Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bill Goes Grocery Shopping

Shopping at BJ's, back in the good old days when both of my legs were working - I hoping those days will come back again

Bill is at the local supermarket now, struggling to find a few items that we I need in this house.  

He just called on his iPhone a few minutes ago telling me "They don't have any Cottenelle wipes."  Well, actually they do, Bill just doesn't know where they are.

I've asked Bill to use FaceTime when he is at the store so he can show me where he is but he refuses to.  He doesn't like new technology and avoids the use of it whenever he can.  It took me two months to convince him to use his iPad. Of course he lives on his iPad now, he is rarely without it in his lap.  

I just heard the bell ring.  He's back from the store.  Let's see what he did and didn't get right from my very simple and basic list. 

A frustrated Bill
Well, he got everything right but not without some frustration, he had to ask someone at the store where the Cottenelle wipes were.  

Since my surgery almost two weeks ago I haven't been to the store because I've been on a walker.  I've only been once to my doctor's office and that was a major effort.  This Monday I visit my VA doctor and that too will be a major effort getting me in the car and out of the car and transporting my walker with me.  Before my surgery, I was able to go to the store with a cane and use one of those little go carts but I can't do that now because I have to be very careful with the healing of my leg.

This morning I was thinking why is Bill having so much problem shopping for me then I realized why.  We've been together fifty years and in all that time I've done ALL the shopping.  In fact, doesn't even go into the store with me, he prefers to sit in the car except when we go to Walmart or BJ's, at which time he will follow me as I push the shopping cart.

When I first met Bill the only food he had in his apartment were an assortment of juices in his refrigerator and canned foods like Chef Boyardee and canned vegetables, and Campbell's soup. At the time I thought it was cute that he never heated his canned food or even took it out of the can.  All he would do is open the can, put a scoop of mayonnaise on the top and eat the room temperature food straight out of the can.  He never used dishes or bowls.  

Since I like to cook, I began cooking our meals.  He would eat the left overs.  And it has been that way in the fifty years since we have been together. Once, just once, he cooked a meal for me.  It was steak and potatoes. It was a disaster. A DISASTER.  He's never cooked since.

For the first ten years or so I cooked the meals and we had a sit down dinner.  However, over the years our eating habits have changed.  We eat at different times.  I eat breakfast at 7 or 8 in the morning.  Lunch at 1 or 2 in the afternoon. And dinner between 7 and 8 at night.

Bill eats "breakfast" at 2:30 A.M.  Then "lunch" at 10:30 A.M.  "Dinner" he eats at 4 PM.  Needless to say we haven't eaten together, except on the rare occasion when we go out, together in years.  A few years ago when a friend used to stop over occasionally for a Friday night dinner that I cooked. Bill would eat then "late" at 6 P.M. but then excuse himself at 7 P.M. to go to bed.  Yes, Bill goes to bed at 7 P.M. and gets up around 2:30 A.M. in the morning.  Now you can understand why we have separate bedrooms on separate floors.  We live two totally different time cycle life styles.

Now, with my leg injury, and that I am incapacitated and can't drive, I have to depend on Bill to shop for my basic food items. This is very difficult for Bill because he doesn't know where anything is in the store.  He isn't familiar with the various ramifications of items.  Take yogurt for example. I wanted Dannon Lite and Fit Coconut Vanilla Greek Yogurt. He brings back Dannon Activa Greek yogurt and Dannon Strawberry Cheesecake yogurt.  Not the same folks.  He says "They're Greek yogurts, that's what you wanted."  Now I'm the first to admit that looking for items like this in the dairy shelf can be confusing but there is a PHOTO on the container of a coconut which looks NOTHING like the photo of the strawberry cheesecake yogurt.

I have to wrap up this posting folks. I see where I'm going on way too long ranting. 

I appreciate everything Bill is doing for me but this morning I realized that I have been doing all the food shopping for fifty years.  It is too much for me to assume that Bill would be as familiar with the store as I am, Shopper Par Excellence that I am. 
Checking out my groceries at the local Food Lion with my favorite checker, I used to go to Food Lion at least four times a week - they're probably wondering what happened to me - I'll be back!

So I have decided the next time foodstuffs have to be acquired the local supermarket, I'm going walker and all.  So what if I look like a helpless old man maneuvering around the store on his space taking walker. SO WHAT? Lord knows I've had to maneuver around other people in similar situations in the past.  Although I don't remember ever seeing anyone with a walker in the store.  An assisted care facility like when I visited my friends Bob and Jim but not at the store.  Oh well, I'm taking my walker with me when I go to the VA Outpatient Clinic this Monday which I was advised to do by my health care worker.  She said it was very important that I maintain balance and not cause damage by falling during my healing process, which could set me back significantly. 

Man oh man, what a bummer this leg injury is turning out to be.  I'm managing better in other areas like getting into my bed by myself and getting out without Bill's assistance.  I'm really good at taking sink baths and getting around the house here and even sitting at my computer like I am now with my injured leg elevated. 

Well, enough complaining from me this morning.  I hope you all have a wonderful day.  It looks like a glorious one out there. 


