Friday, September 08, 2006

The Grocery Store....
Most people hate going to the grocery store. They dread it. The lines, the people, the elevator music, the screaming children. I am the complete opposite. I love the grocery store. Some people do yoga, some clean, but for me, there is nothing that clears my mind like a good trip to the grocery store. Grocery shopping for me can be broken into two distinct categories:
1. I have my coupons and I am ready to take you for all you are worth, store! This has become very limited lately, since everyone in California besides Ralphs did away with double coupons. Damn them. Now I go to the Ralph's on Lincoln. Which one, you might ask, since there are three in a row? Well, there is a "fresh fair" meaning the high-end one, then there is a ghetto one by the bowling alley, and the middle of the road one. I go to the middle of the road one. Not to many haughty housewives buying Pinot at 1 in the afternoon and sipping coffee from the built-in Coffee Bean, but not too many children running up and down the aisles and disturbing my zen-like time with Kenny G. It is perfect. Young professionals, college kids, the occasional beach bum, and me. Double coupons are my life. I plan, I save, and I attack. I love it when Al and I go coupon shopping together. It truly takes me back to the hunter-gatherer days. I meander down the aisles slowly, comparing my savings on this to my savings on that and I get to send Al out on the "expeditions" for the things I know we need. "Here is a coupon for toilet paper. Make sure you get the 12-pack. That is the only one the coupon is good for." While I tend the cart he hunts down the Charmin 12-pack and brings it back triumphantly. When we finally make our way to the check-out, we hold our breath in anticipation of the savings. I hand the checker my large pile of coupons. The game is to see if I can save more than I spend. I usually win. It's my little way of getting back at the man. It is supversion and anarchy of the most benign kind...and really, that's all I'm up for. Peace rallys and marches aren't really my thing...but sticking it to the supermarket, that's the stuff.
2. The second kind of shopping is the truly relaxing kind. I walk in the door, open a soda, grab a snack, and walk aimlessly up and down the aisles. "Oh, I love this song." "I don't think I've had cauliflower in ages." "I wonder what these crackers taste like." "Which shampoo smells better." This kind of shopping serves as a reward for a hard week of work. I don't take any coupons, I buy what I want, and the trip itself can take up to 3 hours. What can I say, I love food, I love elevator music, you put the two together and you have just about the perfect combination for me.

I used to shop at Vons, back when they were cool and had double coupons. I used to shop at the one in Camarillo with my parents too, but my dad broke me of that habit the day he decided to pretent that an innocent summer squash was a grenade. He bit the top off, looked at me and said, "uh-oh," then he spit the top at me, threw the rest of the squash across the produce department and dove under one of the bins of apples. Then he yelled for everyone to hit the deck. Needless to say that my enthusiasm to go back to that store waned after that day. But thus far nothing has ruined my wonderful Ralphs on Linconln for me. I can only pray it stays that way.


Anonymous said...

I have two comments for you on this one:
1. I can not imagine Al "hunting" for much of anything beyond a 12 pack of Sharman. But the idea of Al all bent over, being sneaking, peering around the corner of the aisle, ready to pounce on the soft and defenseless TP, made me chuckle a bit.
2. The whole squash grenade thing makes me want to hang out with your dad while we are out there in Nov. I would have been under that table with him.

Anonymous said...