A few (unfinished) weekend shopping thoughts.
When – Saturday morning
Where – Supermarket car park
Struggling to wrench a trolley away from the long line of trolleys. AAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!
Oh f***, I’ve got the trolley with the wonky wheels. Three wheels each one going in a different direction and the fourth wheel stuck fast like someone has welded it to the trolley.
No one else has got an erroneous trolley. Why me? As I battle, my way around the supermarket, with this obstinate contraption, violently cursing under my breath all the other shoppers are effortlessly gliding round like Stepford wives on rails, all wearing slightly glazed happy shopper expressions.
Welcome to the weekend drudge of weekend shopping. As usual I’ve lost my list so whatever ends up in my trolley will follow the three-thirds male shopping equation:
1) Stuff you might remember from the list + 2) the basic foodstuffs you always buy when you go shopping + 3) stuff that you like but that the wife never buys on the pretext that either it is too expensive or no one else likes it.
Into this three thirds equation, there is a fourth third – vast quantities of stuff on special offer because it is on special offer and …
« What did you buy all that beef for? » asks the wife in absolute consternation, as I unload several kilos of meat on to the kitchen table. « We’ll never eat all that!»
« Of course we’ll eat it. I’ll make us a nice bœuf bourgignon. » My culinary enthusiasm is however short lived, killed by a long sideways, sneering stare from my daughter. « NO. » she says in a forceful teenage tone, reminding me that the last time I made us a beef stew, we were eating it all week.
« Come on, a nice bœuf bourgignon. You like my bœuf bourgignon. »
It’s then I realise that if I am too make this most traditional of French dishes, I’ll actually have to go out and buy extra ingredients, those ingredients I didn’t buy because I never reckoned on making a stew in the first place. – Potatoes, carrots, onions and lashings of wine to drown the meat in. More expense. Perhaps buying the special offer beef wasn’t such a good idea.
Yes, the average male makes a lousy shopper compared to the common sense, parsimonious female of the species. When I do the weekly shop, the fridge is always bursting with food, though as my Better Half says « Sure you’ve bought loads of food, but there’s nothing in there that would actually make a meal. » And of course, when the wife goes shopping, the fridge always looks as empty as it did before she went, but by some kind of magic, there is enough proper food in the fridge to keep us all in healthy, balanced meals for several days.
I’ve come to realise that I will never be a careful and sensible shopper.