Today I learned what an apricot is, because I picked up a peach thinking it was an apricot, but it was not. That was my dumb blonde moment of today. However I must not be too hard on myself, because I grew up in a house where we rarely ate fruits other than bananas, apples and oranges (I’m guessing these are the top three fruits that come to mind when everyone thinks of fruit). Mum and Dad didn’t buy exotic fruits because when they did no one would eat them, perhaps we were frightened by the foreign colours and textures and the bother of the pip in the middle.
As a kid I would race my sister down the grocery aisles dodging people and trolleys on the way, it was like a massive playground for me. Now I am either slouched due to the weight of the shopping basket (I don’t buy enough to warrant a trolley) dragging my feet while debating whether I need to pay $2 more for 2 litres of milk, and cursing the cold fridge section. Or I might just happen to be hopping around like a kid on Christmas morning because I have enough money to buy some kind of alcohol (preferably the 4 pack of Bulmers apple cider over the cheapest pinot gris with highest percentage of alcohol available).
Being a successful grocery shopper is not easy. You can try so hard to avoid the gut wrenching feeling of getting home and realising you forgot a necessity such as bread or tampons; but more often than not it is inevitable. And then you will check the list and can almost forgive yourself if the item was not on the list, but if it was this could be the breaking point of your long adult day. Time to slide down the wall and cry. Cry until you laugh at yourself for crying because you failed at grocery shopping. (This is by no means a true story).
Labels are supposed to be read, and so I advise everyone to read them accordingly. My first ever grocery shop alone I thought I had done so well (stayed under budget and everything), until I got home and tried to make a cup of tea. Opening the box of tea, I did not find tea bags but tea leaves. Something I thought was only in movies or China. My new flatmates laughed at me and said I needed a tea strainer. We did not have one, or else we did but it was broken. I drank that entire box of tea leaves over a two month period using a miniature sieve, like for sieving flour but only tiny amounts. Since that experience I’ve been with tea bags all the way.
When mum did all the grocery shopping for the family it was only natural that everyone got to pick out one treat. One impulse purchase. If it wasn’t chocolate or sweets, occasionally it could be something slightly more expensive like a notebook or new markers. It meant that mum held the power while shopping, if any of us started “causing a scene” she could take away our special treat far quicker than she had reluctantly handed it out. My impulse purchases today kind of depress me. They are never chocolate or ice cream or any sort of comfort food. My impulse purchase is always one red capsicum/pepper (I grew up saying pepper, people here say capsicum so both are appropriate I think). Sometimes I put it in a curry, other times I will stir fry it. If I was feeling wild I might have the balls to eat it raw. Whatever way I eat it I always enjoy it and know that it wasn’t on the list on purpose, so that I could “impulse buy” it and have it as a treat. Which really contradicts the whole meaning of impulse buying, but we won’t loose sleep over that.
Maybe there will come a day when I am less awkwardly adulting and can get the groceries right every time and be happy to do them, but maybe not, and that’s okay too.
Happy grocery shopping!