The piece below is from my new e-book What Every Woman Needs to Know About MEN SHOPPING! I’m a man who’s shopped so I know what I’m talking about. All you women out there need to know what we go through. So do all of you men who have never shopped. Experience is the best teacher but learning from someone else is far less painful. Check it out.
In my carer days, I once took an aged gentleman to a supermarket. He was a very slow walker. And my job requirement was to get him back to his accommodation within the hour. Once there I was to make his lunch.
Timing was important, meaning an extra stress when shopping.
I had already been in trouble because, some days previously, I’d burnt this man’s dinner. I was to cook his Lorne sausage (peculiar to my native Scotland. Actually, it’s peculiar full stop and is a virtual heart-attack on a plate).
It was to be cooked in his microwave—for which you’d need a PhD in Thermonuclear Physics to work. And I am a mere MA in History.
Not understanding that I should have defrosted the Lorne first, it was burnt when I took it out. It was so hard that if I’d thrown it at someone it would’ve split their head open.
And I’d been late with another of the residents from the same condo when taking him shopping. Again this was due to the shopping lists I’d received from the women bosses.
So I was also frazzled with the passing of time as we trudged through the supermarket.
Slow wasn’t the word. It felt like he was moving about half-speed of a crippled snail. It was bad enough that the only times I had been in supermarkets prior to that was with my wife—and I sat in the cafe reading papers and doing crosswords.
“I’m in enough of a predicament when I see, for example, ‘pie’ on my list.
See, in Scotland we have a pie which the English call Scotch pies. They are quite different from the other kinds of pies we have in this land. And a pork pie up here has to have the affix “pork” before any Scot will know what you’re talking about.
We also have steak pies which are kind of rectangular with rounded edges. We have mince pies, and bean pies and tatty pies and the list goes on.
Anyway. Being in the bosses’ bad books does not make you feel confident when you’re in a hurry with a slowcoach. Worse, when you haven’t been given the specifics on a shopping list—as in pie.
Also, every single item on the list was a general for a specific.
This is further proof of women’s powers of clairvoyance. They really do know what a specific thing is from a general statement. Knowing that they are convinced that men have this same other-world ability drives a man loopy when shopping on a woman’s orders.
I kept looking at my watch to see time ticking away and, to make matters worse, I couldn’t phone back to the office. I’d left my phone at home that day. Having not been in the job long, I wasn’t prepared for all that.
I kept asking assistants what they thought each item could be. A couple of times I got that here-we-go-again-mister glance that you pick up in their eyes.
Get this you women supermarket assistants: It doesn’t help any! We already know that it’s screamingly obvious to you. How do you think that makes us feel?
It only makes a man more confused, embarrassed and nervous. And if there are two of them, you see their eyes meet for that spilt second as if to say, “Do you think they’ll ever get it?”
“Hello, madam,” I feel like yelling, when I witness this, “I am from Mars! What can I possibly know about shopping?”
Then, unbelievably, the supermarket suddenly swarmed with uniformed school-kids.
I do not exaggerate when I say there must have been over a hundred who literally poured in.
This made it almost impossible for us to move.
To my despair, they were forming long lines at the cashier points. And we still had other things to get. When we did get them we had to wait in line behind these rowdy kids.
I was fretting as the time ticked away. We were already well behind time for getting back to the condo.
As we were near to the checkout, with only two kids in front of us—I could not believe it! I noticed that I didn’t have onions or mixed vegetables. I was near to running out and leaving the old guy to find his own way back.
I’d have lost my job but I was past caring.
I then remembered having seen a bag of mixed veg and a bag of chopped onions in his freezer once before. So I “knew” the kinds I was to get.
We had passed the refrigerated foods on the way to the till so, leaving my ward at the checkout, I elbowed my way through the surging mass to find the frozen mixed veg and frozen onions. Grabbing the two bags, I jostled back again through the uniformed crowd.
I was delighted when I saw there was only one schoolgirl before us.
My delight instantly turned to despair when the cashier started having problems with the till. A mechanic was called for.
When he did turn up, about five minutes later, he tinkered with it for about another five minutes before saying something to the cashier. She announced, “This checkoot’s now closed. Yu’ll aw huv tae go to another ane!”
When I looked round, the mob of selfish, obnoxious, nasty, spiteful, moronic, vicious, teenage bastards behind us all darted off into the other queues. We had to start again at the back of another one.
I was as furious as I was worried. They’d never believe all this back at the condo office.
They didn’t. To make matters worse, when I took the food back into the gentleman’s accommodation, his freezer was full to brimming. It also included frozen veg and frozen onions. There was nowhere to put them.
Guess what kind of veg and onions I was supposed to get.
You’d think at least this time that, shopping for my wife, I’d now know what kind of veg and onions I’d be going for.
You would if you don’t know men, that is!’