But it was the Manager's Special

There are legitimate reasons why we don't allow our husbands to do the shopping unless it's absolutely necessary. Like when they've been in the house on a rainy day for way too long and are making you insane. So you say, "honey, would you pick up a few things at the store?" And they say "why of course, dear, I'd be happy to." So you send them to the local grocery store, just down the road, armed with a list and full instructions as well as an interior map of the store.

In this particular case, I explain exactly what I need and where to get it.
A pound of ground beef, not the packaged stuff..the good stuff in the butcher case.
2% sharp cheddar cheese which I know he could not find the last time, but I tell him to walk directly North from the butcher case, and he'll come to the cheese, and it is right there on the third rack 4th row down.
Some butter too. The good cholesterol kind, not the heart stopper brand.
And a bag of Yukon Gold potatoes, or the red ones. Whichever.

"How do I know which are which?" he asks.
"You could read the label... or... ask the produce guy," I suggest. Somewhat sarcastically I'll admit. In all fairness, he is colorblind.

"Oh," I add. "And some sugar free chocolate swirl pudding snacks.

An hour later, (it's a long way from the store to just up the road) he returns. 50 lb Bag of Yukon Gold in hand, several months worth of pudding snacks (apparently I wasn't specific enough) and what I thought appeared to be the ground beef. Out of respect I didn't ask to examine it.

Later on, as I pulled the ingredients out for dinner, I looked at said package of Ground Beef. MANAGER'S SPECIAL it said. Hmmm. NOT from the butcher's case. At least it wasn't vacuum sealed. But it didn't quite look up to par. So I checked the expiration date....oh wait, there wasn't one. Hmmm. Not a good sign.

"Honey?" I say, "Why did you buy this stuff...didn't I say the meat in the Butcher's Case?"
"Yes dear, but they didn't have any."
"Was there a butcher?"
"No, there was no one."
Did he ring the bell? No, of course not.

"So," I say, "In essence, you didn't feel like waiting around to ask for the meat."
"Hey...I got you the Manager's Special!"
Oooh. Goosebumps. Not the anticipatory kind. The frightening kind.
"Besides, I'm not going to ask for meat. They'll think I'm an idiot."

Has a familiar ring, doesn't it? Like asking for directions. I know, very old story, told too many times. Indulge me here. Now, while the following may not be factually accurate, it's a compilation of the last 23 years worth of experiences.

"Honey," I might say, "Didn't we pass that house just a few minutes ago?"
"Nah, they all look the same here."

They all have a Purple Gnome on their front porch?

So I would suggest he pull up in front of the next store and ask for directions.
"You want me to go into the Massage Parlor and ask for Directions?"
Point taken. I then suggest perhaps the Deli next to it.
"But there's a line," he would say. "Plus, they'll think I'm an idiot."
Like they don't already? Better that than a stalker. We've passed them 10 times already.

My husband won't allow us to have a Garmin in the car...Gremlin he calls it. We had one in a rental car once. Navigating an unfamiliar pitch black Massachusetts roadway under construction in a torrential rain storm. She talked incessantly and gave him bad directions. No thanks, he thinks, I already have one of those. He thinks it's bad enough when yours truly says "turn here", followed by one or more offspring in the back saying "Daaaaad...turn here...", adding one more female voice to that chorus makes him nuts. He's not only the one driving...he's the Man. The Big Kahuna. Therefore he knows where he's going and he knows how to get there.

Women have puzzled over this for centuries. What is it in the Y chromosome that prohibits asking for directions, or for meat at the butcher counter. It's even worse now. Give a guy a smart phone and the stubborn factor goes up tenfold. Because now he's got GPS, and the magic answer....google search. You know that guy standing over at the onions, who appears to be texting perhaps? He's not. He's googling onions and trying to identify which ones his wife actually asked for. Was it Bodalia? Mavalia? Sure as hell wasn't just White... Or the guy who pulls into the convenience store, parks, goes in and buys a coffee, or a pack of gum, then goes outside and casually loiters on the sidewalk, appearing to be browsing his phone. Nope. Trying to figure out where he made a wrong turn. He could have just asked the store clerk.

Now, not to leave the wrong impression, I love my husband dearly, he amuses me to no end. Most of the time I think it's involuntary. He's not even trying to make me laugh. Just does. And perhaps that's the wonderful thing. 

Everyone who knows him loves him. And they don't hesitate to tell me how lucky I am.
"I know," I say. "I got the Manager's Special :-)

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