The M&M Files: Sorting Through the Nuts in Life (not woodworking related)

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Blog entry by Mark A. DeCou posted 03-12-2007 10:01 PM 1713 reads 0 times favorited 49 comments Add to Favorites Watch

During each trip to get groceries, my wife likes to buy 2-3 bags of Mountain Trail Mix at Walmart in the 1lb-12oz bags. She likes the taste of Almonds, Raisins, Cashews, Peanuts, and M&M’s all mixed together in one big mouthful. I, on the other hand, only like the M&M’s.

So, here is the argument:
I like to dump out about a cupful of trail mix, and then sort out the M&M’s and put the rest back in the bag. The way I figure it, I am eating the parts I like, but leaving the other parts for my wife to enjoy, because she enjoys the other flavors.

She (lumberjock’s member: “wife”) says that I am taking out the “best part” and only leaving the parts I don’t like for her. Technically, she is right. However, I think it is “deeper” than it seems on the surface, but I continue to lose the debate with her. She won’t even let me start my side of the argument anymore, saying something, “quit giving me those lame excuses, you are only thinking of yourself.” And, technically, she is right again.

So, I’m bringing the debate to the lumberjocks (predominately “male”) group for some “input.”

Depending on how you look at, I am eating the same amount of M&M’s as she would eat in a cupful of trail mix, only I’m willing to put back the other ingredients for her to enjoy. I almost always wash my hands before this sorting process, so cleanliness is not really the concern.

Over the few days that a certain bag is “open” yet not empty, the percentage of M&M’s does go down in your average cupful of Trail Mix. However, if I was throwing out the parts I don’t like to eat, the whole bag would reduce quicker, and the same amount of M&M’s would be in the bag, only in a higher ratio to the other ingredients.

In my view, I am doing her a favor by leaving her more Almonds, Cashews, Raisins, and Peanuts to enjoy. I could just dump them in the trash, and sometimes I do give them to the dog, but in large part I save them for her.

I see it as a selfless service to her. She sees as a selfish service to myself. She complains that since I only like the M&M’s then why don’t I just get a bag of M&M’s. I agree with that concept, except that she does most of the shopping, and never remembers to get “my” M&M’s when she gets “her” Trail Mix. It is a serious debate whenever I get caught at this selfless game.

The kids love trail mix also, and so at times they will sort out of their cups a few M&M’s to give to me, not all of them, and never more than the “brown” colored ones, but they are M&M’s nonetheless. My wife does not like the practice, and each time tells the kids to stop sorting out M&M’s for me to eat. They usually ignore her, and find joy in giving me two, or three brown M&M’s.

Any input to help settle this one? There are bigger issues to discuss of course, but not here. Don’t you just love my boredom as I wait to go back to work (Wednesday afternoon!)?

Have fun,
Mark DeCou

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

49 comments so far

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4096 days

#1 posted 03-12-2007 10:07 PM

It’s simple, when Momma’s happy, everybody’s happy.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Obi's profile


2213 posts in 4233 days

#2 posted 03-12-2007 10:41 PM

You both are acting selfish, childish and petty. If she really loved you she would:
1) Buy you your own stash of M&M’s when she was at the store or
2) Not really care what you ate

If you really loved her you would:
1)Buy your own M&M’s while you were at the store or
2) Eat her M&M’s and throw the rest of the trail mix in the trash so that her M&M:Nuts ratio would not be reduced due to your greedy-Self-centered-M&M-eating-left-brained-testosterone-driven-male thinking.

I can say this because I :
1) Don’t have to listen to your wife complain about me eating it and
2) Get bitched at if I eat the M&M’s and leave the nuts, Eat the M&M AND the nuts, don’t eat any of it til it turns moldy.

WHY? Cause that’s the way it is.

And this Question was put before me by my Pastor.

Be careful about how you answer this. SIn was not in the earth til the “forbidden fruit” issue.

I’ll give you the answer tomorrow

View Duane Kohles's profile

Duane Kohles

40 posts in 4297 days

#3 posted 03-12-2007 10:50 PM

I propose you buy your own bag of M&M’s and keep a stash in your shop. Or sort the entire cup of mix out into each ingredients own bag, then when the original bag is empty transfer the sorted bags back into the original bag and add some M & M’s, there by starting with a “new” bag of mix.

Get well soon and please get back to the shop before you think of another topic.

-- Duane Kohles

View BassBully's profile


261 posts in 4093 days

#4 posted 03-12-2007 11:38 PM

First of all, you lost the argument long ago when you decided to get married buddy.

Obviously, she should be thoughtful enough to buy you and extra bag of M&M’s while you should be thoughtful enough not to take so many.

Hey, if that’s the only thing you’ve got wrong with each other, you’re doing alright!

-- There are three types of people in the world, those who can count and those who can't!

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4307 days

#5 posted 03-12-2007 11:55 PM

I guess that when it comes to the kids giving you their M & M’s, you could argue that you’re sacrificing your health for theirs. Too much sugar isn’t good for them. She will not accept this excuse, either.

