Monday, September 22, 2008

The Cookie Monster

I saw the article below and it made me laugh. First of all, I love that he says he has switched from butter to margarine (good choice!). Second, the article focuses on men shopping in grocery stores. Ladies, do you take your husbands/boyfriends to the grocery with you when you go? My boyfriend truly believes the four categoies of food are potato chips, dip, cookies and beer. Every time I send him to the store for eggs or milk or something sensible he comes back with the newest "sensation" of potato chips that we've just got to try. He's almost physically incapable of only buying what's on the list.


Of Men and Groceries
Overheard at the superstore: "No, put that back." I looked for a patient mom dealing with a child who had snatched some forbidden goodie from the shelf, a regular moment in any supermarket.

There was no mother, no kid. There was, however, a wife dealing with a spouse who was "helping" with the shopping. An embarrassed man looked at me, shrugged and put the package of chocolate chunk cookies back in the display.

Some wives have adopted the immutable rule: spouses must not be allowed to participate in the shopping. Of course, that is unfair and unfortunate for it removes the opportunity of enhancing what many men believe is a boring shopping list.

Recent welcome additions to food shopping options in London -- stores like Sunripe, Remark and the Real Canadian Superstores -- have become mandatory destinations for husbands, veritable treasure houses of heretofore unavailable goodies.

Women are practical shoppers, men are not. We gravitate toward the really important stuff in the deli department, ethnic food aisle and, of course, nirvana -- cookies.

Check out the contents of a sensible wife's shopping cart: lots of vegetables, fruits, grain bread and the occasional family treat such as frozen yogurt. Now look at a man's choices: smoked trout, very old cheddar, hot sauce, garlic dills, Mexican salsa and cookies. Of course this man is on his own, he's "helping" by doing the shopping and his wide grin and devil-may-care approach means he's shopping solo.

Couples shopping together agree to split up. No, not that, I mean they go their separate ways when she says, "Honey, I'll get the bread and vegetables. You get the margarine (I once ate butter before my ticker troubles, alas now it's margarine), the eggs and the milk."
Advice to wives: Don't send him on his own to the dairy section. He'll come back with chocolate milk.

In some cultures, men do not do chores such as grocery shopping they believe are traditionally what the missus should do.

That, though, is changing in some regions in the East. Recent reports indicate Asian husbands are challenging traditions and becoming more involved in helping with the food shopping.
In Singapore, it is now noted husbands' involvement includes not just shopping, but influencing what to buy even though in that culture wives are still the principal decision-makers about food. Marketing communicators and advertisers would be wise to portray more husband-like figures in their messages to reflect their more active role in grocery purchasing.

Here follows a joke, or so I was told by a friend I encountered recently at the supermarket. He told me of a husband and wife doing their grocery shopping in an American store. The man picks up a case of beer and sticks in into the shopping cart.

"What do you think you're doing?" asks the wife. "They're on sale, only $10 for 24 cans", he replies. "Put them back. We can't afford it," says the wife and they carry on shopping.

Later the woman puts a $20 jar of face cream into the cart. "Whoa, what do you think you're doing?" he asks. "It's my face cream and it makes me look beautiful." The man replies, "You are already beautiful and 24 cans of beer will make you look even lovelier to me."
Great line, and I think he was allowed to keep the beer.

When in Florida, I've noticed grocery stores have wine and beer sampling, a civilized example of customer service that would be frowned on in Ontario. One supermarket recently threw in free pizza samples and it was reported there was a sharp increase in the number of men volunteering to do the shopping.

I'm told a London wife and mother handed her husband the grocery list and he put it in his pocket unread and headed off to the supermarket. He faithfully selected only the items on the piece of paper and then glanced at the last item, probably something very practical and saw this: "When you see this, you are done shopping -- come home now."

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