Monday, October 12, 2009

Weirdness at the Supermarket (aka "No Man's Land")

"I just remembered that time at the market
Snuck up behind me and jumped on my shopping cart
And rode down aisle five."
-John Mayer

I like to think of myself as a pretty forward-thinking guy. I hate stereotypes, don't believe in specific roles for men or women. I even prove this by doing 'uncool' stuff like vacuuming (which I enjoy BTW, although my therapist believes this is curable).

Still, it seems to me the supermarket is one place where guys are out of their element. I feel about as at home walking into my local grocery store as I would walking into a male strip joint (and for all my smart-ass friends, NO I never have).

I know some guys who actually enjoy grocery shopping. I can't really speak against that (goes back to the housework thing) although it's not for me. However being the only driver in the household I find myself accompanying Sandy when the need arises.

There seem to be certain rules that must be followed to have a successfully typical grocery run:


1. Make a list and leave off the one thing you really need. Make sure you wait until you get home before you realize you forgot it.

2. Spend twenty minutes compiling your list then leave it at home. Don't bother checking to see if you have it until you get to the store.
3. Bring this list with you then ignore it completely and pick up twice as many groceries as you planned. Wait until you get home before you realize you forgot the one thing you need the most.

4. When you're at home, wait until your toddler is in the worst, most foul mood possible.

Then, take him to the supermarket so he won't have that pesky temper tantrum in the privacy of your own home. (This is standard operating procedure in my town). Once you've dropped the groceries at home take your screaming brat to Walmart, then out to any restaurant nearby. Make sure you sit yourselves next to a couple who don't have kids of their own and are very obviously having an intimate conversation. Very obvious to everyone but you, that is. Because your devil spawn has corrupted your mind.

5. Oh here's a fun thing to do. Just for giggles, load up your cart with as many groceries as you can possibly heap in it and get in the checkout line. When someone with two items gets behind you, make sure you forget everything your parents ever taught you about common courtesy and make them wait their turn. After all they're 96, they should be used to this by now. Besides, do you really think they're in a rush to get anywhere?

6. Stay faithful to your local grocer. Don't stray and keep collecting those points, 'cause once you've collected a million of them you'll be able to save five dollars.


1. Make sure you run out of rarely-used items like cereal and blueberries but keep plenty of staples like coconuts on hand. (This happened today). You never know when an impromptu Hawaain luau might break out.

2. Make sure the expiry date on your blue cheese is clearly marked. Like anyone brave enough to buy cheese that's already blue is gonna care.

3. Ensure you only hire staff under the age of seventeen in your catering section. During the hiring process if a candidate shows any ambition or ability to think for themselves, send them elsewhere. You don't want to throw your patrons into pulmonary arrest when they come across someone who actually cares.

4. Train your stock boys to strategically place skids and displays of stock items in the middle of the aisles.

Give them an extra incentive to make sure the room around these monstrosities is at least two inches narrower than a shopping cart.

5. Place motion sensors in your produce section so the sprinklers will go off when shoppers reach in to grab the vegetables. In addition to ensuring your produce stays relatively fresh this will also ensure your patrons' hands are washed.

6. Play elevator music that the average person wouldn't be caught dead listening to. Throw one really great song that I love into that rotation and wait until it comes on before you page Latisha to Aisle 6 for clean-up. Oh, and make sure the person paging her doesn't speak a word of English and talks really slow, so I can miss as much of that song as possible. Yeah, that always makes my shopping experience more pleasurable.

Any wonder I don't enjoy grocery shopping?


  1. Hi Crabby!!! I see you love your shopping:) I've wondered about the coconut surplus everywhere... good to know you noticed as well. Actually, I avoid the supermarket like the plague. I honestly and truly DETEST going there. I go when I run out of EVERY option at home... like the old cereal in the back of the cabinet is gone and the bread is multiplying and turning colors. So I understand the frustrations. There is always Whole Foods which = heaven, but unless I win the next lottery I won't be shopping there every week.

  2. Oh my gosh this post made my DAY!! You are so hilarious and yet everything is so TRUE. I am the shopper who brings the list and buys everything except what is on the list b/c I had forgotten about it. Haha! And number five on that same list was really funny.
    And the grocers list made me groan. I don't know how many times I have bumped into displays and had my hands drenched with water.
    And the grocery store I go to always plays "My Heart Will Go On" like every ten minutes. Tragic.

  3. Cindy: It's refreshing to hear from a woman who feels this way too. Usually seems to be a 'guy thing'.

    Jennifer: I guess the trick then is to get your shopping done in nine minutes. :)

  4. this is HILARIOUS!! I kept thinking to myself 'yup, yup, yup, yup. true,true, true' with each point! FANTASTIC! I'm the 'no list grocery shopper, that buys way more then needed' ;)

  5. Since I'm the one who drags poor Barry to the store, I have a confession to make. I'm the list maker who doesn't check her list until the end of the shopping trip. I am getting better. Maybe with a little more therapy, I'll resolve this issue. I try to give him a break from time to time. I don't particulary enjoy grocery shopping, but hey ... I am a shopper although clothes, jewellery and shoes are a LOT more exciting.