Anonymous said...

I have a friend, who has since moved out of state, who lived about 3 blocks from me. But he is a night owl, and thinks 9 am is the crack of dawn, whereas I'm up before 6 every morning. I used to joke that we lived 3 blocks, but 2 time zones, away.

You may not see your progress, but your readers do (e.g., you're now getting around the house well on your walker, you can get in and out of bed unassisted, and are managing the sink baths). Patience, grasshopper. Regarding the grocery shopping, do any of your local chain supermarkets deliver an order placed online? It might be worth paying a delivery fee to avoid friction with Bill over his lack of shopping expertise. Carol in Philadephia

Travel said...

It is hard to do grocery shopping for someone else - it really is. A time for patience and flexibility.

Travel said...

You moderate comments, so you can delete this one and not post it.
If Bill has not done the grocery shopping in 80 years (it does not sound like he did before you came into his life 51 years ago) he may be afraid of not doing it right, of not being there for you, of not supporting you when you need him most, of not pleasing you. The sheer variety of a modern supermarket is overwhelming, I sometimes can't find what I want, and they move things around from to time just to make my life difficult. After 51 years he can read you like a book, if he comes home and can tell you are not happy with the selection, he feels like he has failed, when in fact he has succeeded in helping a great deal. Try the odd flavor yogurt you will either like it or confirm that you don't want that flavor again. It is closer then what a nursing home would come to getting you what you want, and without his help . . . ? The wipes could be an embarrassing thing for an older man to ask for, I have known widowers his age that couldn't bear to buy toilet paper. You may be able to order some of the staples online through Amazon. If I need it here, Giant will delver groceries that I order online, with Harris Teater I can order online and drive through to pick up without getting out of the car, the staff pulls the order and bags it and brings it to the drive through lane. I have not used the service, but there have been a couple of times when my knees were really bad, when I should have.

pat888 said...

Ron - with all what you've gone thru the last couple of years I think you are handling your situation amazingly well. That takes a good deal of intelligence and patience. So kudos to you!


Ron said...

I have to be more patient. Bill is really trying and was near tears this morning. I'm going with him next time, walker and all. No need for any more stress in this house than absolutely necessary.

Ron said...

You're absolutely right. I will be more patient in the future because Bill is really trying,

Ron said...

Thank you David, all valid points. And I did think that where I am now is way better than a rehab center which is where I would probably be if not for Bill. Bill is really trying and I commend him for that. But I will go with him to the store next time, walker and all. The hell with what anybody thinks.

Ron said...

You're very kind but I think I should exercise more patience with Boll because really is trying. I just didn't realize how much I do around here.

Jon said...

Another good post. I always enjoy reading about your progress and daily routines. I've been doing my own grocery shopping most of my life. I'm good at it (I should be - after 100 years of practice) but I HATE it and always will. It's a stressful and traumatic experience for me. I'm sure Bill feels the same way - especially since he's not used to it. I doubt if he'll ever learn to like it, but his shopping skills just might improve with time.

Ur-spo said...

Bill is quite an interesting character
On the concerning note; it doesn't sound good when a couple has such specialized roles as you are discovering. I need to work on this myself expanding my abilities to do things I let Someone do all the time.

Anonymous said...

Oh, crap. My nice long comment got deleted due to a fat finger problem on my end. Best thoughts with you. ~~~ NB

Ron said...

I've had that happen! Isn't that frustrating?

Postcard Cindy said...


I bet you will enjoy an outing to the grocery store, just rest up before you go. I can understand how shopping would be difficult for Bill after you taking care of that task for so many years. I think you are doing great on your progress recovery.

Cindy from Sonoma

Karen said...

Most grocery stores deliver! Save the frustration and stress and place an order! If you shouldn't be out shopping please stay home!!

Ron said...

I've heard that Karen. That's something I'll have to look into. You're right, I shouldn't be shopping, even my health care workers tell me that. I'll manage or shall I say we'll manage. I just have to exercise more patience.

Ron said...

Dr. Spo,

Bill does all the handyman work around the house. And he's good at it. He mows the lawn, and takes care of any vehicle maintenance. Both of us have definite duties and strong points. I'm not mechanically inclined at all nor am I interested in being so. I do take care of all the gardening, landscaping and running the household though. But at times like this I see just how vulnerable we are. Bill more so than me because I can always get somebody else to do what he does, albeit I'll probably be paying through the nose for it. I've gotten all this handyman stuff done for free the past fifty years.

Ron said...

Shopping is one of my natural talents. I used to have a serious shopaholic problem but since we have moved to Delaware, I'm happy and content and don't need to buy things to make me happy. These days most of my shopping, in fact all of it is grocery shopping. Another other shopping I do for clothes or books I do on the Internet. I can't be bothered wasting time driving to, parking and browsing through stores and probably not finding what I'm looking for. The Internet has changed my shopping habits forever, for the good.

Ron said...

Thank you Cindy for your encouraging words. I don't know if it's my wishful imagination but my leg feels better, more like normal but I still can't lift it nor do I trust it to put my full weight on it.
Bill's getting better at shopping and I have to get better at being patient.