Opinion: An ‘egg-asperating’ grocery list


Do you need help? I’d like to give you some. Help is unwanted in my house. I try to give help, but my wife Mary Ellen doesn’t want it.

She is totally helpless.

This is of her own choosing. If you are confused by this, let me give you a few examples that might be helpful.

When Mary Ellen cooks dinner, I always ask, “Anything I can help with?” It’s been more than 40 years since she could think of something that I would really be of any help doing. I sometimes say, “Is there anything you can help me, help you with?” Nope. Nothing.

On rare occasions, she requests that I go to the supermarket, but she takes no chances with my ability to find exactly what she needs.

“Dick, I need almond milk. I am sending you a text to remind you exactly what to get. It has to say ‘unsweetened’; it has to say ‘Almond Breeze’; and it has to say ‘Original’ on the container. It can’t say ‘Vanilla.’ Now, I will also send you a picture of the package so you can’t make a mistake.”

I ask people shopping in the dairy department if they know where almond milk is, and they just shrug. Apparently, these people drink something that comes from a cow’s udder. Yuck!

Finally, I saw a pecan milk bottle, so I bought it.

“What did you buy, Dick? This is cashew milk. I don’t like cashew milk.”

“I figured any nutty idea was as good as the next.”

Once, she requested canned tomatoes and said she would text me a photo and description of exactly what she wanted. But when I got to the supermarket, my phone was dead. I wasn’t taking any chances. I did not want to go back to the store. So, I got tomatoes every which way: Diced, as a sauce and a soup, stewed, crushed, whole peeled, quartered, sun dried and condensed. They were all wrong. I was back at the store an hour later. What the heck is tomato paste? At least, it doesn’t sound as bad as Gorilla Glue.

Recently, Mary Ellen requested I stop and pick up — get ready for this — a container of egg whites.

“Mary Ellen, I’ll never find something weird like that. I’ll buy two dozen eggs and separate them myself.”

“No, the package must say cage-free. It has to be 100 percent liquid, and it must be zero cholesterol.”

I asked one of the clerks, “Do you sell egg whites?”

“Of course.”

“Where should I look?”

“Inside our eggs.”

Finally, later that day, Mary Ellen agreed she would extract the egg whites herself. This incident did cause some conflict between us, but we made up.  Now, only our eggs are going to be legally separated.