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Dear Husband, I'm Done Being Your Personal Shopper

Photograph by Twenty20

Tell me if any of your husbands/partners do this particularly annoying thing, where they stand in the middle of the room and randomly loudly announce what your household happens to be out of currently.

Husband, rummaging in the fridge: "Oh, we're out of cheese!"

Husband, taking a shower: "I need more razors!"

Husband, eating dinner: "Dang, out of ketchup again!"

None of these are directed at me specifically, of course, because that would mean my husband is an asshole, right? Oh no, like most men, he has perfected the art of passively "getting by with women making his life easier" and is just "commenting" when he notices that we, as a collective household of six and counting, are out of something. Because, you know, "we" are going to take care of it, right?

Um, no.

The real message he's conveying is loud and clear: It's my responsibility to take care of it.

Well, I have a message back for him: I'm done being the personal shopper for this family.

Maybe I should take a page from my husband's book and casually announce that to the room, so "someone" will hear me and take action, huh? Yeah, right, like that would ever work. Instead, I'll probably have to take a strong stance by doing something I haven't done since we were dating as teenagers: I'll actually have to stop mentally tracking our household supply inventory, stop shopping for said items and stop restocking the items in the house only to begin the cycle all over again.

I'll also have to actually stop going the extra step of not only shopping for everything that our entire household needs, but shopping for everything that my husband needs too. New jeans? Sure, honey! Clothes for your job? Of course! Your favorite snacks for your work lunches? You got it!

I mean, can you imagine how great it must be to be my husband? To have absolutely zero responsibility for knowing anything that your own children or family needs or never having to lift a finger to actually find and purchase those items? Because, let's face it, it's not just as easy as picking up some groceries at the store. If only.

I mean, can you imagine how great it must be to be my husband?

A "good" mother has to make sure she's shopping around to get the best price, make sure that the food she buys is healthy, that she doesn't forget the coupons, and—this is crucial—she is up to date on the latest brand preferences of all family members. Those off-brand granola bars they loved last week? Yeah, those are gross now.

Or to be a person who just has new clothes "magically" appear in their closet in their exact size and style preference when they need them?

To have the luxury to just not fill your brain with those kind of annoyingly mundane details? I just can't imagine.

Or can I?

Who exactly made the rule that once you get married and have kids in a heteronormative relationship, the female partner is somehow responsible for all things familial and household shopping? Did I sign a contract or something about this?

In today's world of both spouses working, online grocery shopping and Amazon Prime, there simply isn't an excuse why only one person should be 100 percent responsible for all of the household and personal shopping. It just doesn't make sense.

I'm not saying it's going to be easy to break the habits, routines and downright sloppy tendencies that we've set into place over the years, but I'm saying that it needs to be done. Because I've started to get bitter—and that's never a good thing for personal growth, for our marriage or for our household.

I know that I'm better than being a full-time shopper for my husband and my kids and I know that if I can free up that mental space that's currently filled with remembering what 8,473 items we are currently out of, I will probably be unstoppable.

Now, who wants to teach my husband how to grocery shop?

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