Trina Machacek: Magic lists: Everyone needs one

Trina Machacek

Trina Machacek

It seems that some sort of shopping is a daily occurrence. Sometimes it’s just window shopping. Sometimes it’s specific and pointed buying shopping. The act of shopping is usually automatic. It’s the automatic shopping that gets me to overspend. So, I am a list shopper. Not just groceries. If I am going out of town I not only list what I need I also list all the places I want to go, or have appointments to get to. I have listing down to a science. A subtle and somewhat anal science. But. Yes a subtle “but.” I readily admit that there have been a few times where I leave my thoughtful list on the kitchen counter. Just to find it laying there when I get home. Mocking me that I forgot the olive oil or 3 In One oil. Just as an aside. Don’t ever get those two oils mixed up.
A list can be magical. Like your list to Santa. I remember writing a list when I was a tike, but I do not remember addressing it to Santa. It was like a memo to our parents. Funny that they never asked for a list when it came to what kind of car I wished for when I turned sweet 16. The fact is I bought my own car. I did use the old family car as a down payment though. Magical lists might also be thought of as prayers. A direct correlation can be seen to that Santa letter. You know, telling either of the two well known big guys, whether in a red suit and fluffy beard or angelic and awe inspiring, that you will be good as good can be if such and such appeared or happened. Huh? Maybe there’s also some intertwinement because when you think of them both you point Northward. Yes, that is a stretch isn’t it. Or is it?
Back to listing and shopping. I don’t know if anyone else does this but for as long as I can remember when I write a grocery list I see myself going up and down aisles stores. Canned goods, need corn, pineapple and chili. Bread aisle, need a loaf and some buns. HAHA. Doesn’t really matter what store you go to this works pretty good. Even hardware or pet supply stores. As you sit there you can see the aisles you walk down and grab the items on your list. Then. Then if you see something that isn’t on the list. Do you buy? Do you walk by? Do you walk by then walk back? Now that’s real shopping.
Clothes shopping is not as easy as all that. I mean you can put on your list that you need a new jacket or new underthings. But when you get in a store that sells clothes you are thrown into a world that is literally designed to take your list, crumple it up into a tiny little ball and stuff it between that soft sweater and the cute cuddly long sleeved shirt that would go so good with the sweater. Then in most clothing stores there are other goodies calling to you over the top of your list. Home goods, jewelry and shoes. Oh yes shoes. Shoe shopping is an animal that is set apart from all other shopping.
I do not shop for shoes well. I have however been with a few ladies who love to shoe shop. It is almost indescribable. Almost. It kind of goes like this. At first we enter and there are leather and plastic and kinda sparkly smells that seem to have some magical powers. I have seen normal women go glassy eyed and just float from shoe display to shoe display. It’s really something to see first hand. Then the trying on begins. This one in blue, that one in taupe. I’m here to tell you that there is really not a specific color of taupe. Depending on the shoe it can be light taupe, medium taupe, shiny taupe or a flat taupe. I’ve been schooled that flat taupe can only come on flats. I have seen single shoes piled higher than those ankle exhibiting angled mirrors by the time a professional shoe shopper leaves a store. It’s magical.
I do much better at shopping if I have a list. I have in the past few years learned to stick to my list. I save a ton of money that way. Of course if there is a bakery putting out fresh, hot, sniffy French bread. On the list or not, two loaves are coming home with me. Now that’s the miracle of the magic of a list.
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her book, “They Call Me Weener,” is available on or email her at for a signed copy.


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