Bananas on the countertop.
That's how I knew my husband had been to Costco. It's a workout in and of itself, that place is. I try repeatedly to explain this to him and the kids, but I think they just don't get it. Those cases of Pepsi and Gatorade and Progresso and large rafts of paper products are heavy. Piling them into your cart and then out of your cart and into your car and out of your car and into your house and onto the shelves or into the freezer can work up a sweat and then, when everyone else gets home the only evidence of all your effort, other than perhaps your slightly more toned biceps, is bananas on the countertop.
I was astonished yesterday at how mostly invisible my husband's efforts had been, and I know he'd made an effort, because usually it's me making the same effort at least once a month if not more. Don't get me wrong; I love Costco. I try to save my husband money there as often as I can. But is this all anyone sees as a result of all my hard labor? Bananas?
A girlfriend and I were talking a while back at how transparent some of our mom duties are. All the things we do to keep a house running and everyone in it healthy and happy only get noticed when they don't happen: "We're out of toothpaste;" "Where's the birthday present for Connor's party?" "Mrs. Jones won't let me play at their house because none of my shots are up to date;" "Didn't we used to have two cats around here?"
The trouble with grocery shopping, especially at one of those big box-type stores, is that it is such a large amount of physical effort and the only time it gets noticed is when it either doesn't get done or gets done wrong.
"Those aren't the right kind of socks," I complained to the husband, at great risk of having him never shop for us at Costco again. I couldn't resist, though. I wanted him to know how it feels. He made a snide reference to how I could write about this, "but no, wait! Rick already did! "Incredibly Specific Shopping Lists
Later, he admitted it had been a huge amount of work and he could understand now how I sometimes felt unappreciated for it. Aww. An understanding husband who went grocery shopping. What more could a woman ask?
"Thanks for getting bananas," I said.