I don't know about all of you, but I should not shop alone. My wife knew this, and would be sure to go with me if I went anywhere other than the grocery store, and even that could be dangerous. I always got what was on the list, but there was always something else that ended up in the cart. When we were shopping together, all it took was that glance from her and the thing went back on the self and I went back to pushing the cart. Now don't get me wrong and think I was the only one who needed reminding that the house was full and we didn't need another thing, my wife would once in a while grab something we really didn't need. I would give her the look and often she would smile back at me and win that battle, but only if she really thought it was necessary. I can say this with very little doubt, my wife probably cost about $5000 a year to keep happy. This is food, clothing and everything. She, as her father liked to put it, was a cheap date. I say this as I look at my expenses over the last nearly 9 months and see the trend. My spending has only fallen off a very small amount without her.
Now, if she was here, but not eating food and such, my spending would have dropped off even more, probably to make her annual spending look more like $10k. I have bought things to replace old things that normally we wouldn't have done. She would have given me that look. Last weekend I went to Costco (I have to say it is odd having memberships to 2 wholesale clubs just buying for myself) and found a nice pair of wireless headphones. I walk or bike part way to work most days and so for the 2 to 3 miles I am on the road, it is nice to have something to listen to. My old headphones kept popping out while biking because the cord would get stuck behind my helmet. See I can justify just about anything :D. That said, I never would have bought them had she been with me. This isn't my only purchase, a new bike kit, a camera and the list goes on.
I think I need a widow(er) support shopping assistant :D.
That said, it is remarkable how many times I can imagine the look my wife would have given me in various situations. Taking pictures of yet another random flower, or animal that we already had 1000 pictures of (but it is digital.. see excuses). The look when I am doing something odd in the kitchen, or have failed to clean up after my something odd in the kitchen. The knowing look on Saturday when we would rather be out hiking but the yard calls us to task. These missing looks that I can imagine and even use to drive myself to do something that has to be done. As depressing as it is, each day I see my wife's reaction a hundred times, it is burned into the back of my eyes and so without even blinking or changing my look, I know when I have veered off course. It is just way too easy now to ignore that look, because I can have the internal argument with her that I so crave.