I went to the supermarket a couple of weeks ago. The Port Chalmers’ branch of New World to be precise. I like New World’s because, somehow, I always know where things are to be found…except one. I also like the muzac tracks they play; pop from the 80s and 90s that I invariably know the words to, and therefore enjoy a good singalong whilst boogying with my trolley.
“Nutter”, I hear you say. But surely no more a nutcase than the woman who bought $75 worth of Lotto tickets at the counter behind me whilst my groceries were being scanned But I digress.
The fruit and veg department was the first port of call, the purchasing of which cannot be entirely pre-determined by a shopping list. You know how it is – in your head are the basics like potatoes and onions, but most other selections are determined by matters like: the season, price, quality, freshness and stamina.
“Stamina” is the word I use for the estimated time fresh produce will stay useable once I have transported it to home environs. I am also wary of freshness because everything in today’s “fresh” produce departments looks dewdrop fresh due to being intermittently sprayed with tap water. Well, not the mushrooms. If they started spraying them supermarkets might find themselves in the soup – literally.
Anyway, I completed my reconnoitre and began with the carrots. Having eschewed the cheaper bulk bags (only two of us to feed) I selected 6 of the smallest, popped them in a bag, turned around to dump them in order to leave my hands free for a rummage through the broccoli heads, and ….yes, you guessed it, my trolley had gone.
I located it almost two aisles away, half-full of random items, and in the hands of my husband. We had entered the portals of the supermarket as a couple but thereafter we became strangers in the night (well, it was 6.30pm).In the relatively short time I had spent mentally appraising vegetables he had whisked through the meat section, grabbed cans of this and that, and snuck in a bag of frozen beer batter fries when he knows I prefer crinkle-cut. An interrogation of sorts ensued:
“Why is that $24 frozen leg of lamb in there?”
“It was a bargain.”
“It was in the freezer.”
“And that means – what exactly?”
“It’s probably cheaper.”
“Never mind that, it’s huge and not cheap. There’s just the two of us, you won’t ever eat leftovers, we don’t need it.”
I then exchanged the canned tuna for the one on special, replaced the 2 porterhouse steaks for a pack of two T-bones reduced for quick sale, put the sugar back on the shelf (2 kilos of it in the pantry at home was plenty) and exchanged the creamed corn for corn kernels – he doesn’t read labels.
it didn’t simply end there.
I took a firm hold of the the trolley, smiled beatifically and said (as quietly as possible so as not to cause a scene), “Leave now. Go to the carpark and sit in the car until I’ve finished here.” And he did. Like he had done twice before. Because only three times in the entire 17 years we have been a couple have we attempted supermarket shopping together.
No more attempts will be made.