Friday, January 9, 2009

I Hate Grocery Shopping - Seriously, I Mean It!

Living in this remote location, it’s a 1.5-hour trip to the nearest grocery store. Naturally, I try to only make the trek once a month. I decided to be neighborly and ask my neighbor (5 miles up the canyon) if I could pick anything up for her and her husband, you know, to save them a trip.

Helen agreed and dropped off her list of 20 items early last evening. As she handed me her list, I asked if there were any special instructions. Helen said that her list was self-explanatory, just regular stuff. As she left, she thanked me and asked me call her tomorrow when I’ve returned.

I hate grocery shopping! I mean I really hate it and I have always procrastinated when it comes to grocery shopping. Once I was down to a few saltines and a can of sardines before I gave in. To this day, I’m still not sure how those sardines, marinated in mustard sauce no less, ended up in my pantry. You know how things seem to make their way to the back of the shelf and don’t ever really resurface until you clean? Not this can of sardines, it was always staring me in the face every single time I opened the pantry door. I took it on camping trips – it came home with me. I took it fishing thinking I might use the little sardines as bait – nope, back to the pantry. No one ever copped to knowing anything about these sardines. When I moved, some three years later, I finally pitched it.

Anyway, back to why I hate grocery shopping, I’m the one you always see walking from the hinter lands across the parking lot just to get to the front door. For the life of me I can never find a parking place close in. I’m the one that can’t separate the carts. Then, after some cursing and a tug of war, I’m the one going down the aisles with the mismatched wheels that causes steering problems and the annoying squeak. I’m the one that pushes the button repeatedly at the meat counter. And, yes, I’m the one at check-out that has more than one price check. I hate that loud speaker! And, one more sigh from that man behind me with his 30-pack of Keystone and a bag of peanuts, I’ll have to turn around and give him “the look”.

Then it’s back to the hinter lands to unload my gimped-up cart. I pray as I load my truck I won’t tear one of those overloaded bags and have to chase cans around the parking lot or fish-out the one can that manages to end up under the vehicle with the lowest clearance. Whew, all done. Seat belt buckled and I’m on my way back home with my load.

Now, here’s a service I’ve often wished grocery stores offered. That kid, the one that overloads your bags, has to come home with you, unload your groceries and place them by aisle-order in your pantry. I swear I’d pay for such a service. So many times, three days later, I’m stepping over the groceries to make my way into the kitchen.

As I prepared my list this morning, I decided to add Helen’s items to my list so, quite frankly, I wouldn’t forget. I unfolded the piece of paper that contained her list and $40. I gave it a quick glance and could not believe what I saw. Look at this list!

1 – Avocado
5 – Cans El Paso whole green chilies
2 – Bottles Tabasco sauce
7 – Cans pinto beans with jalapenos
2 – 1# blocks of hot pepper cheese
1 – 2# block Velveeta and
1 – Unbreakable plastic comb

Good lord! These are not items I would buy and I’m a little embarrassed that they will go down the same mini-conveyor with my fresh fruits and vegetables, the organic milk and juice and the wild salmon. C’mon, Velveeta is a processed cheese food – it says so right on the box. I shudder to think what this diet is doing to Helen and her husband’s gastrointestinal and septic systems. Notice, she did not include Beano, toilet paper or a plunger on her list. But, what she did include was an unbreakable plastic comb. Huh? I had half a mind to call Helen just before I left for town to ask if she had thought of anything else she needed or to gently make mention of my suggestions. I would have, but I was afraid I would not have been able to without laughing.

I managed to make it to-and-from the grocery store without anything extraordinary happening. I am pleased to say I actually got a cart with matching wheels this time – bonus. I gave Helen a call to let her know I had returned. I sifted through the bags and placed her order out on the dining table while I waited for her arrival. This way she could check to make sure I had purchased all the items she had asked for.

When Helen arrived she checked her groceries and placed them in a box she had brought with her. As she thanked me, she took a look around and asked if I needed any help with putting my things away before she left. I guess I looked a little frazzled, being a post-menopausal, pre-osteoporosis woman and all. I just smiled and told her I was in the process (yeah, right) of putting them away. After the refrigerated things were put up, I stepped over the rest of the items, grabbed a bag of grapes and settled in to watch Wife Swap. After all, I have a whole month before I have to go back.


Tony Single said...

I'm with you on this. I hate shopping too. I feel like I'm in a game of Space Invaders every time I go. People just mow you down like you're not even there! I almost get to the point of going postal, but manage to stop short of brandishing a french loaf like it's a machete. It's a good thing too... I don't want to be responsible for a mass culling by bread product!

