Experience: I collect other people’s old shopping lists

If I see a discarded list, I grab it and keep it. There’s one with just ‘Milk’ and ‘Lube’; another with just ‘Celery’

I started collecting lists around 1997. It was just by chance. I was shopping for my then girlfriend, now wife’s birthday party in St Louis, Missouri, where we live, and I remember leaving the store and coming across a yellow sticky note in the parking lot. I picked it up and it was somebody’s shopping list. I thought, “That’s interesting … Whenever I see them at the store, I am just gonna keep them.”

People collect all sorts of things you would never expect. It’s as if all these separate, unimportant things, when put together as a collection, suddenly become revealing. The first list I found was nothing spectacular or interesting. It was just a normal one – five or six items, regular stuff. But after you see a lot of them, the weird ones stick out.

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