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July, 2012

  1. Grocery Shopping

    July 28, 2012 by Ryan

    Grocery shopping.

    Don’t mention grocery shopping.

    I seem to have a special talent surrounding it.

    If I go with a mental list of two items, I will forget one and buy the wrong thing for the other.

    Writing it down, and my chances of getting it right improve only slightly.

    Today I took the girls and a list of items – the description, quantity, and price written carefully down. The list was even divided roughly into food types (dairy, produce, etc).

    Somehow, I ended up with the wrong brand of noodles and 7 wrong brands of pudding, each costing about 3 times what I expected to pay, and throwing off the needed “on sale when you buy in a group of 10” requirements.

    And the hair care stuff rang up at full price when it should have been half-off.

    I didn’t notice this until I came home. Glorajean pointed it out.

    She is good at reading the receipts like that.

    Glorajean did it all with gentle kindness. I’m the one that is way to hard on myself, and take these mistakes as some sort of personal failure to operate as a normal human being.

    So I went back to the store to return those and try again.

    The clerk at the customer service counter was very kind. He said that this particular sale had confused a lot of people, and he had made a lot of returns. He apologized profusely, took great care of me, and did everything right from a customer-service angle.

    My reshopping experience went better. I was much more careful in selecting 10 new things. The deal went through. The transaction was successful.

    We then went to another store.

    The entire family came along, stopping on our way to visit her parents.

    Glorajean’s eagle eye for clearance deals spotted Tide laundry detergent. We scooped up several boxes, for us and for her parents.

    As we loaded the car, we talked about going back to get more. We decided to do so later, if they still had some. Besides, she could look over the ad and see what else we might want, and look for coupons for the detergent.

    Later, she sent me out with another list (another buy-10 type of sale) and a coupon. There were now only two boxes of detergent left, which I grabbed. I carefully shopped for the rest of the items, and checked out.

    Though the price worked out, I bought several packages of “whole-grain” noodles instead of the regular white flour noodles.

    We are not sure if the intended audience will like the taste.

    I shake my head and try to laugh.

    If I laugh loud enough I might cover my wounded pride.


  2. Wiped Out

    July 22, 2012 by Ryan

    It was a rare time when I found myself alone to change my son’s diaper.

    Confident in my ability to do this job solo, I laid out the changing pad underneath him, and unsnapped his outfit. As I expected, he began to cry and kick and express how much he dislikes having his diapers changed.

    I set a new diaper at the ready by his side and ensured that the container of wipes were equally accessible. I unpeeled the tape holding his current diaper together.

    A quick glance confirmed what I had smelled: this was a messy job.

    I reached into the wipes container but found it empty.

    At a moment when I believed I had been sufficiently prepared, I suddenly found myself wanting.

    I had been deceived and betrayed by the label. The container said it contained wipes, but in fact it contained air.

    The boy continued to kick, cry, and fuss. The diaper was now loosened. I was growing desperate.

    In a moment of frustration, I picked up the empty plastic bin, and tossed it away from me to the corner of the room. It was worthless to me, and I felt disgust and distain at its deception.

    Then I remembered a moment from the life of Jesus:

    “Now in the morning as [Jesus] returned into the city, He hungered. And when He saw a fig tree in the way, He came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, ‘Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever.’ And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, ‘How soon is the fig tree withered away!’ “(Matthew 21:18-20)