By Wayne William Cipriano
Have you ever noticed how older guys shop at the supermarket?
Women of all ages who find shopping to be a productive as well as socially-rewarding activity start at the corner of the store nearest the carts, walk the aisles back and forth selecting this item, rejecting that item, until they reach the other side of the store and then they push their overflowing carts to the cashier, taking no more than fifteen or twenty minutes to purchase a month’s worth of supplies.
It is different for us when we go to the market for stuff. We’re pushing the cart with one hand, holding our reading glasses with the other hand, juggling our shopping list between the two, peering hopefully along each aisle trying to find the next item on our alphabetical list, tracing and retracing our path throughout the store.
We are willing to ask an employee where something is, but we can’t ask for more than two things, because we cannot remember that many directions and we are not adept enough at the shopping thing to write down the aisle numbers. And, each time we have successfully located an item we can only find the same employee time after time to ask for the location of the next item, making us feel silly. But we have to ask, getting tired walking around and around the store.
Occasionally, we see someone we know to ask, (always a woman, never a man usually as lost as we are), but again as with an employee, only one item at a time. And, so we trudge along asking very legitimate questions like, “Why are all the things we like or can afford hidden on the bottom shelves?” or “Why don’t they shelve items alphabetically?”
Is it any wonder then why guys like me, when we finally discover what we seek, we buy two (or three or four) in order to avoid this deeply humiliating experience for as long as possible?
No, my sarcastically questioning grandchildren, it is not senility responsible for the six bottles of Geritol in Grampa’s pantry. It is merely pride.