Midwest Mom said...

Well, at least with sardines, you don't have to worry about the can rolling around the parking lot. (I'm a "bright side" kinda gal.)

And, my goodness! What would Helen think if she knew her grocery list was on the internet! You're lucky velveeta was the strangest thing she wrote down there.

Finally, remind me to stand *far* back from you next time you have a baguette in hand, okay?

Thanks for the laugh! -MM

Walt said...

Well bless your heart, Miss post-menopausal, pre-osteoporosis woman. And a bit of a snob are we not? I must admit I never liked Velveeta cheese. Seems it was first made in 1918 by a Swiss immigrant and later sold to Kraft Foods in 1927. I thought it was something new to our generation, maybe because of Kraft Summer Music Hall, with Perry Como, also with singer John Davidson as host, and comedian George Carlin. The show was really heavy on the cheese. And they did make it look so good, but it tasted like crap!

Spiritual Blogger said...

Grocery shopping does not do it for me, either. More than anything it seems incredibly time consuming, time better spent blogging! At least you were able to craft a story, full of flavour, out of the experience - hold the Velveeta!! =O

Not to rub this in (you might hate me for this) but a grocery delivery service has just started in my suburb. It's like heaven! Order online and the groceries get delivered to your door.

Me-Me King said...

@ Tony Single - not a bad idea, French loaf fencing...en garde!

@ Midwest Mom - I found the combination of all her items strange. Thank goodness Helen is 78 and not Internet savvy..heehee.

@ Walt - "Sing to me Mr. C sing to me." I have a collection of Perry Como vinyl...please don't tell anyone.

@ Spiritual Blogger - I live 45 minutes down a rocky road, then 17 miles along the highway to civilization. I've thought of calling Pizza delivery, but I figured they just hang up on me, at some point, when giving directions.

Lord, I want to be whole said...

I too hate grocery shopping! I go into those big huge outlet grocery stores and get overwhelmed...but the prices are better so thats the determining factor.

I would love to try out online grocery delivery services...that would be a little slice of heaven! haha!

You really have a long trek to get your groceries!

foodhere said...

What, no Cheez Whiz? Those folks clearly need a lesson or two in the art of processed cheese foods. Velveeta is fine, but a real fake cheese lover always picks the Whiz.

I love the unbreakable plastic comb. Too funny.

P.S. Send them folks my way. I have everything on their list and more.

Walt said...

Funny I can remember most of Dean Martin's songs but the only song of Perry Como's I can recall from my deviant childhood, was a song Recorded October 09, 1957 called Catch a Falling Star. I was 5 years old when my mother added this popular song to her stack of 45's. It was not long before I came up with my own version, called "Catch a Falling Turd" It will always be my special song, one that I never sang for my mother. A silly song I sing only to hear the laughter of children. looking back I can see that Perry really was cool, even if I did call him (Perry Commode).

What?? A stepping stone? Tell me more, you are starting to intrigue me.

Real Julie said...

You left me hanging...did you get more sardines to bury in the back of your pantry?

Cee said...

What a crazy order!

I dislike grocery shopping myself!

YogaforCynics said...

1.5 hours to buy groceries? Wow...that's quite a trip, even for Arizona...part of me envies you, and part of me doesn't...that's a duality I struggle with...then, I'm also an active crunchy food co-op member with an appreciation for long as it's not low-fat cheese-food. The words "cheese" and "low-fat" should never appear together....

Me-Me King said...

@ Lord I wanna be whole - Welcome to the club - IHGS! I'd love to have groceries delivered, but the charge out here for such a service would be out of this world.

@ FoodHere - Ya know, Ram, I will send them your way. Be sure to extend to them my discount.

@ RealJulie - No, I have not replaced the sardines; however, I now have a can of Vienna Sausages that have appeared. I have no idea!

@ Cee - I'm afraid the next time I call and offer what Helen will ask for - I'm still chuckeling to myself. And, welcome to the IHGS club!

@ YogaForCynics - Tell me about it, that's why I only go shopping once a month. I love Queso Fresco and I don't think that's low-fat.

Mike said...

I hate grocery shopping, too. Especially when there is a line. I also hate cooking.

earthmother said...

Really? Only once a month? What do you do for fresh produce the other 3 weeks? Do you at least have a farmers market nearby to supplement the big trip/purchase? Now I get why you grow your own wheatgrass and are anxious to get the garden in.

From the looks of her list, I think Helen's having herself a party. Did she extend an invitation?

Joseph M. Fasciana said...

me too, I'm hooked on pea pod.

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