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Is Grocery Shopping Food For Thought?

Oct 9, 2007
Grocery shopping was hazardous to my health. There I was in the supermarket, struggling with an almost overflowing shopping cart that had just developed one of those go-only-one-way wheels, when a passer-by kiddingly said, "Boy, you eat a lot".

Suddenly I looked at my cart differently. Captain Crunch Cereal - no, Matey, that's not for me. Double-stuffed Oreos - I wouldn't eat anything called double-stuffed. Just the word stuffed is an uncomfortable reminder of how I feel for several hours every Thanksgiving. Beer - no, my kind of bud goes in a vase; and I haven't needed a vase in a very, very long time - but I digress.

I wanted to find the passer-by and tell him that it wasn't me who ate a lot. It was my family. Yes, the very same family who was at home doing their own thing. Why was grocery shopping meant to be my own thing? It's as much fun as cleaning Venetian blinds.

Right then and there I made a new rule - or maybe it was a very belated New Year's resolution. "If you eat it, you shop for it". From that day on grocery shopping was a family activity. A family that shops together, gets it done faster and thus doesn't have to stay together as long.

My family, needless to say, was reluctant at first; but suggesting a week of liver, eggplant and corn mush dinners was all the encouragement they needed to volunteer to be my supermarket soldiers.

When we went to the supermarket, there was a plan of attack. Each of us went in a different direction - baked goods, canned goods, dairy and miscellaneous. Then we each got our personal items. Finally we met in produce. Why produce? Because you can't trust sons who think vegetables are their enemy to pick out vegetables. It's like asking them to pick their poison.

After produce had been procured, I checked the cart to make sure everything in it was on the list. No grocery carte blanche was allowed.

Finally we re-grouped at the check-out line, where I had time to pretend I wasn't reading the National Enquirer, my sons squabbled about whose turn it was to get the toy in the Captain Crunch and my husband grumbled about making window washing a family activity.

Unfortunately, it seems a family that grocery shops together gets fed up together. Fortunately, however, I can live with that.
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KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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