Sunday, March 28, 2010

Grocery Lists? Cart Rage? Long Lines? I'M IN!

I have always dreaded grocery shopping every Sunday. Nothing about the process entices me.

First of all, going grocery shopping requires a shopping list. A shopping list requires pre-planned meals. Pre-planned meals require a knowledge of cooking. And this is where I am doomed. For over three years, I have been tackling Taste of Home cookbooks, Rachael Ray magazine, and There is certainly no Julie & Julia success story here. I have mastered about five recipes (basics such as spaghetti and tacos included), and anything else I attempt usually results in wasted time, wasted mess, and a phone call to Dominos. So, as you can imagine, the thought of sitting down to write a grocery list for the week's meals is a very stressful task for me. Unless we want spaghetti, tacos, grilled cheese, and frozen pizza for our four "home-cooked" meals each week, constructing a menu demands a lot of my time.

As if planning the meals isn't bad enough, trying to find the ingredients I need in a warehouse-sized grocery store on a Sunday afternoon is just pure hell. If you really want to see who the nice people and who the rude people are in the world, go grocery shopping during the busy peak.
HOLY CRAP! God forbid you take more than 6 seconds to choose which crown of broccoli you want. Before you can even reach for the plastic bag and twist tie, someone is huffing and puffing, glaring at you from over their cart, threatening with their eyes to run you and your cart over if you don't hurry up, stuff the broccoli in the bag, and beat it. Or what about the traffic jams in the middle of the aisles? Watch out! How dare you contemplate which salad dressing you want while others must wait for you to make your choice! Instead of a simple excuse me, many like to either push your cart out of the way with theirs, or passively aggressively huff and puff behind you, with ATTITUDE written across their face. So uncomfortable. On the flip side, there are the people who never notice that there are 16 people with carts waiting behind them, trying to make their way through the aisle. I can't think of many places that have more impatient, rushed people than at the grocery store on a Sunday afternoon.

Needless to say, I've never been a big fan of grocery shopping for these two primary reasons (and I didn't even delve into the inevitable fiascos that take place at the lunch meat counter each week...). But something miraculous has happened in the last month or so. I JUMP at the chance to go grocery shopping! To go alone, that is. Grocery shopping on Sundays has turned out to be a win-win situation for me and my husband. He gets to lounge on the couch, watch basketball, and spend some time with Aubrey, while I get to go out alone- sans car seat carrier, diaper bag, and impromptu feedings. Suddenly, I don't mind constructing menus and dealing with crazy crowds...compared to the demanding needs of an infant, the patience I need to grocery shop is a piece of cake.

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