The List Maker

I like to make lists. Handwritten lists. Lists for things I need to get done, lists for books I

want to read, lists for things I need to buy. Lydia, the list maker. I like to go to the

supermarket on Sunday morning with my list and my reusable tote bags, marking off the

items on my list with a pen as I place them in my cart. The supermarket is a mundane

chore, which I do methodically and quickly, buying all the groceries for the week,

according to my list and then go home to start my Sunday roast and occasionally go to


Brad does not believe in lists. He likes to peruse the aisles in search of new chip flavors,

the latest cold brew concoctions and free samples to try. To him, grocery shopping is an

amusing activity. As I am the one that cooks most meals and the one to get the

groceries every week, I do not feel the same. He’s kindly offered to go for me once. I

obliged, sending him with my list. Only to receive multiple phone calls with questions

such as “How many garlic though? What are shallots?” And then was brought a

variation of my list with an exceptional amount of add-ons. It’s the thought that counts? I

love Brad. I do not love when he wants to come to the supermarket with me. Lydia the

list maker flies solo.

On Sunday morning, I creep out of bed while Brad sleeps. I wash my face, brush my

teeth and change into yoga pants so I don’t feel guilty for not showering, in hopes my

poor appearance reflects as though I maybe just came from yoga. But maybe I will go to

yoga today. Maybe.

I tip toe across the bedroom, carefully stepping over the floor board that always creaks

and slowly open the door when I here the duvet rustle behind me.

“You’re leaving already? I wanna come.” Brad smiles at me, with one eye open.

As he parks the car, I make it clear this is an in and out mission. “Lets make this quick,

yea? I have things I want to do today,” I say grabbing my canvas totes from the back


I collect a cart while looking over my list:





“Let’s start in the produce section,” I say to no one, as Brad is already off fondling an

array of exotic imported fruit. “Can you grab some potatoes please,” I ask him, interrupting his rambutan trance.

I’m inspecting onions when Brad comes back with two potatoes and a dragonfruit. Not

on the list. To me, dragonfruit is possibly the most disappointing fruit. It’s far too

beautiful to be so tasteless, yet somehow here we are.

I tilt my head and stare at him. “Why would you get only two potatoes.” Brad shrugs. “One for me and one for you. What do you mean?” Shaking my head, I reluctantly put the dragonfruit in the cart and go back to get more potatoes.

Almond milk




Brad takes it upon himself to get the almond milk, carrying it back as proudly as a cat

placing a dead bird at your feet. I smile.

“We don’t use this brand.”

“What is the difference. It’s almond milk.”

“We’ve tried this one, we don’t like it.”

“Are you sure? This one’s on sale though.”

“Probably because no one likes it. Brad. Can you just get the other one. We’ve drank

the same almond milk for at least 4 years. I buy it every week, I know. Please — I’m not

in the mood for this,” I say grabbing it out his hand. “Just go. I’ll do it,” I mutter, visibily

irritated, wondering why this needs to be such a production.

“It’s just milk, Lydia,” he says walking away.

I’ve obtained most of the items on my list when I find Brad in the snack aisle with three

different bags of chips, a jar of cheese puffs, and an opened bag of beef jerky. Grabbing a bag of chips from his hand, I look at it. Ketchup flavored. “Weird,” I say and throw it in the cart, feeling guilty for snapping at him earlier. “Do we really need all of this,” I say, taking a piece of beef jerky out of his hand. I’m not opposed to his chip flavors or the other snacks, but they are definitely not on my list, and for a reason.

Behind him, something catches my eye. It’s a box of cookies that we both liked from our

first holiday in Korea together 5 years ago. “Oh look, Brad! Remember these!” I squeal

surprised to find them here. I put two boxes in the cart. He laughs. “Ahh, brings back so many memories.”

I think back to the night we discovered them. We were tipsy and starving after karaoke.

By that time of night, all the restaurants were closed so we stumbled into a minimart and

went wild. Many were an acquire taste to say the least but these were by far our favorite

and a standard purchase the rest of the trip.

As I reminisce about our holiday, I become distracted by the vast selection of treats in

front of me. As I go to place boxes of many cookies in the cart, I find it no longer there

but with Brad watching me at the end of the aisle.

“That’s not on the list!” Brad says, a smug look on his face as he pushes the cart away.

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