If I am ever charged with punching SH while we are at the grocery store, no jury will convict me once they have heard the evidence. Indeed, they might line up to give him a slap or two themselves.
First, there is the most obnoxious part about shopping with him: he has to look at every single item in the category to make sure he has the Right One. Sure, he makes an exception for cold cereal once he has decided on the brand and kind, which happens after he has spent an hour at the breakfast table looking through all the coupons and plotting his coupon strategy - today was double coupon day at Pick 'N Save, for example - but for any fresh item, like peaches, eggs or milk, there will be no rest until he has evaluated each one. What if we got milk that wasn't as fresh as the carton in the back? Oh no! What does it matter that the milk is fine at home? It's the principle of the thing, people. The principle.
How to decide? How to decide? One must look at every single mango, obviously.
What if we left the Best Peach on the display and someone else got it instead? Oh, the sorrow of knowing that the Best Peach could have been yours and through the want of a little more attention and effort, it was not. That is a tragedy nobody wants, not just because we all want the Best Peach but also because we don't want someone else to get it. It is not enough for us to succeed, but others must fail. The beauty of competition.
The second (main) part about shopping with SH that I don't like is that he is a Sample Exposer. I tried the sausage pizza sample from the sample lady standing at the intersection of the freezer case and the processed dairy foods like yogurt and individual cheese slices, which are foods for people who 1. like to convince themselves they are eating healthfully by consuming mass production yogurt made with a ton of sugar and/or 2. are too lazy to slice their own darn cheese, which is right up there with the people who buy cooked bacon because you know, bacon is so hard to make.
The pizza was pretty good, so after SH and I were reunited at the feminine hygiene aisle where we compared prices using the coupon for the brand name and just getting the store brand, which is something you are not embarrassed about doing with a guy once you are past the age of 40, because as my friend Heather pointed out in college, when she was not embarrassed at all about it, "We are not statues, you know," I steered us past the pizza sample lady again so I could get more.
There are some people who think you should eat only one sample per vendor. Those people are too fancy for me. I have made entire meals by cruising the samples at Costco and at Whole Foods. Central Market in Austin was great in my post-Peace Corps unemployment. I could always count on the tortilla samples, wheat, jalapeno and plain, to tide me over for a while. How am I supposed to make a frozen pizza decision based on just one sample? Plus there was both sausage and pepperoni. Technically, that would be two samples.
We went to the pizza lady. I reached for the sample with the pepperoni, but SH got to it first. "Hey!" I said.
"You've already had a sample," he answered.
The sample lady glared at me. Well, maybe she just kept cutting pizza.
"I cannot believe you outed me!" I hissed.
He shrugged. "You're not supposed to have more than one."
"You are not the sample boss!" I told him. "This is none of your business!"
"Yeah, but it was funny," he laughed.
"No, it wasn't. You can sleep on the couch tonight."
He laughed harder and called me a Double Pizza Sampler. He thinks I am joking.
I am not.