Write On!!

Posted: April 18, 2013 in Humour
Tags: , , , , , , ,

write stuff

Last weekend I went grocery shopping with my youngest son, Mackie. We do that occasionally because we like to do things together. I will do some things with him, others with Alex. Father-son bonding time is always special. This time, however, we had more than the usual fun and excitement. In fact, it was almost a scavenger hunt. Not because we couldn’t find things in the store. The reason, sadly, is because my wife Anne hand-wrote the grocery list instead of printing it off the computer.

We need to go back to the beginning of my wife and I’s relationship for me to properly explain our dilemma. Anne is one of the smartest people I know. I’m not just saying that. She’s MENSA smart. When we met, aside from the fabulous red hair, her intelligence was one of the main attractions for me. There’s also the fact that she was obviously blind because I was hardly in her league when it came to looks. Nevertheless, we soon kindled to each other. Here were two people able to communicate at a higher level than I had ever hoped for. It was spiritual.

Communication, however, became a bit of a struggle when it came to the written word. My cousin Brigitte would bring me notes from Anne, and I would return notes through Brigitte to Anne. Fortunately at the time Brigitte would help me decipher Anne’s hand-writing so that I could frame proper responses to her notes. You see, although Anne is highly educated, her writing looks a bit like ancient Sanskrit. She would make a great prescription writer. And at first I thought maybe she was just being coy, trying to see if I was smart enough to figure things out, thus being worthy of her attention. This was not the case.

As our relationship progressed, I began to be able to decipher her scribbles for myself, to the point where I was accurate about 90% of the time. That’s not bad, considering. She was in Ottawa, away to school, and the internet did not exist yet. So phone calls and letters were the standard. The phone calls were expensive, but at least I could understand her. The letters were somewhat confusing at times, but for the most part they were at least entertaining.

After we married (on our marriage certificate, I was certain that people would think I had married someone named Ham Salaway), things became much easier as we were together all the time, thus obviating the need to write to each other. We could use our words, and everything was just peachy. That is, at least, until she sent me grocery shopping alone. With a list. Hand-written, no less.

That first experience was a frightening, roller-coaster ride of a journey. I got home, the trunk packed tight, the back seats equally full of items that I had no idea what we would do with them. Efferdent? Diapers? Chain saw oil? What would we do with these? Neither of us had dentures, the baby wasn’t due for another 6 months, and I didn’t have a chain saw. These things were, however, on the list…..I think. Along with a number of other items that we didn’t seem to need. I just wasn’t taking any chances. So I bought them all. We nearly cleaned out our bank account that day. And I slept on the sofa that night.

Upon reflection, her writing has really gotten me into all kinds of trouble over the years. I’ve gone to the wrong places for the wrong things. We have a pharmacy full of items we either will never need, or will eventually need. Her writing has led to arguments, miscommunications, arriving late, arriving early, and one memorable occasion, me wearing a leopard-skin thong.

Which leads us to the shopping trip last weekend. Poor Mackie was trying his best to read the list, asking me questions like ‘what’s cole saloow?’ , ‘what are banes?’, and ‘do we really need 15 chickens?’ It’s nice to see I’m not the only one, and it was great to pass the torch on to my youngest son.

I’m thinking of having Anne write out all the Christmas Cards this year. It should make for a memorable, if not confusing, holiday for those relatives and friends that are still talking to us in 2014


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