Sunday, October 31, 2010

Adventures in Grocery Shopping

A funny thing happened on the way to the grocery store, I realized that I was making the trip alone. 

This was a foreign feeling to me.  It was so strange to be inside a store, free to think and look around.  Free to consider prices, ingredients, and potential menu items. 

There was no demand to plow forward up and down aisles, maniacally grabbing any and all items that appear to be on sale. I will generally select anything in my path advertised as a buy one, get one free sale.  This is, of course, how my family came to own not one but TWO hand-operated flour sifters.

During a typical shopping trip I imagine that an aerial mapping of my shopping patterns would resemble the arrival and departure routes of a major metropolitan airport.  I weave in and out of aisles, my only goal to stay as close to the middle as possible, thus minimizing the ability of the children to add any assortment of unneeded items to the basket. 

I have been known to get to the checkout to find a can of artichoke hearts, a box of salt-free crackers, and it is not unheard of for me to unknowingly aid and abet my little shoplifters in the smuggle of check-out aisle goodies carried out to the car unpaid. 

On this particular day however, none of this happened. 

I. was. alone.

I walked, no correction, I strolled through the grocery store on this Sunday morning.  I saw things with a new perspective.  There I was standing in front of a wall of cereal with all the time in the world to ponder caloric content, sugar, salt, fat per serving. 

I wandered over to the cleaning aisle only to find thousands of choices for carpet stain removal.  After spending a significant amount determining the price point value versus the environmental impact of said cleaning products I realized that all this freedom may not be a good thing. 

Did you know that the cashiers will sometimes talk to you as you check out?  I had no idea.  I am usually busy hurling items to be purchased onto the conveyor belt, trying desperately to remember...something????...important?????....what was it????? 

Did you know that the baggers give you a choice?  Paper or plastic?  I have never been given a choice, I rarely even have a bagger.  They are usually scared away by my brood of screaming, squawking children. 

Did you know that there are shoppers who bring their own bags?  Neatly folded reusable bags individually stored in one main bag.  Who are these people?? Oh yeah...they are the people who shop without children. 

I learned a few things from my adventure in solo grocery shopping. 

I learned that without unruly children to propel you forward you will likely spend too much time in the grocery store.  Without unruly children to remind you that you are "never actually going to cook" you will definitely spend too much money on perishable food items that will surely spoil after being placed in the crisper drawer that will become their final resting place.  Without unruly children to use you as a jungle gym, climbing up and down onto your head, in and out of the cart, you will not break a sweat and therefore the trip will not constitute 40 minutes of cardio. 

I also learned that I missed seeing Curly's face smiling up at me from the "bucket seat" and I missed hearing "Pete & Repeat" giggle uncontrollably as they sing silly renditions of nursery rhymes.  I missed the chaos and I missed the company. 

And I also still forgot the milk.


  1. AHAH! I always forget stuff w/o Merrick there with me!

  2. I once got everything to make pot roast BUT the pot roast.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  3. right back at you WhisperingWriter! I have to say my family would applaud any effort to make a roast of any kind. I tried to roast a chicken nugget once...but that is as far as I got:)

  4. I love going by myself..but you are right in that it makes you think you have all the time in the world to prepare a complicated meal. I get home and wonder what I was thinking..too tired after unloading the groceries to even consider what I planned to cook.

  5. Grocery shopping is like motherhood - all the best intentions but only enough "real" energy to just get by:)