Saturday, January 5, 2013

My Own Worst Enemy

Steve bought the baguette and the brie, neither of which you would call bare-bones essentials.
I bought the tomatoes and fresh basil.
Recently, Steve and I have decided to divide the grocery-shopping responsibility. Previously, it fell entirely to Steve, largely as a measure to keep our spending under control (as mentioned here). But, as I briefly sorta, kinda mentioned here, I've taken on the job of shopping (and paying) for the fruits and vegetables.

What I didn't really say in that post was that the reason for this is that Steve is kind of stingy. A bit of a skinflint. He has strong Scottish blood and keeps a close eye on his money. Scrooge would consider him a model of fiscal behaviour.

I love him like the Dickens, but the man is tight.

[Given my profligate ways, it is just a darned good thing he came along. Every now and then, I run up my credit card, then spend months chipping away at it. Our finances are mostly separate (all accounts are joint, but each of us is "prime" on one or the other), but, of course, if one of us goes into debt, that leaves less money for us to spend over all.]

Occasionally, this difference in attitudes towards money strikes a nerve.

This morning, for example, Steve joined me at Farm Boy. Almost the first thing on display was a bank of strawberries. This ensued:

"Do you want to get some strawberries?" I asked, thinking that they would be yummy sliced onto a salad.

"They're expensive right now, because they aren't in season," he noted.

"Just get them!" I snapped. Rudely. "Never mind the price! I'm paying!"


Quite rightly, he was offended. I apologized, and we continued. On the way home, we calmly talked about why I'd rather spend more on appetizing, healthy foods than on inexpensive snacks. He pointed out that he doesn't always try to buy the least expensive item anymore.

"You'll notice that I even bought the really soft toilet paper this time," he joked.

Thank god we can laugh together.

What I didn't tell Steve until we got home was that I had spent more money on this particular grocery expedition than I ever had before. Including shopping for holiday meals. More than $150, in fact. On fruits and vegetables, people! Ostensibly enough to last one week.

After the comment about the strawberries, I had picked up every single impulse item on display.

Pistachios! Leek-and-potato soup! Cherries! Pomelo! [What is that, even?] Four bunches of flowers! A basil plant! Granola! Gluten-free snickerdoodles! Croutons!

I almost bought a $12/lb prime-rib roast.

You'll notice that only two of those items actually qualify as a fruit or vegetable.

Oh, Wynn Anne, Wynn Anne, Wynn Anne.
In my unintentionally passive-aggressive effort to prove that money is not the point, I managed to shoot myself in the wallet.

I'm 50 years old, and, my god, I have a lot to learn.

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