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Clean up in aisle 4!

I dislike grocery shopping and try to avoid it at all costs. However, due to the inane belief that happy marriages embrace compromise and the sharing of unpleasant tasks, I do the grocery shopping, while my husband has the responsibility of changing the cats’ loo. While he is the custodian of the litter box, I am the concierge of confections – the porter of produce – the matron of the market – the one stuck with stocking the staples and filling the fridge. And quite frankly, I’d rather be the scooper of poop, but sadly the whole happy marriage notion runs strong in our family and so without fail, once a week if I am lucky, twice a week if not, I arm myself with reusable grocery bags, don my mask and pull up my proverbial big girl panties and embark on the unpleasant pilgrimage to the grocery store.

The first three things on this week’s grocery list were as follows: crickets, cat food, dog food. The fourth and final item was trash bags. The crickets are easy, we order them in every week because freshness is so important and if they are less than fresh, the bearded dragon will refuse to eat them. Our two cats are super finicky. No friskies for these boys. No meow mix or kitty chow. No, our kitty connoisseurs insist on only one brand of kitty crunchies, the expensive one. And as for our dog, well he is a gentrified geriatric who would happily eat anything put in his bowl but sadly now requires a senior’s menu with soft, easily digestible food. By the time I’m done getting the pets’ groceries, my cart is half full and my wallet half empty and I haven’t even started shopping for the humans in the family.

I have learned from past mistakes to avoid shopping on an empty stomach. Last time I went shopping hungry, I came home with aisle four. All of aisle four – why I thought canned cocktail weenies, six bean salad and four packs of raspberry jello were required is still a mystery. Even when I pop into the store to just pick up milk, I end up with a hundred dollars of grocery, three more reusable bags (because, of course, I only needed milk so I didn’t bring any bags) and no milk because I got distracted by the fact that they had cherries in the produce aisle. Yes, cherries! In December! Shrivled, tiny, cherries! Cherries that were priced somewhere akin to the price of gold per gram. But cherries! In December! So while we may not have had milk to go on Cherrios, we did have cherries, shrivelled tiny cherries, that if my husband should ask, were on sale for a fantastic price.

And how is it I always seem to pick the cart with the wonky wobbly wheel? The one that screams as I try to discreetly push it in a straight line. The one that makes it look like I have partaken in sampling all the wares in the liquor store. The cart that becomes possessed with the front wheels spinning around like the girl’s head in The Exorcist. Skip the clean-up in aisle 4 – call for an exorcism.

By the time I get to the last few rows of the store, the ones with the essentials like ice cream and pizza pops, I find myself getting road rage stuck behind slow-moving traffic. My inner voice is just screaming at the person in front of me who has stood with the cooler door open for the past minute staring at the ice cream. Of course, I smiled and said I wasn’t in a hurry and go ahead take your time, I’m in no hurry. I’m a good Canadian girl, what else was I going to say? So after pretending to read the labels on the lactose-free frozen treats, I am finally able to move forward because, after an agonizingly long amount of time, my fellow shopper finally selected their ice cream. F’n hell! Vanilla! I waited for them to select vanilla?! Shopping sucks!

Exhausted, I drag my four bags of groceries, which somehow add up to the cost of a car payment, into the house. Grateful that my shopping obligations are done for the week, I unpack my puchases only to have my kid open the fridge and say, “Mom when are you go shopping? There’s nothing to eat!”

Asking for a friend: anyone know if any of the grocery stores in town do online shopping?


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