My wife cannot go shopping with me.
How does she shop? I don’t know exactly. I only know that she does not go in a straight line and spends more.
LIST. That’s how I shop. I only need to look AT and FOR the items on my list. The list says 5-grain bread…and I look FOR 5-grain bread in the section labeled “Breads.” She, on the other hand, looks at 17 types of bread (3 minutes) and puts the 5-grain bread in the cart. Why? Who knows! She establishes a social event with bread, I guess. I ask, “What are you looking for?” She says, “I’m just looking.” Me: “Why?” She: “Just because.” It makes no sense…but she’s always been more social with store products than I.
Once, a few years ago, she said she had to go to a store for a few items. I would have been gone for less than an hour. I planned for her to be gone two. Three hours and 45 minutes later she called, “I’m on my way home.” Me: “Did you have car trouble?” She: (Confused) “No…why?” Me: “It’s been nearly 4 hours.” She: “I was just looking and lost track of time.” I’m thinking, two hours is “losing track of time,” 4 hours is a mental breakdown. By the way, she came home with 2 (two) items. That’s 2 hours per. If I had been shopping that long I would have had two carts of merchandise. That’s 2 hours per cart. But I never do that.
Recently I forgot the rule. We were at a small grocery store (5 center aisles and a frozen section). We were “together” until we entered the door that swishes aside because there is some rodent running on a wheel. 11 seconds later I realized my mistake. Aaaaarrrrrgggh! I was almost to the “Bread” section and realized she was not anywhere nearby. She’s an adult, so she does not need to be by me all the time. However, looking back I see that she was “looking at” vegetables (½ a store aisle back). Were we planning on buying vegetables? None were on the list. In fact, we had lettuce and tomatoes at home from last shopping trip (mine). Did she pick up a package of vegetables? No. I visually scanned the prices as I scooted through and instantly decided there were no especially good bargains that would make having extra worthwhile. She was checking the carrots to see if the color was right. I think she was imagining the field in which they were grown and the farm implements that planted and harvested them. She might have been asking them (not aloud) if they had a pleasant experience being in the soil. “How are you getting along with the rutabagas?” It is a vegetable social event.
HUNTER vs GATHERER. Some would say “Men are hunters, women are gatherers.” Aside from the fact that it is “morally wrong” to even mention differences between the sexes anymore (some buy what used to be women’s bathing suits, except they now have a “tuck” pouch)…it is also not being totally honest.
Truly I am a “hunter.” Not all those who were born un-wombed are. There are a vast range of acceptable behaviors. My shopping goal is to get in, get stuff, ignore other shoppers, and check out in the quickest manner possible. I want to be on the road home before the 11am traffic jam (just in case there is one). In other words, I think ahead. I’m already thinking of the drive home when I enter the store.
That being said, I have rarely shopped with other males or females. I don’t know how other people shop, except by what I see other shoppers doing. As I said, there is a range. Some leave their overfilled shopping carts in the exact center of the lane while they check on some do-dad they have no intention of buying. Others jump places with me, and I jump places with them multiple times in the short time I am there. Those people, like myself, have no need to kibitz with fruit or cereals or paper products.
I know how my mom shopped because as a young’un I was enlisted to ride in the shopping cart with my legs dangling out the “leg holes.” She was very “hunter-ish.” Maybe she had to be because she had limited resources and 7 to feed. She was there long enough to get the stuff on her list, check out, collect the S&H Green Stamps and drive home (with a standard transmission) before it was time for my nap.
Does my wife think ahead like I do? No. She’s thinking about the juicy canned foods gossip. Her mind is NOT on “Gathering” at all. She is engaged in conversations with labels, products, and packaging. It is an adventure and there is always something new in the next aisle.
There are benefits with how my wife shops. The greatest benefit is that, for her, shopping is something positive. It is enjoyable, even relaxing. For me it is neither enjoyable nor relaxing; it is a chore which must be tolerated. I am glad she enjoys the adventure. The two shopping patterns barely live in the same universe. They are matter and anti-matter.
Thus, the RULE: My wife cannot go shopping with me.
Copyright 2023 Donald Whelpley
[PLEASE NOTE that Don is always open to discussing the thoughts and opinions he shares here and welcomes comments as shared in the comment section. He doesn’t use other social media platforms, as I do, and won’t see whatever you’d like to share with him elsewhere. ~ Sherry]
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