Our plumber, not Joe, sent us a nice gift this year for helping to keep him in business thanks in large part to the wonderful construction of our house.
If I ever find out that not-Joe’s brother-in-law was our builder I’m calling Jack Bauer.
Anyway, the gift. In addition to the annual calendar, Insects of Texas, (apparently he ran out of Cheerleaders of Dallas), we were sent a pad of tear-off shopping lists.
In all too bright yellow and green the pad proclaims, “Shopping! List!” I can only explain the exclamation point after the word “shopping” as there being a sale on exclamation points when the pad was printed. No other explanation comes even close to working.
Anyway, the pad is very useful and I leave it with a pen on the countertop in the kitchen so we can jot down things we need to buy as we run out. So, throughout the week the top sheet starts out blank then gradually fills up with things like cereal, milk, eggs, garlic powder, athlete’s foot powder, athlete’s foot spray, athlete’s foot ointment and the usual stuff that a typical household consumes in normal operation.
Rule Number 1 in the house, or at least it’s in the Top 100 is that when we are out of something it goes on the list. Low on salt, write it down. One egg left, write it down. Smooth operation of the kitchen requires this rule to be followed at all times, which, of course, it is. Invariably.
Being the proactive kind of person I am, and everybody knows that, I took the list to work with me the other day figuring I could pick up the stuff we needed on the way home.
It was a short list: apples, orange juice, milk and bacon.
That’s me, bringing home the bacon! I returned from the hunt victorious.
My euphoria, however, was short-lived. Gathering ingredients for dinner I discovered we were out of cheese. No cheese! Not a morsel. Not even a Kraft sliced single (individually wrapped!)
“Hey,” I shouted out, “we’re out of cheese!”
“So?” came the less than enthusiastic reply; a guilty reply indicating failure of Someone to follow Rule Number 1.
“So, I need cheese and I just went to the store this afternoon!”
My whine was met with silence.
I stewed for a few minutes trying to think of a substitute for cheese, but soon realized I had to make another trip. In the rain.
“I’m going up to get some cheese, even though it’s raining, even though cheese wasn’t on the list. I’ll be back in 20 minutes or so.”
I returned 40 minutes later having got stuck behind Coupon Lady in the checkout line. There I was in the Express Lane with a package of cheese waiting for the cashier to scan several hundred (so it seemed at the time) coupons which saved the thrifty shopper a grand total of thirty-nine cents.
Finally, I got home, dried off, and set to work preparing what would be an Outstanding Macaroni and Cheese dinner. I could just smell the bubbling cheese and taste the golden, crunchy macaroni.
My favorite. We don’t have Macaroni and Cheese all that often but when I’m in the mood, especially on a rainy day, it really hits the spot. The perfect comfort food.
Thumping around in the kitchen I heard a voice from the other room.
“Is that you? Are you back?”
“Yes, it’s me and yes, I’m back.” I switched to my Terminator Voice, “I’M BAAAACK!”
“Did you buy macaroni?”
“Macaroni?” I replied warily, “no, why?”