One List is Very Like Another

  See this and other fabulous comics on    Married to the Sea

See this and other fabulous comics on Married to the Sea

When you hate to cook as much as I do, going to the grocery store falls somewhere on the enjoyment scale between a face full of acid and bamboo shoots under the fingernails.  But loathe it though I do, food procurement is a necessary part of my glamorous life, at least until I can figure out how to make my children do it.  In order to manage the shopping, I employ various coping mechanisms, such as trying to suck it up and be grateful that I CAN get food, unlike many less fortunate souls on this earth.  Another of my strategies is my personalized "Grocery Store Spreadsheet".

The Grocery Store Spreadsheet (GSS) is the product of years of research, and not a little OCD.  The GSS is a magical device which allows me to spend the absolute minimum of time at the store.  It groups the items on my list based on their physical location in the store (yes, I had to actually map the aisles of my grocery store) so that I can shop as efficiently as possible, minimizing my exposure to mysterious foodstuffs and dumbass fumes.

Each week, I populate the cells of the GSS with whatever items I can no longer avoid getting, then save that version as a reference for what I'm planning to cook.  I frequently panic when I step into the kitchen and forget what I'm supposed to do, so referring to the GSS helps me pull it together, at least for as long as it takes to boil a noodle.

So much a precision instrument is my GSS that I have proclaimed it my Favorite Spreadsheet Ever (Oh, sure; like you don't have a favorite spreadsheet?).  When I need to create a new spreadsheet, I often haul out the GSS and use it as a template for whatever else I might be doing, just because I like the look of it, and I don't have to tinker with it as much as I would a blank document.

Such was the case yesterday, when I sat down to organize the project ideas for my new book.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention: I have a new book to write.  Yay!  It's about hats.  Crazy hats, silly hats, cuddly hats, hats you never thought of.  Can't imagine why they wanted ME for such an assignment. 

I cracked open the GSS and started repopulating fields from groceries to hat ideas, and the sorting feature took over, just as it is supposed to do.  Which meant that "Giant Squid" found its way to the Seafood heading.  "Cherry Pie" naturally sought the Bakery area.  And "Sushi", surprising no one, went straight to the Deli.  Something about this collision of two worlds tickled me so much that I kind of fell down a rabbit hole.  I started to test the GSS by dropping other ideas into it.  Turns out that "Petulance" is a vegetable, "Ferocity" belongs to canned goods, and "Ennui" can be found in the pharmacy.

I think I'm going to try categorizing people I know in the GSS next.  I'm willing to bet that at least 3 people I love will be located in my grocers' freezer.