All you can do is accept defeat, surrender to your better half and have a long happy marriage. Ask yourself, what is more important? Your wife’s happiness or the M & M’s? It’s not like she’s asking you to go cold turkey. You’ll be alright with a few less taken from the trail mix.

Good luck! ;^)

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4121 days

#6 posted 03-12-2007 11:58 PM

Ya see, that’s the advantage of not being married. I’d have to be telling my sweety “no, really, I don’t need any more M&Ms”, and I’m now feeling guilty about being on the receiving end of too much “thought you’d enjoy…” purchases. I have to make sure that impulse buys don’t turn into staples: I like red peppers, but I don’t need ‘em with every meel, especially since she doesn’t like ‘em and I have to make dishes that work with or without that flavor when we have them around. On the counter-side, I made sure I brought home fresh basil last night so we could have pesto with the grilled veggies, ‘cause I knew that’d make her evening (well, that and cutting up a bunch of walnut and madrone, but that’s a different activity…).

The way we figure it is that the relationship works as long as and because we’re both getting more out of it than we put into it. If you weren’t in the relationship, you’d be buying your own M&Ms anyway. Keep a stash of them around, enough that she thinks about it, and then maybe she’ll pick up more when she gets the trail mix because she’s thinking about you.

As for the specifics of cherry-picking the trail mix, I have no opinion. Personal preferences know no logic, all we can do is look at them and sigh, and know we love them.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4311 days

#7 posted 03-12-2007 11:58 PM

So how soon till you can get back to the shop? For her sake I hope it won’t be too long.

View Obi's profile


2213 posts in 4233 days

#8 posted 03-13-2007 12:17 AM

Then there’s always the puppy dog look as you don’t eat ANY til she begs you to eat some.

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4173 days

#9 posted 03-13-2007 12:56 AM

Hey, I don’t want to sound like a typical Canuck here, but you Yanks!

I just can’t imagine what idiot would come up with the idea. I can hear him/her now, “Man this healthy trail-mix is fantastic. Perhaps it needs some sugar coated chocolate candies added to it so that it will appeal to junk-food freaks. Mmmm … yep, great idea!

Sort of like chocolate coated strawberries, or peanut butter in ice cream – who comes up with these ideas?

Oh, Mark, regardless of the merit of any argument you might come up with, your wife is always right. That’s just the way it is.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4397 days

#10 posted 03-13-2007 01:02 AM

Mark: You can sidestep the issue by purchasing your own M&M. But you cannot win it head on.

It’s like the Cival War where both sides stand if front of each other and shoot their guns. She will win or you will win (in which case you lose).

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Obi's profile


2213 posts in 4233 days

#11 posted 03-13-2007 01:03 AM

Just go buy your own M&M’s. That’s the only thing you can do.

View Obi's profile


2213 posts in 4233 days

#12 posted 03-13-2007 01:07 AM

And I’m not waiting til tomorrow.
Q.: What was Adam doing that God decided that it was not good that man should be alone?

I know it has some of you thinking.

It is written that “Adam walked with the Lord in the cool of the day, and it was good.”


Probably fishing down at the fork in the three rivers. And God said “Hey, I got it… I’ll make him a woman. That’ll put a hitch in his gitalong.”

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4157 days

#13 posted 03-13-2007 01:18 AM

I’m not sure if I’m allowed to comment on this one but .. since I am female that gives me the automatic right, right?? :D

1. Yes, there is a bigger issue.
2. Maintain the M&M: healthy food ratio. That is what she purchased.
3. Grab your handful and put it in its own container. Eat the M&M’s; Put the lid on the container.
4. Grab another handful and eat the M&M’s. Put the remaining items in the container.
5. Continue until the bag of trail mix is gone.
6. Put the container of the “Trail Mix: The Original Mix” (labelled of course) in the cupboard for others to find and be surprised at. Wow, what a treat!!!
7. Complaint Department: “I saved them but you can throw them out if you would like to.”

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Obi's profile


2213 posts in 4233 days

#14 posted 03-13-2007 01:36 AM

Awww, wisdom from the other side of the fence.

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4402 days

#15 posted 03-13-2007 01:37 AM

Oh Crap,

“Wife” discovered this blog tonight, and when she can figure out what her password is again, she is going to provide some feedback for all of us. Stay tuned. I think she wishes now that she had told me her password.

I have gotten a lot of advice out of this thread so far. I’m hearing so far, that I need to buy my own bags of M&M’s and eat them slowly. That is the problem, the “slowly” aspect. The sorting through the nuts provides a delay that I need in consumption, esp. without a gall bladder. It is why I buy soda pop in 12 oz cans, it provides a chance of moderation.

At least I got “Wife” to read my side of the story since she won’t actually let me ever finish my side of the argument in the verbal debate.

Can’t wait to hear what more of you have as input.

Oh Dennis: “Wife” said that she is more than ready for me to get back to work also. She was telling me last week that she was going to enforce the 1-week-off requirement from the Surgeon. After reading the M&M saga tonight, she started asking if there was some light work I could go do in the shop, two days early. Giggles.


-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

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