Acne and angst

Martin is the worst grocery shopper this side of the Mississippi.

Seriously, he might as well drive down the road and toss money out the window, because that’s what he does when he buys food: spends a lot but comes home with little.

And he’s the first to admit it. He often says, “I’m the worst shopper. I should never go to the store.”

But we’re both crazed and stressed, and occasionally we slip up.

The other night he came home with enough plastic bags to choke a polar bear, but no essentials. No meat, no vegetables, no fruit, I think, slamming boxes of mac and cheese down.

And what is this? I say, holding up a container of Oxy Wash acne cleanser.

“What?” Martin says, equally annoyed. “You said to buy Oxy Wash!”

Not the pads! What in God’s name am I supposed to do with pads?!

“How the hell should I know? Why am I buying Oxyclean for a horse?”

And that’s when I realize that Martin can’t read my mind. It’s not his job to know that Chance gets this funny fungus-grunge on his face, and that a friend recommended Oxy Wash as a cheap remedy.

But the scrub, not the pads.

I considered keeping the pads.  I hate returning things to the grocery store, especially our economically strapped local store. But it’ll be at least 10 years before anyone in the house has to deal with spotty skin.

The customer service woman at the store who handles returns and sells cartons of cigarettes looks skeptical when I brandish the Oxy pads before her — and downright suspicious when I add that it hasn’t been opened. As if it wouldn’t have crossed her mind if I hadn’t said that. She holds up the tub, scrutinizing it and then sets it down with a sigh.  I can feel the guy behind me peering over my shoulder to get a closer look.

It’s for my horse, I explain, like it makes total sense. He can’t use the pads, just the scrub.