Two years ago the husband of a best friend suggested I look for dates at the grocery store. “This,” he proclaimed, “Is where you will find a man!” He directed me to our local specialty grocer after declaring that it was not acceptable to date men who regularly shop at the organic grocer (“Granola-eating pretentious pricks. Don’t go there. Well, only if you shop in the pre-made section. Even then, tread with caution.”). And he forbade I even think about Walmart. It’s been our little joke and we’ve been making veiled references to falafel balls and jumbo dill pickles.
This has caused my Kate mind to get a churnin’. What would be the strategy for finding a man in such a way? What does it say about the guy if he’s buying gummy worms in the bulk aisle? Or scones in the bakery?
Thus, I offer to you my sage insight (read: random natterings) into manly grocery habits, and how you, too (!), can turn a run-of-the-mill dash into the store for toilet paper into a burgeoning romance. (We fell in love while I had indigestion!)
Establishment of a Schedule
It is not enough that you should visit the grocery store, but you must do so at predetermined, regular times. I like to consult my horoscope to find the most auspicious hour, but if 6:15 after work and pre-workout is best for you… There’s a reason for a schedule. One must allow oneself to stake out an aisle and scope out the options. Avoid gold and silver bands on the left hand. Carefully weed out the men with curry and Pepto-Bismol in the basket. Stalk the men with Nutella and crescent rolls. Once you’ve latched onto this rare connoisseur you may begin the elaborate mating dance of grains and spreads. And if 7:23 P.M. isn’t yielding any promising results, you switch your schedule an begin anew.
If he’s purchasing eggs and milk, this is a clear signal of pending french toast breakfasts in bed. Worthy! Any penchant for chocolate milk must be heeded with caution. Does he have childhood issues of which he’s still working out? Is he a mama’s boy? Is he fueling for a marathon? Does he have the kids for the weekend? And if he’s buying chocolate Hagen Daz, he has a girlfriend or a pregnant wife. Stay far, far away.
The Beer and Wine Aisle(s)
Don’t hang out here on a regular schedule. Instead of chatting up the men they might start delivering flyers for the local AA meeting. Or they might ask if they can join you. Even if the man isn’t an alcoholic, you’ve likely stumbled across the local college men. If you’re into the puma scene, have at it.
The Cheese Section
If he’s perusing the cheese curds, you’ve found a Minnesotan. If he’s buying parmesan he’s a boring dud. Gruyere indicates an appreciation for French cooking. If he’s checking out the Gorgonzola he knows a long finish and is promising for a roll in the hay.
Bulk Dry Goods
Frugal. Possibly cheap. Proceed with caution. This is either the guy who can renovate your kitchen for a mere $9,000 or he’s the guy who will take you on a romantic picnic dinner of Kentucky Fried Chicken and Gatorade. Then, mid-dinner, he’ll pull a rifle out of his truck causing you to panic, knowing this is your end. A buttered biscuit and a chicken leg would be your last earthly meal. Surely your body will be dumped in the field and your face will be the one splashed across Nancy Grace headlines. But wait! He only wants to teach you how to shoot a gun. You’ll then spend the rest of your night trying to hit the Gatorade bottles he insists on chucking across the field for target practice. This may or may not have been a young Kate’s first picnic experience. I’m just telling you to watch out for these ones.
The Produce Aisle
The man who delicately fondles the peaches is a desirable mate. Stay away from the dude who is attracted to the cucumbers.
The Olive Bar
This is the cultured man. The holy grail of grocery store mates. How many men do you know who can speak intelligently to olive varietals? This implies of a man with off-the-beaten-track interests, but not so off-the-track that you’re forced to follow him with a machete and bug spray. He could probably still hang with a Miller in hand while playing kickball. A suggested pick-up line might be, “Olive your taste in Oleaceae. Care to make peace over a cup of coffee at the cafe?” Witty and alliterative.
Shopping for men doesn’t come without its share of spoiled goods. Nothing is more disheartening than finding your perfect man sneaking down the feminine hygiene aisle, tossing tampons into his cart as he tosses your heart out the window.
Have patience, spinster grasshoppers. There’s always the chance that special someone will show up with his green plastic and wire
chariot cart as you’re checking out the specialty balsamic and be so taken by your superior taste that he’ll offer to cook an Italian dinner for you. He might even insist upon massaging your feet, calluses and all.
And to that I can only say… clean up on aisle 5!
Commentary and further analysis welcome. After all, I haven’t even touched upon the man who buys salmon versus the man buying tilapia. Or guy buying hot apple pie in the bakery section.
Special thanks to my friend Adminderella for her collaboration on this one!