worst sense of direction. I can get lost in a phone booth. I need a specific address, a map from MapQuest, AND my trusty Garmin Nuvi. And I can still get lost.

Kate said...

I love that you use the word "jimmies," too! It's not a common term in the Midwest, so half the time people think I want condoms on my ice cream.

I stick to the grocery list almost always. Last week I bought some crackers that weren't on the list ... that's very rare. I find sticking to the list gets me in and out of that damn place a lot faster than browsing the aisles.

I'm sort of a map freak so if I tell you I know where a place is, I know exactly where it is. At the very least I've googled it, mapquested it or GPSed it, or some combination of all three.

Alice said...

haaa... i'm with your husband, i'm afraid. that would drive me NUTS. i need to know WHERE i'm going. i hate driving aimlessly.. :-)

Bowie Mike said...

I shop in two modes. When I'm the primary grocery shopper, I go by a list. When I'm in to pick a few things up, I tend to grab things that I see along the way, and I forget to pick up the few things that I came to buy in the first place.

I'm a big user of printed Google maps, and I usually come prepared. The older I get, the less prepared I am.

We were driving up to Baltimore a few weeks back, and when we got into the city, my wife said, "which way are you going?!?!" I said, "oh, I know a way." It turns out I only thought I did. Oops.

spleeness said...

Freaking hilarious!! I thought I was the only one who did this with directions. I feel like I should KNOW in my gut but then some landmark throws me off.

And the list!! I should never go shopping hungry. That's rule number one. But you know what? I do it ALL THE TIME. And here I am reading your blog and snacking on junk going "shhh" to the voice saying "stopit! You gained weight, what, you trying to gain more?" sigh.

Guilty as charged. lol

Tina said...

I use lists but will deviate if i see something I really decide i want. This is pretty much for all shopping not jsut groceries. Target is the exceptino - I think they have some kind of weird mind control rays in Target because I never leave the place without spenidng at least 60 bucks - I could go in for gum and I still come out with at least $60 of stuff.

And I must have exact directions - but you already knew this - we've discussed my control freak tendancies before.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

By the way--in reading through the comments left here, I realized there was one question you didn't ask.

When it becomes apparent that one is lost, will you a) admit to being lost and b) stop and ask directions? If no to either or both, why not?

This is the question that has plagued the sexes for ages and that remains unanswered and my inquiring mind wants to know.

That said, I failed to answer the questions earlier. 1) I always go to the store with a list, but that doesn't mean I stick to it. And around here, I have to go to four different groceries stores to get everything I need, because the store in Switzerland doesn't carry the hazelnut milk for Maya's coffee and the Swiss stores don't carry French butter. The German store is where I go for my tea and Austrian soda and brats. And the other French store has the better cheese selection than the one down the street. And then there are the farmer's markets... Life in Europe can be complicated for a lazy American!

2) I always ask for directions and I generally use Google Maps. Maya is a whiz at actual map reading, though, so I let her do that. Otherwise, in general, once I've been someplace once and unless they move the road, I generally remember how to get there again.

I think, like the Abbot, I just wrote a bloglet. :-)

lacochran said...

J.M. Tewkesbury: You may know jimmies as sprinkles or hundreds and thousands. They're the pretty candy decoration bits on top of the soft serve or the cupcakes.

Shannon: I got us there, didn't I? *blush*

Kate: You're in charge? Works for me. Let me know when I can go wee, will you?

Erin, Liebchen: I try to catch fruit on sale, too. Pricey, off-season, otherwise.

Barbara: ExACTly. I know it's over in that *pointing* direction. It's not my fault that the street is one way the other way.

The Bug: Mmmm, Milkduds.

Brett: Thanks for weighing in.

Drama Queen: *Of course* you looked fabulous!

The Maiden Metallurgist: I prefer to think of us (your husband and me) as explorers rather than lost. Doesn't that have a nice ring?

AbbotofUnreason: Ha! And I think I know where you made a bad turn: "trying to ride bikes across the US."

Mike: This is the Garmin will be joining us from here on out.

Titania, Little Ms Blogger, spleeness: For sure, everything looks good when you're hungry.

brad: I'm pro-list, too. They're a great place to start.

Bilbo: As long as you don't go Jimmy Hoffa on us, you can't be that lost.

Kate: We're going to a party this Saturday. Are you available to navigate?

Alice: Not driving aimlessly. Exploring. :)

Bowie Mike: Oops! Sometimes we pit Google Maps against the Garmin. In a fight to the death. GET READY TO RUUUUMMMMMMMBBBLLLE!!!

Tina: I like the Target experience, too. Does that make us hipsters?

J.M. Tewkesbury: I will ask directions once I admit I'm lost. That second part--admitting I'm lost--is the tricky part.

Toe said...

The list, like the posted speed limit is just suggestions. There may be a sale on vodka or something else essential.

I get lost going around my block. Everything is "general idea location" to me. I like to think of it as an expedition every where I go like Lewis and Clark.

kys said...

Most of the time I make a list. I am general idea type person with directions. Sometimes I use our GPS but it is acting wonky and always thinks we are on the wrong road. It makes a bong sound like we've been ousted from the Gong Show.

Maya said...

I always have a list, but it usually gets added to.

I know exactly where I'm going (or trying to go). Usually with a Google map printout if I haven't been there before or am not entirely sure!