A few weeks ago I asked Wayne to stop at the store for me on his way home from the fish market. He's good about doing errands like that and I try not to abuse it by asking him to pick up more than a couple of things. While we try to make a meal plan for the week before we hit the store on Saturday, it's not that unusual for us to need an "emergency run" to the store for a couple things we ran out of or didn't realize we would need.
I can't remember what the dish was that needed them for but I wanted green onions. And I knew his return trip from the fish market would take him right by a little family-run market that is easy-in-easy-out and somewhere we've been known to stop at on occasion when coming home from downtown Pensacola. It was a natural fit.
And since he was stopping, I cut out a coupon I'd seen in the paper that morning for a free tomato with purchase. My tomato-loving buddy could have a reward for the extra effort of stopping. Oh...and see if there's any interesting rice to go with the fish, I told him. This little market is known for having hard-to-find and unique items; they were sure to have some different choices. There was a fourth item too, although what it was at this point escapes me.
When he rolled in from his shopping trip and handed me his sack, I looked in and saw he had dutifully purchased three of the four items. The one he forgot? The green onions that were the real purpose behind him stopping to begin with. Needless to say, the recipe got made without green onions and we never really missed them.
Fast forward to today. My better half was heading to Walmart to pick up a refill on his prescription. Need anything from the store, he asked. As a matter of fact, I did...but only because we'd decided to have a corn and black bean dish we like with the tacos planned for later in the week. Since that decision came in the middle of our grocery shopping on Saturday, I didn't have the recipe in front of me. I remembered most of it but forgot a couple of ingredients that weren't staples in the pantry. I had, however, learned my lesson: I wrote him a list for the four missing ingredients.
This time there were four items in the sack when he came home...the right four too, in case you thought that was where this story was headed. When I complimented him on his effort, he gave me a sheepish look in reply. There's a story, he said. After picking up his pills, he reached in his pocket for the list and it wasn't there; he'd left it on the desk. Fortunately, having seen the items written down on paper was enough to lock it into his memory. Or maybe it was that it isn't nearly as far to Walmart as it is to the fish market and he hadn't had time to forget them yet.
I can't give him too hard of a time. It hasn't been that long ago I had a memory lapse of my own. We got a block or so away from home when I realized I had some coupons I wanted to use as they were about to expire so we turned around so I could retrieve them. I intentionally left one in the car at Walmart since I intended to buy that particular product at Publix, then I got all the way inside Publix before remembering the coupon was still in the car so I walked back out to get it. I did get the product off the shelf but I went to put the basket away while Wayne paid and I walked out the door with the coupon still in my hand.
Good thing we did so well on that memory test we took a few months back when we were considering long-term care insurance or I'd really be concerned about us. Still, it's clear we need to join Tom Rush and sing a little Bad Memory Blues: