2006-08-02 / Loose Ends

Loose Ends

What's in a list?
Susan Nienow

I am organized. I know where all my papers are. They are on my desk. So is my list...I mean lists. I have several. I found one just yesterday that dates back to 1996. I know that because it was written on a page of one of those little giveaway calendars.

It said: paint MBR, get pic frame for chickadee, clean baseboards. We have moved since then so I can cross off the "paint master bedroom" part. I cleaned the baseboards before we put the house on the market, but I have no idea what the "chickadee" thing is.

My other half actually uses lists. He keeps one list in the same spot on one sheet of paper. I told him he flunks creative listmaking. It's a challenge when I spread my lists to several pieces of paper and then bury them in the different layers of paperwork (or magazines, catalogs and things waiting to be filed).

This doesn't really create any problems. He has his list, and I have all of mine. It's when we go off for an afternoon of shopping that his list and mine collide.

When we got ready to run errands last week, my other half read me his list weed killer, golf balls and AA batteries. As we turned out of our street he said, "Do you have your list?" "No. It's on the kitchen counter," I said. Screeeech! "What are you stopping for?"

"To go back and get your list."

I just looked at him. He stepped on the gas and headed for the weed killer store. About three minutes down the road I broke the silence, "We're going right past the drug store. Can you stop for just a minute so I can run in and get some..." My voice trailed off as I looked at him and heard the crash as my "stop for just a minute" collided with his list.

"I'll be out in a minute," I said, knowing it wouldn't work.

"Oh, no. If I don't go in, you'll get stuck looking at magazines."

As we were walking out, I did hesitate and turn my head to look at the nail polish display. The man on a mission ran into me.

When we walked into the weed killer store, I tried to go left to the shrubs and perennials, but my other half gave me that, "Weed killer's the only thing on the list" look.

I gave in on the weed killer figuring by the time we got to the battery store, he would feel guilty, and we could run in the nothing's-more-than-a-dollar-store.

It must be a guy thing to have a certain store for weed killer and another for batteries. I would buy them at the same place if possible so I would have more time to look at...anything else.

As the clerk scanned our dollar purchases, I realized my other half had had twice as much fun in there as I had, and those things weren't even on his list.

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