Monday, April 28, 2008

Silly Supermarkets

I went to the supermarket today: the big Sainsburys in town, with the intention of buying some cordial, some birdseed and some fresh herbs in a pot. I really cannot comprehend how supermarkets are laid out! When writing my mental shopping list, it usually goes something like:
Aisle 1 – the first item I want
Aisle 2 – the second and third items I want
Aisle 3 – everything else I want
Aisles 4-10 – other things I don’t even need to look at.

But no, it seems the marketing people have other ideas and want me to walk past thousands of things I ‘simply can’t live without’ while bumbling around in confusion, growing increasingly flustered because I can’t find the everyday item that I wanted to pop in for. No wonder some people have to dedicate half their weekend to shopping, many a boyfriend or husband will do anything to avoid the shopping chore, and most babies you see in supermarkets are bawling their eyes out.

The cordial was fine: straight to the drinks aisle, and eventually found it lurking between lemonades and a startling array of flavoured waters. Apparently squash just isn’t posh, but buying ready made diluted drinks is. I’d rather spare the cash and the effort myself, but each to their own.
The birdseed was more of an effort: I came across some lentil health food type shelves, but nothing there. No luck in the nut section either, and good luck if you want to buy sunflower seeds or similar to eat. I’m sure they’re there somewhere! Luckily I stumbled across the birdseed in the pet food section (how many times have I been there without noticing there was a pet section?!).
The herbs were another mission. It seems Sainsburys hasn’t latched onto the herbs in a pot success that places like Tesco have had. Instead, they sell rather expensive fresh herbs in plastic, which are about as far in distance from the dried herbs as you can get.

When I finally reached the till, I was again bombarded with last-minute offers of chocolates and chewing gum. Why is chewing gum always at the till? Do they think you’ll have bad breath simply from looking at the food on the shelves? Do most people leap from the supermarket into the arms and onto the lips of wonderfully good-looking partners with impeccable breath? Who knows. On with the queue: no I didn’t have a Nectar card, no I didn’t want 2 carrier bags for my 3 items, thank you.

Okay, rant over. I know it would be better for my blood pressure and my local community to use local shops. The convenience of one shop selling everything is bound to cause navigational confusion, and it seems inevitable to lose in time what you save in money. I’ll sip on my cordial and keep quiet for now.

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