Friday, January 06, 2006

Do Not Go to the Grocery Store When You're Not Hungry. (Or, The Evil Safeway, Part I)

For those of you who live in DC metro area, let me start off by saying that my Evil California Safeway is in no way close to the Evil Safeways of DC. For starters, some of the cashiers here even say hello to you while they ring up your groceries. As opposed to, say, carrying on a conversation with another cashier three lanes over. But I digress...

I know what you're thinking. All the healthy living advice tells you not to go grocery shopping when you're hungry, because you'll come home with bags full of crap. And that may be true. But let me tell you, going when you're patently not hungry isn't such a great plan either. Case in point: I stopped by the store the other night, knowing that my dinner options consisted of some dried fruit, Crystal Light and a couple of eggs of questionable age. Clearly a trip to the grocery store was in order, and the Evil Safeway is only two blocks from my house. Damn them.

Trouble is, I wasn't hungry. In fact, I hadn't been hungry since about 10am and the thought of food was making my stomach turn. So, without anything else to guide me, I bought what was on sale, thereby entrusting my grocery decisions to the marketing folks at Evil Safeway. Veggie corn dogs, check. Couple of pints of Haagen-Dazs light, check. Liz suggested I have cereal for dinner, so I grabbed a box of cereal (on sale) and milk. Some standard take-to-work items, yogurt and bananas, went into the basket. $30 and five plastic bags later (Yes, they only give you plastic bags at my delightful Safeway. No "paper or plastic?" decisions for me to weigh.) I arrived home and assessed the shopping trip. Seemed pretty successful.

Then I discovered what I didn't buy. Anything for lunch this week. Anything for dinner, save the cold cereal and milk option. Bread. Bottled water. The normal assortment of vegetables, baby carrots, salad, etc. You know, anything that might resemble an actual meal.

In fact, I missed two entire food groups: alcohol and caffeine.

Sure, being so-hungry-I-could-eat-everything-in-sight might not be a good state in which to do your grocery shopping, and you could come home with six varieties of potato chips, some peanut butter and a chocolate cake. But, really, being nauseated during the process leads to the same basic result. Let this be a lesson. If food is unpleasant to think about, skip the groceries and head straight for the booze.


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