It’s nice to be reminded from time to time that our plight in this world , for better or worse , is most likely shared by plenty of others .There’s comfort , somehow , in that . What is it ? Misery loves company ? Whatever . Mark Twain said : All generalizations are false , including this one .
I was reading the latest post written by another Dan , over at his blog No Facilities , about markets , and shopping , and marriage , and life , and college , and cooking . Yeah ; all of that , and no doubt scads of other stuff , too ; but I’m a sloppy reader and miss lots of detail . I’m not a detail guy ; by no means a perfectionist . That’s just the way it is . So , sue me . As Mark Twain said : ” You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus .
Dan’s post , as his posts often do , in their unobtrusive manner , sparked a few scattered long-missing memories in my functional but slothful mind about this and about that , and a little about these and those . Funny how that works . No Facilities often inspires me to tap out another post of my own . The mental mud is stirred up just enough , I guess , to get a few bits in the murk spinning . So , I’ll get to it . As ( yeah , you guessed it ! ) Mark Twain said : Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow . So here goes .
I , unknown to many , got my professional start in the food industry . First real job with or without a work permit and I don’t recall which . I was fourteen and ready to make my mark . As ( well , what’d you expect ? ) Mark Twain said : To succeed in life you need two things : ignorance and confidence . I washed coffee cups and dishes at the Town Talk Cafe . I remember writing about it before . The German owner must have escaped and evaded for all those many years after escaping certain post War punishment for her Nazi past and now she was hiding out as the owner/operator of a little local coffee and donut , bowl of chili and piece of pie food joint . What they used to call a Greasy Spoon .
Well , the spoons weren’t greasy when I was on the job . Not that the Nazi noticed . She yelled at me for bending the flimsy handle of the cheapo glass-washing brush . She yelled at me for getting dirt ( her Greasy Spoon dirt ) on my apron . She yelled at me that I was putting too much bleach in the rinse water . She yelled……….Well , you get the picture . She was a nut case . As Mark Twain might have said ……………………………no , not again ? . Well , okay : Mark Twain said When we remember we are all mad , the mysteries disappear and life stands explained .
However , this is not a post about what Mark Twain said . This is a post about a post about food and education and marriage and shopping and the Men’s Aisle in the supermarket , and …………whatever it was . 10 things not to do . Buying butter , etc.
Ada and I have had our
fights discussions about buying butter . First , I should state the obvious : rule for women : Never send a man to the market to shop . With or without a written list — doesn’t matter . He’s there all alone and totally unsupervised . A little pang of FREEDOM thumps in his chest . The Liberty Bell rings somewhere far away in the still recesses of his male psyche . Maybe he sees a deal on butter , for example . Or maybe he sees that he can get two or three margarines for the price of one butter . He doesn’t know that some butter is unsalted and that’s the kind you wanted . Okay , it’s written on the list but the word UNSALTED slides by as he checks out the colors of the packages and the prices . He simply doesn’t have enough training . They didn’t teach that in Army boot camp , or in college , or even in high school shop class . His mother didn’t teach him , evidently , either . When you send a guy to the market with a specific job to do , well Mark Twain said : Everything has its limit ; iron ore cannot be educated into gold .
I was pretty sure that I had learned the system . I’d stick to the list . I learned not to be so shortsighted as my blogger pal apparently was once when he tried to substitute another brand for the required one ( a no brainer ; buy the one on the list : Duh ! ) But I saw a sale on butter and I bought a package even though it wasn’t on the list . What was it ? $!. 65 ? I don’t remember now . No one would have to change their kids’ college plans over the cost of it .
When I got home All Hell broke loose ! ( Ada , no doubt , remembers it differently . But , as Mark Twain said : It ain’t what you know that gets you in trouble ; it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so . )
Ada : ( sotto voce , but in the voice of the German cafe woman ) We already have butter .
Me: But it was on sale .
Me : It was only $1.65 .
Ada : We don’t NEED any more butter . You NEVER check to see what we have . Why don’t you check first ? You ALWAYS have to check first . And then stick to the list .
Ada : That’s not the point !
And , that wasn’t the point , of course . My blogger friend , exactly as in my case , pretty much gave up cooking and shopping for all the reasons I did , too . His wife’s a better cook , for one . But the main reason is that he and I are just sure cause for chaos in a woman’s world . I might have learned the lesson as a child ; should have , but I didn’t . My mother would announce : Get out of my kitchen ! ( key word: ” my” .) God made kitchens for women and barbecues for men . So saith the Lord .
Some of us are just not wired for list -shopping ; have never really been trained properly . Sending us shopping might be a lot like releasing a rat into a maze , with little or no pre-conditioning , and hoping for the best . How did guys ever live on their own without proper supervision ? It’s one of those unsolved mysteries of life . It’s no mystery , however , that ” he,he,he ” equates with laughter . As Mark Twain once said .