One Foot

One Foot

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Life Happens At The Grocery Store

I had to laugh many times over the holidays at the arguments of couples in the grocery stores.  The gender perspective continues to amuse me.
I ran into an older couple in the dairy department.  She reached for the butter and as she placed it into the cart her husband said, “What are you gonna do with THAT much butter, Martha?” She signed with clear exasperation and responded, “I’m baking.  I use a lot of butter when I’m baking.  I need butter.”  He then gives his own heaving sign of exasperation. 
Too much money?  The refrigerator at home is full of butter?  He has a butter phobia?
Another couple in the produce isle was the classic example of people who should never shop together.  Although just beginning their venture, evidenced by an empty cart, he asked her what she needed NEXT. (Sigh of fatigue followed). She says “tomatoes” and reaches for a bunch of vine grown fruit.  “Not THOSE,” he says and picked up the Romas that were cheaper and placed them into the cart.  “THESE are a LOT cheaper,” he says.  She takes them out of the cart and puts them back on the shelf.  “THESE are the ones we need for the salad, “ she states and puts those into the cart.  They argue as they walk through the aisles.
They can’t afford an additional .25 cents?  He doesn’t like tomatoes anyway?  They argue over every item purchased?  (Whew, that would make shopping an adventure, wouldn’t it?)

I really liked the tactic taken by a young fellow at the Sam’s store, our local big box store.  As I pass through the cheese isle, I see the guy with one of those really nice phones taking pictures of the parmesan cheese in large pound containers – then the shredded mixed Italian, etc.  The process went on several minutes and I couldn’t figure out what he was doing.  
Was he a hired comparison shopper?  Why take photos?  So I peeked around the corner and was just ready to ask why he was taking photos when I saw him dial and speak into the phone.  “So WHICH one do you want, Dear?” (Sigh)  
Oh, gosh, aren’t phones convenient.  I can’t help but sympathize with the guy as I remember too many trips to the hardware store to exchange plumbing parts that weren’t the right fit.

My own vision of a happy couple is one where the couple shares the kitchen.  I imagine the roomy, modern space with plenty of area for his chopping (wine glass nearby) and her companionable salad flipping (with wine sips).  They chat about the issues of the day and cheerfully put the ideal healthy meal on the table.
That probably isn’t going to happen, is it?  Well, heck, happy holiday shopping to all my friends.  May your carrots not be wilted.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Do We Go Consumer Blind at Christmas?

          I don’t need as much outdoor wear as I once did when I enjoyed winter sports, but one item I can’t do without are my Polartec 180 earmuffs.  I have a bad right ear and unless covered, I have pain that will send me inside in minutes.  This week the temperature dropped to under 20 degrees and I couldn’t find them.  Emergency declared.
         Spent two days in the stores looking for similar product while an internet order came in.  Of course I shopped the Penny’s, Targets, and various sports stores and found many alternate models.  After trying them all on, it became clear that these products are not only inferior, the design of such is so bad it would be impossible to warm the ear.  They were not any cheaper even though they were not made in the USA. 
          I asked myself, “doesn’t anyone care if a product works or fits anymore?” Are we so blind at Christmas that we just buy an item without any regard for quality of design and manufacture?
           I looked around at the racks to see much poor quality in sweaters, coats, etc.  At another store I saw household items that would top the impractical list as well as quality of design and the big store that claims to be our community’s friend couldn’t have produced a product of quality if it tried. 
              I sure hope we have reached the "tipping point" of tolerance for bad merchandise.  I went home empty handed and vowed not to buy the stuff.  I am tired of sweaters with arms four inches too long and clothing made of a substance that must surely be recycled soda bottles.  My oldest garment is far better. 

     Come to think of it, I saw some really nice things at the thrift shop this week.  Its sad when used is superior to the products in stores, but at least someone actually had arms the same length as mine.