Grocery Store, Food Shopping, Supermarket…whatever you call it

I don’t like it. Whenever I don’t like something, I invent a “system.”  I have invented so many “systems” over the years, I challenge any bureaucrat to a bitter competition.  If I am not happy about something, the “system” needs to change.  My life is not working in some way, a new “system” is in order.  I admit to imposing my “systems” on others on a regular basis.  My children are the unwilling recipients of most of my system changes, revisions and reorganizations.  Hun has lived through so many “system improvements” that he has essentially given up even pretending to know where things are, how they are organized or in what fashion I am administering things.  No one gets to vote on a system change.  On a very rare occasion, a loved one might… if I am feeling generous, might, be able to express an opinion about the system.

If it doesn’t work, I know, you really don’t have to tell me.  I have another one up my sleeve waiting in the wings for  the eventual change in “systems.”  At certain points in time I have requested large pieces of furniture to be moved, sold or given away to implement a new system… only to require the re-purchase of a similar piece sometime in the future when I need to re-work the “system.”  I have even implemented a “system” wherein my two children were not permitted to speak to or see eachother before school for several months so that they could both eat breakfast and leave for school without killing eachother, or me, for that matter.  It worked… we all survived and have lived  to resume eating breakfast together again.

I am not too shy to invent new systems for the management of money, the payment of bills, the activities and foods that one can eat in my car, the way we speak to eachother, how homework is done, the bedtime rituals and the interaction of all humans within the walls of our home.   I am not at all embarrassed to admit that I am usually the first to abandon my system.  For as much of a control freak as the previous paragraphs make me out to be, I am not such a control freak as to actually have the energy to enforce the new “systems” and therefore, they , like many of their governmental social program ancestors, are doomed to failure.

Food shopping – the chore done all over the world – is my latest system improvement project.  I have often found it quite a mystery why a person who loves to eat as much as I do would loathe food shopping this much. I actually feel physically ill in the supermarket on many occasions and I often put it off until the last minute making due with whatever is still lurking in the pantry closet.  This morning, when serving a breakfast that included pink lemonade and gummy cherries ( along with some orange juice, waffles and cheerios lest I be reported to DYFAS) I concluded that the inevitable trip to the market was looming.  

So, just go with me for a minute.  First you drive IN the car to the market, get OUT of  the car, go IN the store, take things OFF the shelves and put them IN the cart.  Then wait in line for your turn to take the same products OUT of the cart and put them ON the conveyor belt thing.  Then, not five minutes later, you take the very same things you just took out of your cart and put them back IN your cart.  Go outside, another mere five minutes later and take them OUT of the cart and put them IN your car.  You drive a short distance home and take the items OUT of the car and bring them IN the house.  You then you are expected to promptly take them OUT of the bags and put them IN their resting places.  That means, within the span of just over an hour, we IN, OUT, IN, OFF, IN, OUT,ON, IN, OUT, IN, OUT, AND IN. Am I the only person who finds this curious?????

My systems for making shopping more enjoyable have included, shopping alone, shopping with someone, ordering food to be delivered, shopping only at the closest market, shopping only at Wegmans, shopping only in small specialty stores, shopping in farmer’s markets, butchers, and bakeries, shopping frequently and buying only a few things, shopping rarely and buying in bulk, shopping slow, shopping fast, shopping with coffee, shopping while eating candy, shopping while talking on the phone, shopping while listening to my i-pod,  and finally,  shopping unconscious…

None of the systems have worked.  The latest system improvement has been paper bags… the old fashioned brown kind.  I love them… they are helping.  You can fit a lot more in them and they actually stand up.  You can put them in the car and they stay where you put them.  You can carry them in and feel good about yourself because at least they look organic-ish and don’t leave painful marks on your wrists while you carry them in.  

I like it…  and I cannot believe I just wrote 869 words about grocery shopping…

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