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(SNN) Supermarkets are merging into conglomerates and new companies are taking over old pick and purchase retail areas.  Buying an emergency bottle of gherkins could take me as much time as searching for—Amelia Earhart, which is actually my lover’s hobby.

Grocery shopping is a hassle anyway you look at it. If it wasn't for hunger and a good chance that I'd win the lottery this time I would let the butler do it; although, heaven knows he has enough to do with shining the silver in my mouth and appearing as the usual suspect in murder mysteries. That's neither here or there or hither or yon so let's get on with the point if I can remember what that actually is.

Oh yes, it's the time consuming part of combining markets so large that by the time I enter a store for a few things and finally leave, I have to shave my legs again. I don't remember the make of my car either.  The lot looks like a sci-fi flick. Dazed people, keys in hand, wandering about hoping their familiar vehicle will ever so gently call out, "Yoo hoo, over here, hon."

If marketing were all I had to do it would be great. But I have a very full life that involves searching for my 106 remote controls with the rest of my day spent inquiring; where is my other shoe, cell phone, directions to a meeting, or those forever hiding car keys? 

With my search and rescue operation, there is little time for shopping in these mega stores. I fondly recall the old days, shopping at my local grocer who was a little gray-haired man, who greeted me with a long white apron and a smile.  He also wore pants.  He sold food and that was it.   

Today's super duper markets are different. It’s impossible to stick to a list. Show me a person who does and I'll show you someone with shelf-control, shweetie.

Stop shop supermarkets (say that with a tootsie roll in your mouth) now include cleaners, banks, and nurseries where you can buy lush green plants that expire on the way home. They could overwhelm us, except for the beautiful music soothing our distress.  On my last trip they played a delightful frisky ditty. Fantasizing I was Beyonce’ I pranced to a guy at frozen foods who melted my Haggen Daz.  We boogied down the aisles. Unfortunately, I lost him to cupcakes, the checkout gal.

I need to ask this question.  Am I the only one who feels inadequate in the produce section?  I've seen melon pickers tap fruit and listen to its thump with such intelligence it made me weep.  I, on the other hand, have bought green bananas that over ripened in my car, have mistaken red plums for large cherries and picked cabbage a starving rabbit would ignore. I have come to terms with the fact that I am a failure as a produce plucker.  While I am willing to live with that deficiency, I wonder if this flaw is the reason I wasn’t chosen from that new age dating service for old broads, 

I am convinced there is no ideal moment to shop. I once went in for one item, in the middle of the night, on our most revered national holiday during a snow storm and had to wait in line so long my coupons expired and I didn't feel that good either.

Spending so much time there does not prevent me from forgetting to buy something for dinner. Do I panic?  Do I return to the market?  Never!

That’s the time I burst into my favorite song:

"I deserve a break today, I'll go out and get away,

 As any brilliant shopper knows;

To the cooked food and wine aisles at ole Trader Joe’s.”


Jan Marshall is the author of Dancin' Schmancin with the Scars: Finding the Humor No Matter What


Photo: Some Rights Reserved by Nicholas Eckhart Flickr photostream. The Sage nor this article endorsed. The original image can also be found here.

DISCLAIMER: The above article is OPINION.The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the authors of The Sage Opinion and forum participants on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the The Sage News Network or the official policies of the The Sage News.
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