Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Grocery Shopping: I Hate It.

I don't like grocery shopping. Assuming you read the title of this post, that should come as no surprise. To hate grocery shopping is pretty shitty when there are people in the world that are starving, but what can I say? 

There are three basic parts to it. They are, unsurprisingly, before, during and after.

Part 1: Before

One day I'll notice I'm low on ingredients, so I improvise and throw a few random things together. Sometimes this leads to a brilliant mistake, for example barbecue sauce in mashed potatoes (that shit is good.) 

I start thinking, maybe this wasn't some happy accident (it was). Maybe there's a chef inside me that has just made itself known, (there isn't) and I should cultivate my new found talents! (I shouldn't) Ignoring my own parenthetical advice, I go on and try to create culinary masterpieces with but a few seemingly uncomplimentary ingredients. 

I'll just substitute rice for the everything!

Then one night I try to make a meal with hot dogs, cabbage and a banana and realize it's time to go grocery shopping, which means it's time to make a list.

For some reason, instead of putting foods I plan to eat on this list, I make a list as if I'm trying to impress someone. I'll put all kinds of fancy shit on it. Maybe I'll even put one new vegetable on every list! Because I'm six! Yeah! FUCKIN' PARSNIPS AND SHIT. 

My kitchen, soon.

Now it's time to actually go to the store. I set my list down, get my coat, keys, wallet etc., and head out the door without my list. I could even be closing the door to my apartment when I realize I've forgotten my list, but TOO LATE. CAN'T GO BACK NOW!

Part 2: During

I'm at the store now, which means I didn't get hit by a car on the way over! Nice! Since I didn't bring my list, my new plan is to walk around aimlessly and pick up some things that I know for sure I'll need, and mentally cross them off my mental list. This leads to a lot of wandering. My strategy seems to be:

1. Wander as far away from eggs as I possibly can.

2. Realize I need eggs.

3. Get eggs.

3. Wander as far away from bread as I possibly can.

4. Realize I need bread. 

And so forth...so after I've covered something like six miles in the store, the bonus ingredients on my original list, like "rutabaga" have fallen by the wayside. I try to think of the last few things I need and do my last bit of aimless wandering. By now I've encountered quite a few people that shop, how should I say..at their own pace. 

These people are basically tortoises. 

"Just buyin muh chips"

They'll stand around essentially motionless, and if they do decide to push their cart around, they'll do so reluctantly. They're also completely oblivious to the entire universe. They'll station their cart perpendicular to the aisle, stand between it and their food, then spend the next fifteen minutes comparing the unit price on fifteen different kinds of peanut butter.


I casually stroll up to them, pretending my sole purpose in life right now isn't to get by them. I shuffle closer, gazing at all the products on the shelves that I'm not actually considering buying at all, and think about how much I hate this person. The whole time I'm expecting them to eventually notice me and say "oh excuse me" and waddle out of my way. They DON'T. I want to poke these people with sticks, and see if they actually try to find the source of the poke, or just mindlessly swat at it like a fly. 

So after piledriving my way through a few of these slow-pokes, and some obligatory run-ins with the same people in at least three different aisles, I'm finally ready to check out. It hasn't been too busy, so I'm expecting to get out of their quickly.


Doesn't matter what day it is, or what time it is. By the time I'm ready to check out, the lines have become like the lines at IKEA on a Saturday afternoon. I go to the back of one, then think of "Office Space" as I watch all the other lines dwindle while mine is being held up by some asshole that's paying for his groceries with a combination of food stamps and three different debit cards. Finally it's my turn, and after the cashier engages in the absolute minimal amount of conversation and eye contact, I'm on my way home.

Part 3: After

By the time I step through the door of my apartment, all the things I've forgotten rush back into my memory with such force that I have to steady myself against the wall. So I put them on the list. Haha! That was of course, a joke. 

It doesn't matter what I've forgotten, because I'm a fucking master chef again. 


  1. Apparently, the same aisle hogs that shop in my grocery store also shop in yours!

  2. sooo funny... i was laughing out loud. ~your cousin emily

  3. Hey, I was a cashier, and I always tried to make pleasant conversation! Maybe you should stop by Ohio and go to Rodhe's IGA sometime. They hire the finest. Also, the grocery stores in Italy are the size of my kitchen, so everyone is an "aisle hog." But, I ran into Amanda Knox's lawyers coming out of the grocery store today, so that's a plus.

  4. How did you know who they were? Were they wearing signs? And yeah check out brooklyn grocery stores. Every cashier is utterly miserable.