I understand from my extensive watching of movies and TV, that sometimes men try to pick up women in the grocery store. We make it easy because it’s second nature for a woman to give an opinion to some poor floundering man while he’s choosing produce (or fish or just about any topic, for that matter). It’s amusing watching them maneuver through the aisles with that deer-in-the-headlights look while they attempt to figure out the huge questions of life, like – how do we know if fruit is ripe or not.
I have often given unsolicited counsel to the noticeably naïve, and rarely have I been met with anything but gratitude. Never has even one person thrown a tomato at me (would that be a vegetable or a fruit?). Before I tell you my story of how I think I might possibly have been the victim of someone trying to pick me up in the grocery store, let me relate a few tips that might help the new shopper. I like to make this blog both fun and educational.
How to buy a cantaloupe: Method #1: Choose one. Purchase it. Take it home and cut it open. Taste and see if it’s any good. Method #2: This method eliminates some of the mystery that we’re all looking for when we buy cantaloupe. Scratch and sniff. Scratch the stem end and give it a sniff. If it smells like cantaloupe then you likely have not picked up a watermelon, which is much more difficult to pick up and smell anyway.
On a side note, when choosing a watermelon I apply the thump method. If it sounds hollow when I pluck it with my finger, it’s probably good – especially if it’s in the summertime when watermelon is pretty much always good.
But I digress. Now that you are prepared for buying summertime melons (you might want to bookmark this and save it for review again in June), we’ll visit the ketchup and mustard aisle. This is where things get really spicy. I was choosing a yellow mustard. Because my husband and I are empty-nesters, we don’t use that much mustard; so I look for the store brand that isn’t too big allowing it to form that ugly, hard, yellow crust around the edge, and not too small either so I don’t pay the same price per ounce as you would caviar. This must have been a come-on for an old guy lurking in the lane there because he commented about it. “Picking out mustard. Do you use it on hotdogs?”
First off, the comedic use of observation is only truly effective if you’re Seinfeld. Secondly, my mustard preferences are private, mister. I was polite and informed him I don’t put mustard on hotdogs. I’m not sure why I divulged this very personal preference, but there you go. I quickened my step and moved on, not really giving the exchange much thought. That is until the frozen foods aisle, where I was forced to give this man the cold shoulder while picking out mixed vegetables. He was a little too obvious there. Are people really that friendly? Do others care that I prefer Birds Eye over store brands? I think not. I should have said, “Back off, mister, I’ve already been walked down the aisle – at my wedding!” (Boo-yeah! would have been an optional add-on for effect.)
I was able to give him the slip and leave without being followed (my definition of a successful shopping trip). I remembered that when I was young I would feel flattered if someone inquired about my mustard choices. Now that I’m not-quite-as-young – not so much. Perhaps it was because the man who asked the questions was an old guy. That made it creepy. Or perhaps it was because I suddenly realized that he was about my age. That made it weird.