Men can shop. I shop. Moreover, I am a highly competitive shopper. This is Guy Shopping, in three scenarios.
I’m one of those guys who, if shopping “solo,” can zip through the aisles, getting everything on the shopping list. Sometimes I time myself. It’s like a “Wide, Wide World of Sports” event for me. As I exit the supermarket, cart full of groceries, I look at my watch, a big smug — almost “45-ish” smile on my face. I quietly proclaim in a “Howard Cosell-Marv Albert” way, “Yesssss!!”
I’m on my game as I begin shopping. First stop — Produce. As I check over the tomatoes, a cougar lady in stilettos, low-cut tank top and stretch jeans — strikes up a conversation about how nice it is to see a man knows how to handle tomatoes. I switch into my TV guy mode, wrap the chat, and move on. Next aisle, it’s the “groupies.” Folks who grew up watching me on TV. They’re blocking my access to the pasta sauce, and other canned goods. I do two or three minutes of my greatest hits and move on.
The deli section is always difficult. There are inevitably two or three people buying a quarter pound of everything. They must taste a piece of each item to make sure it’s quality stuff. Oy!!
Now, I’m trying to make up ground. Taking short cuts through various aisles and BAM — elderly people, crying kids and a Mr. Know- It-All, blocking access. I silently curse their birthrights and smile my TV guy smile.
Finally, finally I’m at the checkout counter. Groceries bags are lined up in front of my stuff on the counter. The “hot and cold” bags are clearly open to be used for frozen food, meat, and so on. I slowly and clearly explain how the bags should be used. You know — perishables into the “hot and cold” bags. Please pack evenly.
I always bring extra shopping bags so I don’t have to lug overloaded bags up two flights of stairs.
What was I thinking? It’s like I was speaking Klingon. Outside, I repack stuff at the car, loudly cursing the gods. The drive home is slow. Very slow. Probably the same folks who blocked the supermarket aisles.
I enter the supermarket and eyeball the “self check out” section. Do I have the smarts? I promise myself to try. I can do it. Fast forward — I approach the checkout counters, eyeball the “self check out” counter. No! I don’t have the courage. No true grit. Maybe next time.
Note: I omitted the folks who still ask why I don’t have “my people” shop for me. Yeah!