Impulse buying for me, has this ability to evoke certain blood thumping emotions. It must be a man thing – one of them that easily defines an exercise in futility if you try to understand it.
There are certain conversations that trigger such emotions – say, like “let’s just pop into the supermarket for a sec and grab some things” or “I’m thinking of grabbing a few bits before we get home.”
They have a similar effect to the male psyche when we hear statements like “we have to talk” or “sweetie, I missed my period” or “babes, you remember when I told you that…” – yeah! That kind of feeling.
So when a pit stop at a Tesco petrol station this week turned into a shopping expedition in the supermarket next door, my body defaulted to the “I don’t really wanna be here” mode.
There’s just something about shopping that repels my DNA, and while I accept that it’s a necessity in life, there’s a very big difference between picking a few bits and bobs and going out for “shopping.”
I never really get to know how much drama is involved until that humongous trolley is pulled from the trolley parking zone.
And before I can even utter the words “do we really need this giant thing for a few bits”, there’s that almost dismissive “we’re here anyway, I think we should just do all the shopping now” response, served straight with her ‘“what you gon do’ face.
Well, one option is to go back to the car, roll the chair down and just sink off into the music, but once you’ve reached the stage of being at the supermarket door and seeing that ‘what you gon do’ face, you’ll swiftly rule out this option with a quick reminder not to get out of the car next time. Call it the pragmatism of maintaining world peace and harmony. But even then, world peace has its own casualties, and for me, its that nightmare of being in a mega store that I really don’t want to be in.
I don’t know what it is, I’ve just never liked long shopping trips. Even in my bachelor days, I wrote up a list and either made a painful trip with a very short and specific mission of getting only what was on the list, or I sweet talked a shopaholic friend to do the honors for me.
I don’t remember taking many supermarket trips during college as I was broke most of the time anyway. In fact, I spent more time in the store cafeteria having a meal because of their unbelievable bargains than I did while shopping.
Online shopping was God sent. Whoever thought that folks can just sit at home, browse what they need on the web, click a few buttons and lo and behold, a chap would appear at your door with your groceries is a saint. I became a sucker for typing what I needed in the search box, ticking the check box and adding it to my shopping basket.
I guess my laziness in anything shopping doesn’t prepare me well for the sights and sounds of the modern supermarket.
At least with a shopping list, you can make a quick bee line for what you need and you’re out of the place in a short time.
Most supermarkets even allow you to check out your own groceries with this hand held thingybob so that you don’t waste time smiling with folks in the queue for the till and for nosy people to peer into your trolley to examine your habits.
So this time, I resolved that I should indulge in the spirit of bayer berocca – you never know, I might like it and its better than precipitating an atmosphere that could easily land me on the sofa. I’d already lost the battle of staying in the car.
‘Er indoors however, enjoys going through the whole supermarket, aisle by aisle. I’m made to understand that this is a normal state of affairs. I never even knew that a supermarket could have a whole aisle of bread and bready like products. I think actually what surprised me more is that we spent more than 15 minutes in this bread aisle looking for cheap, good quality bread.
You see, where I come from, bread is either cheap or it’s good quality but it’s not both. So this is a totally new concept for me. It also occurred to me that I didn’t know the price of a loaf of bread…Is this normal? Actually, forget I asked….
Let’s just say that the trip to grab a few bits and bobs ended us with a huge trolley that I could easily sit comfortably in being full with stuff that I didn’t even realize we needed in the house. Just set aside the fact that we were meant to do this shopping anyway, it’s just that we moved from “let’s just pick a few bits and bobs” to a full blown shopping trip under duress.
There was a bonus though – I got to understand those figures in my bank statement better. Like I said before, the price that I thought bread was apparently was the price in 1996. Go figure.
Next time, I’m carrying my 12 point guide to shopping for men who have to do it under duress. Guys, this was sent to me a few years back by a friend and it works if you’re dragged kicking and screaming for them shopping trips. I should have had it with me.
Health warning though: You might end up in the doghouse, or worse still, the only hanky panky you’ll be getting for a while is from late night adult TV subscription.
My fellow brethren, if you’re dragged into a shopping trip under duress, this is what you should do to get out of it next time:
- Take boxes of condoms and randomly put them into people’s trolleys when they aren’t looking.
- Walk up to an employee, tap them on the shoulder and say in an official sounding voice “code 3 in house ware” and then watch what happens.
- Move the ‘CAUTION: Wet floor’ sign to a carpeted area.
- Make a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the feminine products aisle.
- Set off all the alarms in house ware to go off in 5 minute intervals.
- Set up a tent in the outdoors clothes department and tell the customers that you’ll only invite them in if they bring sausages and a gas stove.
- When the manager asks if they can help you, just burst out crying and scream “why can’t you people just leave me alone?”
- While picking and choosing kitchen knives in the housewares area, approach a member of staff with the knives in hand and ask them where the anti depressants are.
- Hide in the clothing rack and when people are browsing, yell “pick me, pick me”
- Run around the supermarket suspiciously humming loudly to the theme tune of Mission Impossible
- When an announcement comes over the loud speakers, coil down in a foetal position and scream “No, no, no – it’s those voices again”
- Walk into a changing room and lock yourself in, and after a while, shout loudly “there’s no toilet paper in here”