Sunday, August 14, 2011

Merrily Shopping

I’ve discovered I like grocery shopping. To be more exact, I like grocery shopping in stores that have bars and allow you to carry your drink around while you shop. I am not making this up. And to think I once thought it was stupid that shopping carts contained cup holders.

St. Pauli Girl and I recently went into the big city to do some grocery shopping at a store that I’ll call Whole Lotta Grocery Shopping and Tavern. Turns out that they have a real bar in their wine and beer section. After an hour of exhausting grocery shopping, we parked our cart, bellied up to the crowded bar, and ordered a glass of wine. And a cheese sampler. And then another glass of wine.

The grocery store ambience wasn’t great mostly because of the lighting, but the people watching was fun.

Me: Seems like everyone here is having a really good time.

St. Pauli Girl: Maybe it’s just us.

Me: I’ll drink to that.

The grocery wine bar has a small but nice selection of wine that can be ordered in flights or by the glass, as well as several draft beers. And since the bar really doesn’t need to make a lot of money, the prices and servings are very reasonable. Plus you can get your drink in a plastic cup to carry with you while you are shopping. And for you misers out there, guess what? The credit card slip doesn’t have a tip line! You don’t have to leave a tip, and you can blame it on the store. Or you can do what the guy next to us did: “Well, I’d leave you something, but there’s no line on the credit card slip. [He rummages through his cart.] Oh wait! Here’s a rutabaga for you.”

As we enjoyed our time in the bar, I tried to think how my life might have been different if these stores existed in my younger days:

Me: What are you doing tonight?

Friend: Going to Kroger’s. They’ve got 2 for 1 Coronas.

Me: Forget that! Albertson’s has 99-cent well drinks. Plus they have the best produce.

Friend: You’re right, fresh produce is the ultimate chick magnet. I’ll meet you there.

Although my friends always said the grocery store was one of the best places to meet women, it never worked out for me. Probably because my pick-up lines consisted of something like, “Hey, I see we both got the Salisbury steak. Do you know if you’re supposed to remove that little corner of peach cobbler before you microwave the rest of it?”

Yep, these youngsters have it good. Now you can amble slowly through the store sipping on a cabernet, and when you see a hot girl loading up a take-out container at the salad bar, you can take the opportunity to hook her with something like, “You know, that’s the same bean salad my grandmother used to make, God rest her soul. How ‘bout I buy you a beer over at the bar and give you the recipe?”

Our shopping trip/happy hour finally came to an end. I’ve never had more fun spending $200 on groceries. As we drove home, I said to St. Pauli Girl, “You know, I’ve been thinking we need to make our household chores a little more equitable, take some of the burden off of you. From now on, why don’t you let me do all the grocery shopping?”

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