Friday, February 11, 2011
Single Guys and Grocery Stores
I wanted strawberries. I've been craving strawberries lately, sliced and lightly kissed by sugar. I stood at the display looking over all the containers for firm, ripe berries of an even hue that didn't smell too much like strawberries. If there is a very distinct smell, they aren't long for this world and I don't always get to them right away. I will be eating these berries tomorrow at breakfast, so overripe is not good.
As I'm standing there, a guy walks up to the display and also starts looking over the containers. He gives me a smile and says, "I never know which container to take." I smiled back and said, "I always look at the bottom. If there is a berry that's soft, that's where you'll see it first." "Oh?" he replied. "I didn't know that. Thanks." I smiled, nodded and made my selection.
I get over to the milk case. Now a gallon of 2% is a good deal. A half-gallon costs as much as a gallon. But the problem is, I won't use a gallon over the course of a week. Next Thursday, I'll get my usual milk delivery and it's not supposed to be as cold so it won't freeze the milk. I don't want to have excess milk in the fridge. We all know it will go bad and that's wasteful. There were several different brands of milk. Which one do I want?
"Hello again," came this voice from my left. I turned and here was the strawberry guy. "Strawberries and milk for supper?"
"Um, no. I get milk delivered but it was too cold. It froze and shattered the bottle. I usually don't buy store milk because I'm picky."
"Yes. Oberweise delivers. Check them out online." I nodded and walked away.
Before you 'tsk tsk' at me, I am well aware that singles sites and advice columnists suggest going to the grocery. I remember, years ago, one up-scale chain even had "single's night" with events and promotions such as "Cooking for One". I'm not averse to meeting a single guy in a grocery store or the gas station or the post office. If it happens, it happens.
I moved on to my next stop. I think sliced polish sausage with noodles will be good this weekend. I haven't had it in awhile. It's quick and it makes enough for 3 meals. Do I want to try the sausage that's buy one get one free even though I've never heard of it or do I want to go with the tried and true Hillshire Farms which happens to be on sale? A guy from the meat counter was restocking the shelf and asked if he could help. I said I wasn't sure what I wanted and asked if the buy one was any good. He said it was an "okay" sausage and would be good mixed with things. I thanked him and he walked away.
"I'm rather partial to polish sausage myself." It was that voice. I turned and there was strawberry guy. I had already made my decision and it wasn't polish sausage. I didn't say anything. I just took my Light Turkey Sausage, managed a wan smile and walked away.
Mental recitation of grocery list. Strawberries. Check. Bananas. Check. Milk. Check. Sausage. Check. Walnuts. Nope. I am almost out of walnuts and I must have them for my oatmeal over the weekend. I head to the baking aisle and passed an endcap display of Cheetos. They were ridiculously priced. I have not had Cheetos in a couple years. I'll treat myself. On to the walnuts.
This required math, just a little, but math nonetheless. The 8 ounce bag was $3.69. The 16 ounce bag was $4.99. It took me a few seconds to realize the cost disparity there. Why would I buy 8 ounces of something that will keep, unlike milk, in a container for a few months, when I could get double for just a bit more? As I was reaching for the package I heard, "I prefer pecans myself."
Now, we have crossed the line into creepy, at least I think we have. In the grocery, I'm focused. I just want to get in and get out. The Dominicks where I usually shop is frequented by people I have had acquaintance with due to church or from when I worked at The Bookstore. It's rare, but I will run into someone I do know and we stand and chat. But, I go in with a list and I want to get this done and get out. I probably would not be a good target for "Singles Night at the Grocery", which sounds like a bad rom/com starring Jennifer Aniston or Meg Ryan. I searched my head for a comeback line and decided I was done with my shopping and I best just leave.
The Monday before the storm, when I was doing heavy duty grocery shopping, I attracted attention from a number of guys who you could tell were single. Leaning on their cart and slowing walking the aisles, they were looking at all the women not just the bread or juice. I got several winks, nods, smiles while shopping. It makes me feel that there is a huge sign over my head that says, "Desperate".
Perhaps I should have given this guy the benefit of the doubt. I don't know. It made me feel stalked and when I'm trying to decide 8 or 16 ounces of walnuts, that's not a good thing to feel.
Beverage: Edinburgh's Finest Tea