Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Grocery Stores

Going to the grocery store is always an adventure. I already touched on the subject in my blog "Shopping Together is NOT a Good Idea", but this is more specific to grocery stores. It is ALWAYS better to shop without family members, unless you're prepared to take out a second mortgage on your house. You end up at the checkout, and for a moment, you think you might have the wrong cart, because there's stuff in there you don't recognize. A lot of it. The males in my family are very resourceful. They know how to strategically place items, so they're not seen until the moment the cashier scans them.

While we're on the subject of checking out, that brings to mind one of my other pet peeves. I DO NOT LIKE IT when the cashier comments on your purchases. Why would they even GO THERE? They don't have any clue who I am, and/or what I might be planning.
"Oh, I see you have a liter of vodka, roses, stationary, filled prescriptions for sleeping pills & tranquilizers, and straight razors. Looks like SOMEBODY is having a romantic evening!"

I have a secret wish. I would like to work in the dairy section of a grocery store. In the back. Behind the milk, etc. Wouldn't it be fun to mess with the customers. Hold on to items from behind, so they can't pull it off the shelf? Speak in a low, ominous voice, and say "Do you think that's the best idea?" or "Remember your cholesterol", or "What would Dr. Oz say?". Additionally, I could be a perky, helpful, disembodied voice; "Light sour cream is a good choice; less calories, virtually no difference in taste" or "Don't waste your money. Fat free cream cheese is hideous, unless you enjoy eating caulking, chalk, or Mylanta". Or, I could offer hints about the customer's appearance. "Was that really the best choice to wear in public?", or "Undergarments would help that top hang a little better" or "Do you "OWN a mirror?". You know, just being helpful, that's all.

I'm not good around the displays in grocery stores. Especially in the produce section. Who's idea was it to construct these Jenga-inspired towers of fruits and vegetables? More than once, I have attempted to extricate a potato, or (insert ANY item of your choosing, except cantaloupe. I hate cantaloupe), only to have 127 OTHER items topple off the display. And, they don't just fall off.....they fall off and ROLL, so you can't even make a quick getaway, cuz the cart can't get through the minefield of root vegetables you just created. It's not like I'm grabbing at the stack willy nilly. I put some thought into which tater to grab for, and it's ALWAYS WRONG.

It's not just produce, either. Once, during the holidays, there was an elaborate candle display, directly across from the in-store pharmacy, (where there is a perpetual line of disgruntled patients, or WITNESSES, as I like to call them), and I (carefully) chose a lovely candle for our mantle. Okay. They were rectangular in shape, so they seemed stable. They were not. Stable. The entire display came crashing down. It should be noted that my husband and son were with me when this occured. They WERE with me. When I looked up, hoping to see the reassuring, supportive faces of my loved ones, they had fled the scene. Honestly, I don't remember what happened after that. I think my mind repressed it, in an effort to protect me.

Last, but not least, I was shopping for supplies to do some baking. Baking is something that my family loves for me to do. Actually, there seems to be a direct correlation between me, in the kitchen, and the amount of love and affection I inspire. My husband is never more loving than when I'm cooking or baking. AND, if I have an apron on? The look on his face is reminiscent of our early dating days.....he REALLY, REALLY likes me when I have an apron on. I digress. Back to the baking supplies. I needed butterscotch chips for my oft-requested Oatmeal Scotchies. I found the chips. They were piled high, at the end of an aisle ("BIG HOLIDAY PROMOTION"!!). Do I even need to say it? You know what happened. However, what made this particularly awkward, was the fact that those little bags of chips are quite slippery. They DO NOT stack. I tried. They just kept sliding off. I have NO idea how they were stacked there, in the first place. I finally gave up, and threw all of them in my cart. We had to clean out two shelves of our pantry to house those dumb chips. Of course, my husband was ecstatic, cuz he thought I was actually going to make that many cookies. (He's still waiting).

I am weak in grocery stores. I have no self control or willpower. I am a sucker for "NEW!!" items. I AM a marketing dream come true. I buy things at eye level. I buy things at the ends of aisles. Even knowing that I am being duped, I cannot help myself. I KNOW that "Cookies & Cream", "Ice Cream Sandwich", "Chocolate Sundae", and "Oreo" flavors are EXACTLY THE SAME, but they slap a new name on it, and in my cart it goes! And cereals!!! I once had heart palpitations over a new creation "Rice Krispie Treat" cereal. And "Reese's" cereal? Forget about it! In the cart it goes!

Lest you think that I am totally without hope, or good nutrition, let me clarify that these are not everyday purchases. Normally, we mostly eat fresh fruits & vegetables, fish, lean know, all the stuff on the "perimeter of the store", where you're supposed to buy the "good for you" stuff. Once in a while, though, I venture into the forbidden center aisles, and that's where the nutritional good intentions go out the window. Really. It's maybe, every third shopping trip, when something "bad" gets into the cart, or when there's anything "NEW!", which only time.

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