Fun at the Grocery Store?


I hate grocery shopping. It’s right up there with dusting and cleaning the litter box as my least favorite — but necessary — household duties. Most of my friends can’t understand my aversion to grocery shopping. But for me, what’s fun about it. You spend money on something that’s going to disappear all too quickly, or spoil if you don’t use it.

And the temptations! Grocery stores seemed determined to make me gain weight, featuring more and more lovely baked goods, antipasto bars, cheeses from around the world, and tempting deli “salads.”

When I lived in Chicago I actually ordered groceries online, and had them delivered. It proved to be the most painless way for me to get through the chore. But that hasn’t been an option for me the past four years, so I’ve had to suck it up and enter grocery stores.

Last Sunday afternoon, I headed into my local grocery store, grumbling to myself, in a properly foul mood. But then, something strange happened. The store wasn’t very crowded, so I figured I could get in and out quickly.  Usually this store plays rather innocuous, soft music, but the minute I entered the produce section, a series of classic Motown tunes began playing over the sound system. I’ve always loved classic Motown, and these were great selections; My Girl, I Heard it Through the Grapevine, The Tears of a Clown, and so many more. I actually found myself slowing down a bit (clever store) and had to resist humming (or heaven forbid singing) to the tunes. And then, before I knew it, many of my fellow grocery shoppers were actually humming and singing with the tunes.

Yes, people were happy in the grocery store, smiling at each other! But it got better. When I was checking out, Shout by the Isley brothers came on, and all the checkers and baggers began singing, and some began dancing along. All of us paying for our groceries began laughing and smiling even more, never mind how much we were paying for our groceries. It was just one of those rare, public moments, where I had a lovely time with a group of complete strangers. Somehow, everyone forgot themselves and had a pleasant moment. And for once, I left the grocery store smiling.

Have you had one of those odd moments in public? And what about grocery shopping? Do you love it, or do you hate it?


13 thoughts on “Fun at the Grocery Store?

  1. Tee

    Offhand, I can’t remember an event such as the one you had in the grocery store recently, but I’m sure there had to be some during my life. But, really, that sounded like fun for the moment.

    In answer to your other question, I would rather have ten root canals (I know, they’re not painful anymore, but I’m thinking of former times) than shop. And that goes for clothes as well as groceries. My husband loves to go, but with me. I’m trying to get him to totally take it over. I go in with a list and stick with it, but he doesn’t. I want in and out as fast as possible. But he loves to travel each aisle (ugh) and browse.

    The same goes for clothes shopping. No interest unless I’m forced to do it because of a special event. I do enjoy little-shop browsing, the kinds of places that sell odds and ends of anything and everything. But even that can become stale if overdone.

    I think we moved too quickly thru the line when the shopping genes were being handed out.

  2. LinnieGayl AAR Post author

    Tee, it was fun. And I think you’re right, I definitely missed the grocery shopping gene. I HATE cruising up and down every grocery aisle. Like you, I go in with a list and really try to stick to it. The only thing I’ll browse at all is the produce section, in case there are some good looking fruit or veggies. But even those are on my list in a general form “fruit for breakfast,” “fruit for lunch,” “veggies for dinner,” etc.

  3. Sandy AAR

    I’m a no-nonsense grocery shopper. Every few weeks, I have a big online grocery delivery, but still have to go several times a week. I’m in and out as quickly as I can.

    That does sound like a fun experience. I can more remember moments of sharing humor with one person. I was buying a sweater once and the young girl who helped me began to wrap the sweater in tissue. Just let me put it this way: No sweater in the history of sweaters has EVER been wrapped as meticulously and lovingly as this sweater was wrapped. Seriously. It took like three minutes and about half-way through I looked up and met the eyes of another store employee (probably her manager) and he and I shared a moment of intense amusement at the care she was taking. She was so wrapped up (ha!) that she didn’t even notice.

    Another time I was on a train and on the other side of the aisle one row in front of mine I became transfixed by a man who was carefully and painstakingly combing ONE long section of hair from one side of his head over the bald spot. It was a comb over in the making. He combed it meticulously for about five minutes until it was exactly as he wanted it and ended by spraying. My god, did he spray it! There was another woman directly across the aisle who was equally transfixed. She and I shared a big (though totally silent) laugh at the poor guy.

  4. Missie

    I generally enjoy grocery shopping — but then, I enjoy planning out meals and such, too, and consider cooking/baking to usually be a relaxing “hobby” for me, so…*shrug* The grocery bill makes me cringe, of course, but it is a necessity — we gotta eat, and when you try and eat as healthily as possible (lean meats, fresh or fresh frozen fruits/veg, reduced-fat foods, sugar-free or reduced-sugar items, lower carb/higher fiber items), the $$ on the bill add up even more quickly.

    As for a shared public experience of joy — hmmmmm. I’ll have to let that rattle round in my brain a bit more.

  5. LinnieGayl

    Sandy, how cute about the clerk at the store, and ewww to the comb-over guy.

    Missie, yes, trying to eat healthy always ends up being more costly for me as well.

  6. LeeB.

    I don’t mind grocery shopping at all. Of course, I don’t go down every single aisle. Now when it comes to Costco, I always go with a friend, and we do go up and down every aisle, especially so as not to miss any of the free samples.

  7. Lynn M

    I’m like Tee in that I hate any kind of shopping. I head to the mall only when I’m desperate for a particular item for a particular event, and then I’m complaining the entire time. I get nearly all of my clothes at Kohls because it’s close to my house, I can find everything I need in one place (I pretty much wear jeans and solid-color tee shirts so I’m not a fashion maven by any stretch), and everything is always on sale.

    As for grocery shopping, I’ve somewhat adopted the European habit of stopping by the store nearly every day or every other day to pick up just the things I need for that night’s meal or for perishables as they’ve run out. I simply don’t have the patience to plan out weeks’ worth of meals and shop for everything. Too, I get a lot of my boxed and canned goods at Target where it’s cheaper so I don’t have to do giant grocery store runs. God forbid if I have to go on a weekend when it’s crowded.

  8. CindyS

    I also hate grocery shopping and avoid it by making hubby take me out to dinner all the time. I will also make up lists on Saturday morning that Bob will go and buy so I don’t have to go. When I do go it’s because we’re desperate – not a stitch of anything in the house and then some.

    As for music in stores – I’m that odd woman you will see not only singing but dancing in the middle of an aisle. Life’s too short to let a good song go by ;)


  9. xina

    I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it either. I put off grocery shopping for as long as I can, but once I get myself into the store, I’m fine. I do have to say that I like shopping at Trader Joe’s. All the workers there are so darn friendly, it’s really hard not to smile a lot.
    Oddly, I have to do this today. And guess what? I’ve been putting if off, but once I get there…..

  10. Missie

    Cindy S, I’m the same way…it’s a running (but good-natured and sweet) joke with my son about how many times I’ve embarrassed him by dancing or singing…in the living room, in the street, in the store ;-)

    I’ve assured him that it will give him fond memories :-)

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