Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Marty and I finally broke down and rejoined Sam's Club after many years. I am really philosophically opposed to paying a membership fee so I can spend money at your store, but where else can you get a gross of pretty good toilet paper?

I always thought, in our marriage, Marty was the spender and I was the saver, Marty was the gas and I was the brakes. But, Marty's stroke has been a clarifying experience for this particular paradigm. As it turns out I really shouldn't be trusted with a membership to Sam's, certainly not without Marty's practicality.

Several weeks back I went to Sam's, alone, to stock up on paper products for our house and for the lake house. The house at Richland Chambers is 20 miles from a grocery store so it's good to keep a copious supply of essential goods in stock. I personally hoard toilet paper, you just can't ever have enough, so I figure let's go to Sam's and get a butt load of t.p., paper towels and whatever else we might need in the event of a nuclear winter. So I took the van with the idea I would just load that puppy up with stuff and make a dash to the lake house to unload it.

Once in Sam’s and after I have passed through the super duper security area I focus on the paper products because: A. you just can't ever have too much of this stuff B.it's not like it ever goes bad and C. running out of toilet paper would be a disaster. I load up my ginormous shopping cart with paper products. A little voice then goes off in my head that we need non-dairy creamer. I think I had a discussion about non-dairy creamer with one of the kids and we decided we should just buy non-dairy creamer for the lake house since its like B above -- it never goes bad and the fresh cream stuff does.

Sam's doesn't have a lot of variety; they just have massive quantities of each product, so I get a big six-pack of a generic non-dairy creamer. Now, keep in mind, I don't use any kind of cream in my coffee so I will never use the stuff. Now, also keep in mind, you only use like a teaspoon for a cup of coffee. I'm guessing we now have several thousand teaspoons of a generic non-dairy creamer. Bring on the nuclear winter.

This is where I need Marty. This is where I need her pragmatic and succinct opinion. I can tell you what it would be, "That's stupid, put it back". She would not have spared my delicate little psyche or ego. "That's stupid, we will never use that much creamer, put it back". That's what I need.

Who knew Marty's direction would be something I would miss or at least something I really need. I thought I was the logical, practical, thrifty part of our partnership. Wrong. I need that objective third party practicality that keeps me from going over the edge on creamer.

I apparently need someone to keep me grounded in places like Sam's or HEB or The Academy or your friendly neighborhood car dealership. I'm telling you we built the lake house because we needed a new microwave for our house in Waco (another story), damned expensive microwave. Marty would have let me replace the microwave, the house, not so much.

Marty has always been the person who kept me balanced, kept me in check, kept me humble. It's taken me awhile to figure out how important that check was and is to me. Occasionally she still straightens me out with a laugh, a look or a question like "how much is that anyway" or "we really don't need that".

Bottom line, I bought the dairy-creamer. We will never use all of it. If we ever have a nuclear winter and you have coffee you should come to the lake. I have enough cream and toilet paper for everyone.

1 comment:

Becky Cliett said...

I remember going shopping at Sam's with Marty. She always said that in the case of nuclear war or toilet paper shortage that ya'll could just come to the Cliett's house. While Glen is still a hoarder of paper products, it's good to know that if we ever run out, I can come to you. And creamer is also very important, I'm sure.