I had a realization this week about one of the faults in my personality. I know, you are shocked…but bear with me here. I’m about as flighty as the day is long. Without consciously giving heed to this fault of mine, I have always had a big problem with making decisions. Big decisions, small decisions, it doesn’t really matter. The problem with making a decision is that once you’ve done it, things are put into action that make it difficult to undo when you change your mind. I mean, when I change my mind. Which I am bound to do.
Here’s a prime example:
I went to the grocery store Sunday to buy rice. I was forced to cook that day. When Zohrhubby called from work to see what I was making for supper, I rejected the notion entirely. But all we had to eat was a beef roast, and as I understand it, you have to COOK roasts prior to consuming them–for a pretty significant amount of time–it was either I cook, or I pay for takeout. That seemed silly, since a roast is fairly easy to cook, so I opted to cook. Zohrhubby went on to instruct me on the proper way to prep, season, and cook the roast. I stopped him dead in his tracks. “I know how to cook a roast, you know.” “Yeah, okay.”
I hate it when I’m forced to defend my culinary skills. That’s a lot of pressure. Usually, when I say stuff like that I end up screwing it up. About an hour before Zohrhubby got off of work, he called to see what was going on. I told him that I had supper almost done. He asked if we had enough rice. “Um. I dunno. I guess I’ll go check.”
I have no idea what we have in our pantry anymore. I used to, when we only had two kids, be in charge of the grocery shopping and the majority of the cooking. Zohrhubby cooked only when he was off that day, which really was only about twice a week. Now that he’s home a little more, he has taken over the grocery shopping/meal planning/cooking role. Which is FINE by me. But one of the disadvantages of this lesser role is that I have lost the ability to use my imagination when it comes to planning meals, and I don’t even really know my way around the grocery store anymore. When I go there of my own accord, and not just in search of one appointed list of items, I just kind of meander around aimlessly trying to put a meal together in my head that doesn’t require much effort on my part.
So, of course, when I checked, we didn’t have enough rice.
I made my way to the grocery store, thinking only about the rice. I also knew that Zohrhubby would be working the night shift the next day, and (in a rare fit of preparedness) I thought it might be a good idea to go ahead and pick up something quick and simple for me to “make” (as opposed to “cook”) the next night. On my way to the rice, I was trying to think of what I could get for the next night, which led me down the coffee/juice aisle. ? I’m not sure how that process went, but that’s what happened. At the end of that aisle, there was a diet regimen section, with things like Atkins meal bars, Special K protein drinks, and Slimfast stuff.
I love those Chocolate Royale Slimfast shakes. I did that plan once when I was in my twenties. As I recall, I didn’t lose any weight. But damn those shakes were good. This made me think that it might be a good idea to go ahead and pick up something for my lunch at work for that week. (I know what you are thinking, and the thoughtfullness I was displaying in the grocery store was making me a little scared too.) Why not the Slimfast shakes? And now, I noticed, they have meal bars and snack bars too. I stopped in the aisle and started studying this “plan”. You eat/drink any combination of two shakes or meal bars, and eat three of the snack bars per day, and then eat a sensible dinner. “Hmmm. I could that,” I thought. And how simple that would make my day-time meal planning. So I began rifling through the options, and doing the simple math in my head: One box of meal bars = 5 bars, divided by 2 per day, or 1 per day, at $5.99 per box, and one 12 pack of shakes, divided by 2 or 1 per day, at $12.00 per box, and one box of snack bars = 6 bars, divided by 3 per day, at $5.99 per bar. So, for one week (not counting Sunday because I don’t even really eat on Sunday) I needed one case of shakes, two boxes of meal bars, and three boxes of snack bars. Then I had to choose which snacks and meal bars I wanted. This entire process took me nearly 45 minutes to complete. I must have looked like a starving, carb-deficient lunatic–standing on the bottom shelf to get to the back of the top shelf to reach the really good flavors. Finally, when my choices were complete, I carted around to get the rice. By this time, I was so mind-tired that I didn’t know if I could decide on an entire meal for the following day, so I cheated and went down the frozen food aisle. But on my way there, I started thinking about the $50 worth of Slimfast products I had just committed to. I thought about how silly it was, to assume that I could live on a few 3 inch long snack bars and a couple (albeit yummy) shakes for an entire week. My motivation in buying into the “plan” wasn’t even really to lose weight. I mean, sure, I could stand to lose some weight, but I’m not really motivated to do so. When people say to me, “Girl! You look Great for Having Four Kids!” I don’t take offense at all. I’m all like, Hell-to-the-Yeah I do! I’ve earned a few pounds, is all I’m sayin’. So, it wasn’t about the weight. It was all about not having to make a decision when lunch time rolled around every day. “How pathetic is that?” I thought to myself. So I unloaded all of the Slimfast items from my cart, stacking it up next to the toilet paper across from the frozen food aisle, when no one was looking. I turned around and saw a 5 pack of pre-cooked chicken fried steak, complete with gravy packets, for $7.99, picked up two of them, and went straight to the check out lane.
So, you see how squirrelly my brain is? I have some problems with making decisions, but now I see it’s not the decision that’s the problem, its my inner self’s recognition that I can justify it in my head to backstep out of almost ANY decision I’ve made.
But whatever. I got the rice and supper was good. Even Zohrhubby had to admit that I hadn’t screwed it up, despite my hour-long trek to the grocery store for some stupid rice. The frozen, pre-cooked chicken fried steaks? Eh. They did the job, that’s about all I can for them.