Some of the best advice I received when we were engaged was this: openly discuss what is expected of each other when it comes to household chores/duties. Everyone comes from a different background and enters a marriage with assumptions. A woman who grew up in a home where the father always mowed the lawn may not realize she married a man whose mother did the mowing until their yard has turned into a jungle. Failure to talk to each other about these issues frequently leads to marital tension.
So, we talked about it. I told Dave I’d never mowed a lawn in my life and I didn’t plan to start. We agreed he’d take care of the finances. As I’ve mentioned, I do the laundry. We share cleaning duties – he likes to vacuum and I’m not afraid to clean a toilet. And generally, I do the grocery shopping.
When I was growing up, my mom did all of the cooking and so it naturally followed that she did the grocery shopping. It made sense to me that since I’m the one doing the cooking, I’d do the shopping, like my mom did.
Now that we’ve been married almost a year, though, I can list a few more reasons why I do the shopping instead of Dave. During the summer, Dave changed jobs and there was about a week in between when his first job ended and the new one began. I came home from work one day and he said he’d been to the grocery store. I knew we needed a few things so I asked what he bought. The entirety of his shopping trip was Cheez-its, beer, ice cream, and bleach.
Another reason why I don’t let Dave grocery shop on a regular basis is that no matter how specific my list is, he always deviates from it. One night as I was making dinner I realized I was missing three ingredients; there’s a grocery store right across the street from us so I asked him to run over and pick them up for me. When he returned, in addition to the three items I’d requested, he bought an abundance of canned oysters, salmon, and tuna.
Whenever Dave is home and I’m about to go shopping, I always insist he comes with me. I have this idea that the company will be nice and it will be good to spend extra time together. Five minutes after we get to the store, I’m wondering why I brought him with me. I leisurely walk through the store, considering my list, what is on sale, and what substitutions I might make. He’s Speedy Gonzales, trying to see what’s on my list so he can run and pick it up and hurry us through the store.
I write all of this in love and with a smile on my face. I have a wonderful husband. Even though he frequently drives me crazy when it comes to grocery shopping, we always laugh about it. He does his best to be helpful and I appreciate his constantly cheerful attitude.
And who knows, there might be some area of life where I drive HIM crazy. 😉