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Life happens: Love in the frozen food aisle

By By Aprill Brandon
March 15, 2012 at midnight
Updated March 14, 2012 at 10:15 p.m.


There are a lot of ways to get to know your significant other. And let's face it, no matter how much you think you know them, there are always more things you can learn about them.

Human beings are vastly complicated creatures. That's why no one has yet been able to explain why we like sodomizing dead birds with other dead birds in the form of turducken or why we willingly inject poison into our faces so we perpetually look surprised.

For instance, you could stay up all night talking about your hopes and fears, about your secret crush on Al Roker, or how you voted for Obama but secretly wanted McCain to win so Tina Fey would keep playing Palin for the next four years on SNL.

You could take an extended road trip together (as long as neither one of you brings a weapon of any kind with you). You could even let each other read the lame poetry you wrote in junior high (shut up, we all know you did).

But nothing, and I mean nothing, helps you to see into the very core of your partner's being like grocery shopping together. Few other activities can give as much insight into each of your personalities and values.

That whole "you are what you eat" is complete bunk. It's actually "you are what food you buy."

Take this past Sunday, for instance. Now, normally, it's my husband who does the bulk of the grocery shopping and this is for two very good reasons:

1. We only have one car and my husband drives it because Boston traffic scares me to death.

2. I get irrationally angry and downright close to homicidal when I get stuck in an aisle behind some soccer mom who can't decide between Ragu or Prego because while Prego tastes better, Ragu has less calories and little Suzie doesn't like mushrooms but hmm ... they look cut up small enough for her not to even notice but would the four cheese or tomato and basil taste better with the ziti tonight and oh my God, move, you pink track-suit moron!

And he does a great job at it. He even knows my preferred product make and model for all my monthly lady business. But every once in awhile on the weekends, I'll tag along either out of sheer boredom or because I've had enough tranquilizers to make me relatively harmless toward my fellow shoppers.

And that's when you discover that every aisle is a chance to bond. For example, you find yourself saying things like:

Me: "Three packages of cookies? Really?"

Him: "Wait, you need a different face cream for day than you do for night? What's the difference? Don't roll your eyes at me."

Me: "You're honestly telling me you need two 2-liters of Diet Pepsi? At this point, do you just pee pure sugar?"

Him: "Come on, who needs that much sausage?" (Me and him in unison: "That's what she said.")

Me: "Dude, put back that Easter candy or I will saw off your foot just to give you a taste of your diabetes-filled future."

Him: "No. No! Put back the Red Bull. You act like you're on meth when you drink that stuff and I will not spend another night talking you down."

Me: "Cracklin' Oat Bran? That's the cereal you picked? You have the combined palette of a 5-year-old and my grandpa."

Him: "What do you mean the 'fancy' bread? What the heck is 'fancy' bread? Bread that has a little bow tie on each slice?"

Of course, there are things we accept about each other without question. He knows that me being a woman means I am programmed to buy any and all food and drink that claim to have "antioxidants" in them. And that I am perpetually on a diet. And even if I'm not on a diet, I'm on a diet.

And I know that he has a deep, deep love affair with peanut butter that I can never hope to tear asunder.

But the good news is, who needs to pay for therapy when you can just work out your issues in the canned food aisle?

Aprill Brandon is a columnist for the Advocate. Her column runs every two weeks in the Your Life section. Comment on this story at VictoriaAdvocate.com.

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