I despise grocery shopping, as I suppose 90% of the population does. Of course, there's always that one person who says, "Really? I just love grocery shopping. Feeling and selecting produce is so spiritual." For the rest of us, here's a list of things I strongly dislike about grocery shopping.
1. The planning.
Making a list, stressing about forgetting something really obvious like milk or toilet paper, having Ryan not really participate in the list-making process, but then scrutinizing said list and making comments such as, "Really? Ice cream sandwiches? Are those for Norah, or for you?" Then forgetting the list at home anyway.
2. The parking lot.
You inevitably go at the busiest time of the day, even though you purposefully try different times of day every trip. Then you pull into a semi-acceptable parking spot to find a lone cart in your way. Because the entitled jerk before you thought they were above the societal norms which indicate that putting carts in the cart corral is expected and shows respect for our fellow human beings. And I know some of you may be thinking, "Oh, it's hard to put the cart away when you have a baby/toddler! I can't leave them in the car alone to go put the cart away!" Park closer to the cart corral, or lock them in your car for the whole 30 seconds it takes to do a decent act. Geez, we used to beg my mom to let us stay in the car for the entirety of the grocery shopping mission, and once in a while she'd cave. Because even at an early age, people hate grocery shopping. (I don't recommend leaving your kids in the car while you shop, by the way. I understand times have changed.)
3. The carts.
I know it's cliche to make fun of grocery carts with one wonky wheel. And actually, our regular grocery store just got lovely, brand-new carts. But it still takes the reflexes and strength of a ninja to yank one apart from another. And when you're really tired and out of it, you could be all the way to the coupon bin before you realize you've got 30 carts trailing behind you and bewildered people staring at you.
4. The produce section.
Now, I really love produce. I'm a frickin' vegetarian. But the produce section is a plethora of disgusting sights and sounds not meant to be associated with food. There are people touching, squeezing, caressing, pressing, sniffing, and sometimes sampling food that has the potential to eventually be in your mouth. They're also sneezing and coughing up phlegm, using hands that have been doing God-knows-what, letting their sticky, snot-nosed kids touch, and other atrocities. Yes, we wash our produce when we get home. But there's always the lingering feeling that it's not enough.
5. Going there with a toddler.
This could be a post on its own. Because this blog isn't meant to be the length of a Russian novel, I'll just give you a couple super-short examples: running out in front of peoples' carts, loudly protesting the selection of food, begging in the bakery, popping holes in the valleys of toilet paper packages when you're back is turned for one second, the painfully slow pace which makes the trip a 3-hour tour, the meltdown at the cashier because we've exceeded our time limit of tolerance. Sigh.
6. Not being able to find stuff.
Really? The saltines are next to the soup? Fuck that. They belong in the cracker aisle. What authority declared that all saltines must be accompanied by soup? No one else eats saltines in any other way? And where the hell are my Fiber One pop tart thingers? Luckily, my pal Amy works at General Mills, so yesterday I texted her while staring blankly at 52,476 different types of Pop Tarts, granola bars, cereal bars, and the like. DISCONTINUED? I was so pissed I wanted to ram my cart into a stranger.* Don't worry, I didn't.
7. The checkout.
You are staring at the cashier's screen, watching your bill grow and grow and grow, and you want to change your mind about the donuts and organic hummus and fancy cheese but you can't because you're trapped. And you feel like shit because you probably should have stopped at the coupon bin, but you were too lazy.
You're either at a store that bags for you, which makes you feel kind of guilty because it's probably something you could yourself, or you're at a store where you have to bag your own, and you wish someone could bag for you because it's like playing Tetris minus the fun. Can't make them too heavy. Can't make them too light, or another bag will end up being too heavy. Can't have 40 bags because they won't fit in the cart. Can't squish the hamburger buns. Gah.
9. Unloading at home.
Forgot to purge the fridge of old and suspicious food and leftovers that we never eat, so there's very little real estate in the fridge for new stuff. Tired from the excursion and usually hungry. Ryan always mysteriously gets busy with Norah or something else and it falls to me. I get annoyed and just randomly cram things in cupboards, knowing full well that I won't be able to find the croutons tomorrow and I'll be irritated.
Now we have too much food. Can't decide what to make. Screw it, it's a cereal night.
* Don't go grocery shopping while PMSed.