Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Now I get it

I'm not sure why the Good Doctor is often so enthusiastic about going grocery shopping for me. It's not that I don't appreciate his willingness to be helpful; it's more that I know how frustrating it is for him to do so. Inevitably my cell phone will ring ten minutes after he has left the house. Mariana and I will smile knowingly at each other as I answer. Sure enough, the Good Doctor is having trouble and he hasn't even gotten past the first aisle.

I do my best to be specific; going through each item, line by line, before he leaves the house. Since my list is written in geographic order according to the store's lay-out, I now just need to specify how many, or which brand, or even what type of container he is looking for. Since this going-over of the list has now taken so much time that I could have been halfway through the store myself, I give him many outs. But no, he's desperate to help (or so he says). What's a girl to do?

And then the phone rings. What kind of flour did you want? Unbleached? Whole wheat? Bread? I can't find the cupcake liners. Could I substitute Kleenex? You could just wrap it around the inside of the cupcake tin? No? We solve the issues in the baking aisle and he's off again on his mission to prove his shopping worth. And the phone rings again. Light days? Overnight? Wings? Extra long?

Now we do have to pause here. This one always gets me. Do I look like an extra long kind of person??? I was the shortest or second shortest (Natalie and I took turns depending on the year) in my class every year in school. Take a look at all those class photos and you'll be sure to find me in the front row, usually on the end. I have been described in many different ways through the years but I know for a fact that extra long was never, ever considered. And we've been married for how long?

Anyway, I finally get the phone call that he's just minutes from home and could I please send the children out to carry in the groceries. This is the fun part.

Dear, my list said instant pudding and you brought home the stove top variety. How am I going to make Oreo Fluff with the wrong kind of pudding? And generic brand tissues? Yes, I do use generic for most items, but tissues? The list specifically said Puffs and there is a reason for that. If I had wanted generic, I would not have written Puffs. Only one gallon of milk? How many children live in this house? One gallon will get us through the next meal and that's it. And of course that little box? It clearly states extra long even after I went over it for the 100th time.

But now I understand. Because today my mother and I ventured out into the domain formerly visited only by our menfolk. By ourselves. Well, almost. We did take the five year old along, not because we thought she'd know the difference between satin and eggshell, but it just made it easier for the folks left at home. So to support our menfolk who were busy creating holes in the bathroom wall, we left to conquer Home Depot. How difficult can it be?

Now, first of all, I do think we were at a disadvantage since our list was not written according to the Home Depot lay-out. So when the friendly man at the entrance asked if we needed help, we confidently told him, "Not yet." Second, I do not believe our list was specific enough. Here's what we were given:

9 inch paint roller (not the fuzzy roller things you put on the roller, just the roller)
staple gun staples 3/8 in.
cabinet knobs 2 in. wood square
shower rod (should come standard but if not the shower is 58 1/4 in.)
faucet, current one is 6 in. across
toilet paper holder
switch single gang/double toggle/sp ivory
1 qt. chocolate swirl paint
1 qt. basketry paint
1 qt. Kilz
bumpy paint for the ceiling
flooring 73 1/2 X 57
shower curtain liner
Elmer's Carpenter's Woodfiller 8 oz. or smaller
paintable caulking white 1 tube

Well, I knew where the paint area was, so we headed there first. Only it turns out Kilz comes in several varieties. And we needed to decide what type of sheen we wanted on our paint. And neither of the Home Depot paint experts seemed to know what "bumpy paint for the ceiling" meant. So I described the bad patch job someone had done on the ceiling at some point in times past and that we were trying to hide it with "bumpy paint for the ceiling." Expert #1 knew what I wanted and sent Expert #2 to get it only Expert #2 came back with what Expert #1 said was the wrong item so Expert #1 and Expert #2 argued about it a little bit before realizing that "she" was still standing right there in front of them. Expert #2 won.

Then we tried the caulk. Do you know how many kinds of caulking you can buy? Acrylic/Latex. Silicone. Urethane. Biscuit. Clear. White. But we were bound-and-determined to do this without the cell phone. Knowing how the men would handle this, we just picked up a box of extra longs and went onto the next item.

The faucet was a bit tricky. They don't come with outside measurements, only inside hardware measurements. But we're women. We just asked for directions and a very nice elderly man explained it all. Now we know.

The staples had us stumped for quite some time. We could not find the kind we were looking for. Finally we realized we were in the electric staple gun staples section. Making sure none of the contractors were looking, we smoothly moved down a section. No harm. No foul.

The good news is that so far we have not been asked to take anything back to exchange. Yet.

The bad news is that we just might be sent to Home Depot alone again.

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