Monday, February 27, 2012

A Day in Hades

Winter is almost gone, although it never really arrived, and I am doing OK

Woman Hurrying with a Shopping Cart clipart
I do not usually do the food shopping.  When we were first married, we used to do this outing together, but then I kept having babies, so hubby took over that chore.  He loves doing it, I hate it and so this worked out perfectly for both of us.  Now and then I will run to the store to get a limited number of items that I have written on a list and only enjoy it if the store is small and  running the aisles does not take up a great deal of time.  Hubby can be gone for up to three hours and will go from store to store looking for simple items.  He looks over each purchase, checking dates, prices and flaws.  He does all the right things; I don't.  I want to get in and get out.  However, when I shop, we actually have the makings for a meal; when hubby shops, we have cartons of paper towels, plastic bags, and the latest new blue food.  "New, blue, and improved" is his mantra.  This is one of the reasons we eat out quite a bit.

Couple With A Shopping Cart clipartLast week we couple-shopped at one of the largest grocery stores known to man.  It is called Wegman's and is a heaven for foodies with time on their hands. These stores can have 140,000 square feet with aisles going here, there and everywhere.  The store is packed with over 70,000 food and non-food products, large masses of people with giant grocery carts and what seems like more employees than the federal government.  Many of the departments were giving out samples that day  and hubby was on a master-quest not to miss any of them.  We must have sampled 4 or 5 soups, tasted all types of imported and local cheese, had my arm twisted to try a decadent dessert, and finished up with some beer. During all of this, I managed to pick out some things to buy, but hubby took each item out of the basket to check over and give his seal of approval. Consequently, most of what I had put in the basket went back on the shelf.  I was getting heartburn from not only the food that I had consumed on the run, but from the anxiety of shopping together in a store that was out of my element.   It is not that I did not appreciate all the variety, but the crowds, the expanse of the store, the time wasted looking for items that always seemed to be on the other side (which was like a mile down the road), but mostly it was the shopping-togetherness that was causing heart palpitations - big time.  After two and a half hours we made it outside with our four or five little bags of cheese and ingredients to make tomato-basil soup. Before we left, hubby did suggest that we stop at Wegman's restaurant for more to eat and maybe a glass of fine wine.  He had no idea that I was not having fun.  How could he have missed my crazed eyes, my quivering chin and my body language of angst, pure angst.  A glass of wine, no way, I needed the whole bottle after a trip like that. 
Black and White Cartoon of a Horrified Woman clipart
I had to get a physical checkup a few weeks ago before I underwent a small procedure last week. My sweet old doctor asked me how I was doing in my retirement.  After I told him that things were improving, he left me with some sage advice for long-term couples.  He reminded me of the marriage vow, "in sickness and in health", then he added the line, "but never lunch."  To expand upon that, I would include "and never shop together at Wegman's unless you want till death do you part to come sooner.

I think next time we should try four-aisle Trader Joe's. It's all about baby steps.  Maybe then we can work our way up to a 6 aisle Whole Foods in a year or so.

Yes, baby steps, that's the ticket!

22 comments:

  1. I have never ever heard of that store or one that big - but I can sure understand your story! sandie

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    1. People either love it or hate it. They have built quite a few in our area in the past few years and have been the reason for so many long established stores to close. However, they employ many people and pay them a fair wage.

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  2. It must be like shopping at Costco. I can never leave without getting way more than I need. All those samples saves having to buy lunch. Have a good day.

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    1. It is larger and more upscale than Costco. I like Costco as it is more departmentalized. They are expanding all over and may soon be in an area near you.

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  3. Thanks for your comment on my blog. I have replied there. Sue

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  4. Your husband sounds a bit like me. As the cook in the house I prepare all the shopping lists and do the shopping. Everything from a simple tube of tomato purée to a leg of lamb has to be just right. AND, I enjoy every minute of it.

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  5. I hate big stores too. I also hate big packs. In the US the packages of food are always twice the size they are in Europe. It depresses me to buy huge quantities of stuff, 10 eggs instead of 6, those half gallon packs of icecream etc. I am not slim or small but I can't manage the size of meals either in restaurants. The only thing they sell smaller is butter. You can't get under 1/2 lb of butter here usually unless you buy very pricey classy brands. So I was always glad to just purchase 1 stick of butter!

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  6. OMG! This is toooo funny!! But I totally agree. Grocery shopping is a torture. Funny about the retirement thing. My husband keeps talking about us spending eternity together. And I have to remind him sternly...it's "til death to us part!" There is no "eternity!". Oh, dear Lord, women never get a break!!! Love your blog!

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    1. A few hours in Wegman's with YOH can feel like an eternity.

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  7. Oh my...I would not be able to handle a store like that either! Ugh. Lol! My parents joke that my Mom calls the Church and tells them to call my Dad to have him come and volunteer just to get him away from her. He always wants to be right by her side and she just wants space. They are a kick! Glad you survived and hope the wine hit the spot!

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    1. Yes, they do that. When you are young and have kids, they are not to be found. Later on in life when you want some space, there they are.

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  8. Mom - the aversion to grocery stores must be in our DNA. At least at Wegman's you can get a drink - what a brilliant idea!

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  9. My patience ends at the candy aisle. His patience ends when we hit the cleaning products. I hate shopping.

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  10. Okay everyone....here I am the only nut that LOVED Wegman's...when we visited and "hubby" took us there it was amazing...we have nothing like that in the "wild North"....I could spend days there...but I also like to cook and they must have it all...we didn't make it down half the aisles...but you must remember "hubby" and I are related....hope all is well!!!

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    1. I do like their restaurants and take-out food. Why cook when they will.

      If I could have walked around with a glass of Pouilly Fuisse, the experience would have been better.

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  11. Dear Arleen,
    So sorry to have been away from your blog for the past week or so. I had a big project that needed completion and so left the blogging world to post on without me. But now I'm back and I so enjoyed this blog about shopping. I laughed out loud several times. Thank you for delight.

    Like you, I'm not a shopper. I go into a store--one I know--and go right to the aisle in which the item I want can be found. I find the other items quickly, without looking left or right, and then check out. Too much stimuli does me in. Some 70,000 items would have me running down the aisles screaming for sanity!

    Peace.

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