I am NOT an impulse buyer, other than an occasional Snickers, pair of $2 reading glasses, or flag decal.
I was at the supermarket today, comparing apples and oranges (Golden Delicious and Navel), and bought some of both for snacks. And then it hit me. What in the world was I doing buying fresh fruit for snacks? I know my mom always encouraged me to, when I wanted a snack, "Have an apple, knucklehead," but why in the world would a kid like me prefer an apple over a Snickers bar or an orange instead of a six-pack of chocolate-covered Spudnuts? Give me a break, Mom. And now, and now, as I "mature," and as I change some of my eating habits out of preference, I am beginning to understand. Always the dim bulb among my friends, who knew better on just about everything before I figured things out, it's getting clearer. Those apples and oranges really are sweet AND good for me. Un-believable! My mom would be proud, after she got over being stunned.
Sitting back in the car in the big Publix parking lot, enjoying the pint of chocolate milk (not low fat) I picked up in the dairy section, along with the jumbo Payday candy bar at checkout, I contemplated the benefits and joys of a refined personal menu, and gave thanks.
In two previous blogs, I wrote about Carenen family shopping experiences; specifically, mine. There was the 7-minute suit and the nails and oven entries. Today, I'd like to expand the source of these blogs and include my long-suffering wife, Lisa, in this series, which will temporarily retire with this offering.
Recently, very recently, we went shopping together on a fine Saturday morning. Our plan was to go to Trader Joe's to pick up some specialty items on the list, one of which was arrowroot. I had no idea what that was. At first I thought it was a reference to an old rock band from the 60's, but I was quickly disabused of that notion. Anyway, we picked up a few items at TJ's and headed home without any arrowroot.
The next thing I knew, we had stopped by the La-Z-Boy store and purchased two leather recliners which were not on the grocery list. Fortunately, they were on sale. It's not as if I didn't know she was thinking about reclilners - I did know. It's just that, well, I didn't realize that arrowroot translated to recliners. Sometimes I miss things.
In any case, I am not the only member of the family with quirky shopping skills. I'm just glad we didn't have to drive by a car dealer on the way home.
The response to my male shopping blog last week was so overwhelming, I have decided to do a short series of blogs about shopping habits of myself and my long-suffering wife, Lisa. A few decades ago, we purchased an abandoned stone house in the country in western North Carolina, and set about transforming the place. One thing it needed was nails so we could proceed with some basic carpentry, so I took the truck and drove into Morganton to the Lowe's. I bought the nails, and also a stove, which we also needed.
Imagine Lisa's surprised when I came home with a stove instead of just nails! Talk about a smart shopper. I don't think she expected me to return with nails AND a stove, but, hey, we needed one, and I'm pretty sure they were on sale. It was beautiful. White. And it worked right away.
I think that was the first of our Carenen family shopping saga, and a story that refuses to go away, appearing and reappearing in small gatherings of family and friends. And, heck, why should it go away? I'm proud of it.
Anyway, I hope you, dear reader, are impressed with my shopping acumen and overall wisdom when it comes to participating in our capitalistic, consumeristic society in which we live so comfortably.
Next blog? Well, I want to surprise you, but it has something to do with arrowroot. Stay tuned.
I'm afraid the main reason for the season around the end of December is, for many people, shopping. We're all familiar with people being stomped to death fighting over bargains, shoppers shattering glass doors of Big Box stores to beat each other to sale items, lunatics camping out for days in line in order to seize good deals ahead of anyone else. These behaviors call for a Three Stooges group slap to bring them back to their senses.
I do not engage in such activities. I DO shop, and I'm good at it. For example, when my niece was getting married a while back, down in Florida, it was decided I needed to buy a suit. I used to have a couple-three suits. Back in high school, where I played basketball (and the older I get the better I was), I had two 3-piece suits available for road trips, where we had a suit-and-tie dress code. But I didn't shop for them. My mother did. And they fit.
So, with a wedding looming and pressure to suit up, I went shopping. By myself. I forget the name of the store, but it was a big store, a chain, and it had men's clothing. Seven minutes after entering the store I was leaving with my suit. And it fit. I had gone directly to the "Men's Clothing" department, found a conservative dark gray suit with light, narrow pinstripes, and bought it. On sale, a detail I didn't know until I paid the cashier. Truth is, it would have been a "5-Minute Suit" except that I tried on the jacket still wearing my sweatshirt, which made it a little snug. But an astute sales lady suggested I try the jacket on without the sweatshirt. Perfect. And I was on my way. Today, the "7-Minute Suit" is a quirky part of family lore.
At Christmas time, I enjoy giving gifts. But my long-suffering wife buys the gifts for our daughters, so that frees me up to shop for her. Sometimes our younger daughter feeds me info-tips on what my bride might like, data acquired over the previous year while they were hanging out. This year, a few days before Christmas, I went shopping downtown (I hate malls). It took forever to purchase my beloved's gifts. Fifteen minutes. One store. So, what did I buy her? Well, three gifts, actually - an article of clothing, a scarf accessory, and earrings - all coordinated aesthetically into one stylish fashion statement. She was genuinely pleased.
And the article of clothing fit. Some of us have the gift, others not so much.
I drifted into one of those snooty supermarkets, you know the kind, where they have hand-held-throughout-the-growing-season arugula for sale. Let's call it, hmmm, "Elitist Market." Anyway, I only went there to get four items. Four. I knew they would have them. I mean, if I could buy Norwegian goats' milk cheese from animals that listen to Chopin as they sleep, I could find four items in that supermarket. Four items. The main one was a key ingredient for Swedish meatballs from a recipe given to me by one of my students, a fine young lady from Sweden who is at Newberry College to earn a college degree and play golf. The item was blackberry current jelly. Elitist Market did not have it! I looked high and low and found a wide variety of jellies, many whispered to in the packing process, and Elitist Market did not have it.
I was frustrated, convinced that the end times was near. They didn't have the other three items, either! I walked out of the place empty-handed, muttering.
The other four items? Milk Duds, Banana Flips, and candy cigarettes.
The apocalypse looms.