I abhor grocery shopping. Okay, I’ll admit using the word, abhor is a bit strong, because I love to eat, but really the concept of grocery shopping…ugh. Let me rephrase: I love to grocery shop if I’m planning to spread my love of cooking and share a lusty and delicious meal with a friend, or two, or more…but other than that, for me, the weekly grocery shopping experience is just a pain in the ass. I’m a Euro-trash girl at heart, I suppose. I city girl that dreams of a market that’s within walking distance from my house. A cute, little family-owned joint that carries fresh produce and homemade treats. I’ve found these types of markets all through Europe and some of the bigger cities in the U.S., like NYC, Boston and Chi-town. I love that concept. I enjoy going to a local market every couple days to pick up what I need, but the walking distance family-owned market and finding the time both thwart me. So, instead, each week, I write out my laundry list of necessities: milk, yogurt, spinach, empanada dough, bananas, fish, mew-meow food, mew-meow litter, etc, etc. Yawn – boring.
Today, as I pulled my basket filled of weekly food items up to the check-out stand, I took a gander at what the guy right in front of me had in his basket. I wasn’t being noisy. Oh, no, I wasn’t. Just curious. I’m sure everyone does this, right? Well, anyway, it wasn’t necessarily what he had in his basket, but it was how he had arranged the food items inside his basket: heavy, bulky items lined the bottom and the rear of his cart, and then medium weighted things went in next, until the final lighter items sat weightlessly on top.
Then I looked inside my cart: there was mound of mismatched goulash-like of items tossed in with what appeared to be really no rhyme or reason. I looked into his cart again, then into mine. He saw me looking and smiled. His smile begged dialogue:
Me: “Wow. Your shopping cart arrangement is so impressive.”
Him: “Yeah. There’s an order to it. If you put things in the basket the way I’ve arranged things here, *he waved his hand over his basket’s contents, like a magician waving his wand* then the checker packs them that way as well.”
Me: *Silence as I looked inside my cart’s contents again* “Oh. Well, it appears I go for the cluttered look. I tried to rearrange as I went, saving the fragile produce for last.” I felt proud of my response and felt a little better about my shopping cart arrangement, knowing that I really did have some organization shopping skills.
Him: *casts a disapproving look as he looked inside my cart* “Oh.”
Me. “Wait. Are you an engineer?”
Him. *bellows in laughter as he nods his head*
Me: “I knew it!”
Him: “Are you more of the creative type?”
Me: *Ponders answer* “Um, yes. You could say that.”
Him: “Are you a creative writer?”
Me: “Is there a bright red sign across my forehead I’m not aware of?”
Him: “I took a stab.”
Me: “Well, that was pretty good stab, Mr. Ginza.”
Him: “How did you know I was engineer?”
Me: I smiled, but my thoughts screamed: *REALLY!*
Him: “No, really, I’m curious. Have you had some experience with engineering.”
Me: “Um…well, sort of. You could say that I’ve had some experience with engineer types.” I think I was blushing now.
Thank God it was his turn to put his items on the conveyor belt, thus he was distracted from asking me anymore questions. I could proceed to pretend to peruse a house decoratoring magazine.
Him: “Hey, let me know if you’d like for me to show you how organize your basket some time, okay? *Hands me his business card*
Me: I take the card and smile. My mind races: *am I NOT getting hit on by another engineer? Is that possible? He wants to give me shopping cart arrangement lessons.* “Oh, okay. Thanks.
I can’t make this shit up-