Reasons why marriage preparation classes need a radical overhaul

They say that opposites attract and, after 39 years of marriage, I'd suggest this theory is best tested by going to a supermarket together with a long list. 

It could even substitute for marriage preparation classes. It would teach a young couple so much more about their different approaches to life than mere theories ...

Our conversations go something like this when we're in Tesco: 

Him: We need to buy teabags. 

Me: Okay, let's get these. I'll put them in the trolley. Done. 

Him: Hang on.

Me: What?

Him: How many teabags in that pack? 

Me: 240. Can we go now? 

Him: For how much? 

Me: How would I know? Let's just buy them. It's what we need.

Him: You look at the price tab, here. It says £3.49. That's steep. 

Me: Is it?

Him: These ones here are only £2.99.

Me: But we don't usually buy that make. I'm bored now. Can we move on to crisps? 

Him: I swear that tea's gone up.

Me: Ah well. We're not exactly destitute. It's a few pence. 

Him: It all adds up.

Me: I'm bored now. 

Him: Or what about this 2 for 1 deal here? That works out as .... um .... let's see ...

Me: You should have brought your abacus. 

Him: We'd save 30p if we bought 2 for 1.

Me: We don't need 2 for 1. We're not at war. 

Him: We could buy 4 if they're that cheap. I'll put them in the shed.

Me: I'm bored now. 

Him: Maybe they'd be cheaper in Sainsburys.

Me: Maybe I'll just run this trolley into your shins. 

This difference in approach to item selection carries into the online shopping we've been doing since Lockdown began in March 2020 and we have exactly the same conversations while I'm tapping items into the search bar and adding them to our list. 

To be fair on him, I'll tell you that, for medical reasons, he can't use the laptop to do the online shop. Otherwise he'd have started doing it himself, trust me. You're probably realising why. 

The conversations continue when the shopping arrives and it's time to unpack ... 

Him: What's this?

Me: Lenor. 

Him: I know it says Lenor. But it's not fabric softener. 

Me: What is it? 

Him: It says 'Fragrance beads'.

Me: Oh, how interesting!

Him: You add them to your Lenor fabric softener (which we now don't have) to enhance the sickening aroma of the already toxic chemicals. 

Me: I've never heard of them. Ooh, if you shake the carton, it sounds like a musical instrument. Shake, shake! 

Him: You must have clicked on this by mistake. 

Me: I saw 'Lenor' and went for it. Ah well, we can give them to someone we don't like at Christmas. 

Him: And what's this? 

Me: Cans of Coke. 

Him: Who for? Plankton? They're 'mixer' cans. Only 150 ml. 

Me: What's the usual size? 

Him: 330 ml. 

Me: I'm bored now. 

Him: Why are these toilet rolls cream-coloured with added lavender? 

Me: They are? They're Andrex, aren't they? I saw 'Andrex' and went for it. 

Him: And there aren't as many sheets on these as on our usual rolls.

Me: Who the heck cares how many sheets are on each roll? 

Him: Silence. 

Me: You do, clearly. 

Him: How come we ordered green tea? We don't like green tea.

Me: I saw the word 'tea' and -

Him: This carton of cream is big enough to feed the Army.

Me: You could drink it instead of Coke. I'm bored now. 

Him: And three packs of loose carrots? You probably thought you'd ordered three loose carrots.

Me: Can I go? 

Him: There are two broken eggs. Maybe we should -

Me: I am not writing an email to Tesco about two broken eggs. Don't even think about it. 

Him: Why not? 

Me: I bet they spit on the lettuces next time they deliver.  

Him: You do realise a box of eggs costs £1.65.

Me: How do you even know that without looking? 

Him: So that's 27.5 pence per egg.

Me: I'm bored now. 

Him: 2 eggs is 27.5 x 2 so that's 55 pence they owe us. 

Me: But I saved you that by buying Cokes for plankton. 

Priest: 'Welcome to your marriage preparation classes. Our first lesson is called 'Supermarket Shopping'.

Young couple: 'Uh?'


  1. This insight into the Hill household is a shaft of light, a cavalcade of crackers, a tsunami of tittersome moments. Mr Leigh and I have a very similar dynamic. I hate shopping for food, he loves and will say things like, "You know, Makro have put lemons up by 13.4% like for like based on last year. And I'm sure the individual butter portions have gone up." I say "hmm, really? Dear me," which roughly translates as, "I'm bored." Thank you for sharing. You have made my night.

    1. Ah, cheers for reading. I am reassured to know all this!

    2. I tend to shop more like your husband, checking labels and prices to be sure I have the right thing ant the right price and if there's a special on something I usually buy, I'll get extra because that will save $$$ in the next few weeks when I don't have to buy that item until the extra runs out. But I think in dollars and cents, not percentages. I compare price with weight and choose the best option.

    3. If we ever go shopping together, River, I'll sit in the cafe with tea and a bun and leave you to it otherwise we'll fall out. xx

  2. Oh yes that brings back some not so good memories. You didn't mention the obsessive and neatly stacking of the trolley. Items must never be tossed in at random.

    1. Ah, now there I am grateful for my husband's carefulness. If he left it to me, we'd have egg yolk everywhere and bent tins and packets. He is King of the Packers.

  3. Haha, just fabulous! 'Why? We're not at war!' 😆This has really made me smile and it's so different to the kinds of convos we have in supermarkets. Not.
    Thanks for the laughs, as ever x

  4. Ah well, but if like us you'd ordered (during lockdown) 5 packs each containing 5 bananas - having intended to order 5 single bananas - you'd be more grateful to your nitpicky husband. It was during lockdown, when we couldn't drive to our friends' or family's houses and offload fruit. There was lots of banana bread made here - there would have been more but it was during that flour shortage. However, we got through 25 bananas, one way or another. No waste here!

    1. I did something similar with tins of tuna, ordering 4 packs of 4 tins rather than 4 tins. That was a very fishy month!


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