How to have your wife in hysterics

shopping basket


On Friday I left the office and declined to go for a drink with the guys. Truth told, I just fancied cooking and it was set to be the first weekend in ages where I didn’t have to shlep around the Home Counties. As I was going back to the flat Hayley called me and told me that we needed bread and milk.

Thus began one of those chats where you both try and work out what else you need. And settle on the lie that there are only 3 things you need, because remembering more than three things at any one time is hard…

A couple of months ago in a moment of uncharacteristic helpfulness and self-awareness I managed to think up a tool I now use loads.

food chart As I have mentioned before, in our relationship I am the clown and Hayley is the policemen. Understandably Hayley does our online food shop. But she asked me if I could find a way to help her keep track of the food items that I had used up.

So I came up with this bad boy. It’s a table of most of our food. Not everything is on the table. Just the most common things and basically what I could think up off the top of my head. I have split it out into the three meals of the day, and into 3 food groups: plants (carbs), fat and protein. Food items appear in the first meal of the day that they are used.

It’s on the fridge and in the kitchen. So when I use something up, at exactly the moment that I am panicking because I can see we will need more peanut butter I can cross peanut butter off the list. The chart has been laminated, and we use a board marker to cross things off.

If you use flash on your phone to photograph it, the board marker becomes semi-transparent, and means you can read what has been crossed off when refer to the image as shopping list.

When I am heading to the shops for an item I want, I can pick up the other things we are low on. There is no need to hunt through the cupboards, or ask Hayley what she has used we always know what we are low on. I just snap the list and refer to it when I am in the shop.

On this occasion, all though I know I had updated the table earlier. I had neglected to photo it.

poo peppers Whilst grabbing the bread, I had a sudden realization. There would be an old picture of the table in my phone somewhere. Although the crossed off items would be wrong there was a good chance, with a prompt, I would be able to remember what we needed.

Incidentally, this is why as an adult dyslexic, I read fine but my spelling is still atrocious (attroshus). Reading is prompted memory, spelling is unprompted memory. The former is much easier than the latter.

Guess what? It worked. I recon I was able to remember 90% of the items we needed, just by using the table as an aide-mémoire.

I was so elated, I snapped the title photo. And thought “shit that was so good I have to work out how to write a blog about this. I am smashing this husband malarkey”.

I got home to discover a whole in my system. We seemed to be low on toilet paper and I couldn’t find where Hayley had put the other rolls. So I sent Hayley the following text.

I swear: I know what I typed: But in the instant between me finishing the typing and pressing send my phone found it necessary to add some enhancements to my message.

As you can see: my phone changed ‘loo paper’ to ‘poo peppers’

I notice the loo/Poo swap but not the paper/peppers. I think; ‘Oh my god she is going to think I am simpleton!’ so I quickly fire off the ‘I typed ‘loo’. ‘text.

Hayley knows a couple of things: I am super proud of myself for getting all this shopping done. She knows I am trying to gloat about the ongoing usefulness of the BainesBuffotron Food Organizational Table, but that I can’t spell for toffee, and so may or may not have missed typed that text.

Anyway the result was a pregnant lady bent over laughing on a crowded Train. As she stood up to look around the carriage, tears streaming down her eyes, she considered explaining what was so funny to the other commuters, but decided, that would go horribly wrong. I know this because, that same night just before we went to sleep Hayley was struck by another, secondary bout of laughter.