Men of the Produce Aisle

noted_shoppingmen_headerAlternately titled: Shopping for Men at the Grocery Store

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!


35 thoughts on “Men of the Produce Aisle

  1. Had you stalked single Don shopping on the Monday before payday, you’d have surely avoided him like the plague, but you may have found a winner in just got paid grocery shopping Don! Lol. Gorganzola steak butter on my strip steak and a cracked olive salad was a regular treat to myself!

  2. This is so awesome. I always wondered how, exactly, to make ladymags’ suggestions to scope out grocery store dudes into, y’know, actionable intelligence. Back in my single days, I routinely would eyeball manfolk in the grocery store, just to see what the offerings outside the confines of grad school looked like — but damned if I would’ve ever, EVER had the chutzpah to strike up a conversation with any of them. Unless something out of the ordinary happened — like, say, a bottle of Siracha sauce spontaneously combusting — I’d never have had the courage to talk to any of the hot grocery store dudes. This, friends, is why I met the man who became my husband at work.

    • Exactly. The most courage I ever got involved a question about marbling of a steak. And you know if sriracha exploded ot would get us right in they eye and we’d turn into winking, blinking messes. “My eyes! It burns!”

      Tho, the work thing… were you always ok with it? I’m currently wary of the concept, but willing to entertain an exception for an office Adonis.

      • I was never ok with the the work thing…until Brandon. Everything about the situation was safe: we’d known each other for a while before we started dating, there was no ambiguity about how we both felt, and the relationship was serious from the get-go.

        I also was due to start a rotation outside our office about a month after we started dating, so we kept it quiet until I left for the rotation. The new office then hired me permanently, so circumstances lined up perfectly. Had it not been like that, I would’ve been a LOT more leery of the whole thing!

  3. I think the olive man might be a little above my lot in life. I’ll figure out who’s hanging out by the oatmeal and if he goes with plain or maple brown sugar. If he tries any of those fruity oatmeals, he is not the guy from me.

    Then again, I’m married. And I like my husband to do all the grocery shopping.

    Hilarious post!

  4. This definitely made my entire day, however I’d also like to add that maybe the chocolate hounds would be your best friend. Maybe they just really love chocolate, and who can deny a man who has expensive taste in sweets? Perhaps they do have a pregnant wife… but hey, risk is a main key in life! (Just look for that ring).

    • You make a very, very good point. The chocolate man could buy the best gifts. Gourmet Burdicks chocolate? Anytime. And maybe he’s into syrup. I could be open to that. TMI?

  5. Oh, this post is too funny. Your produce aisle section actually made me snort. I definitely agree that any man with olives and Nutella in his shopping cart, has a leg up on the rest. Ready meals, however, is an absolute no-no. Raw ingredients! None of this “pop it in the microwave” nonsense. There’s nothing more attractive than a man who can cook!

    • Hee, thanks! Agreed on all fronts. Plus, I don’t cook, so his skills are necessary. We should encourage more of them to do this and call it their creative outlet. 😀

  6. The Schedule–that is genius! I’m new in my town, don’t like going to bars, but everybody has to shop, right? And Trader Joe’s is right up the block. Maybe I’ll do some research.

    Thanks for the chuckle, too.


    • The schedule is the glue, right? It allows us to perhaps make eye contact with someone over several days. Enough time for us to establish mutual interest and come up with our line.

  7. I actually have picked up a guy at the grocery store (see my ‘Drought Breaker’ entry), and have had a guy flirt with me over the contents of my basket. He said, “Hmmm…yogurt and beer? Looks like a wild night at your house.” We talked and flirted a little in the checkout line, but then he left without any exchange of digits after saying it was nice to have talked to me. If only I had been forward enough to ask for his or come up with some lame line.

    • Thank you for the kind words! Please do feel free to reblog. 🙂 And get posting again, you – we need more flaming phoenix cortina stories!

  8. Hahaha, Kate! I remember reading somewhere that the grocery shop was THE place to go a-date-finding. It all had something to do with the way you lovingly place the bananas and kiwifruit atop the baby seat in your trolley. My most recent blog post is actually about me working as a checkout chick in the local chain supermarket. Have a squiz, if you so desire, and pay particular attention to the section where the photo of the hot chick pushing a trolly of ammo is lurking. Maybe this could be the solution to all your grocery-store-dating woes! “Service 69 in aisle ten”…

      • Haha I laughed so hard when I first read that revelation, too. NP for the reblog! I hope some of my readers have checked out the Spinsterhood!

  9. Reblogged this on Strawberryquicksand and commented:
    This is a blog post about dating in the supermarket aisle. I just loved it! Have a read and don’t forget to check out/follow Confedercy of Spinsters. They are three awesome gals who give me a good giggle every time I open their posts!

  10. Ah …a dear friend of mine was found by her live in lover at Morrisons supermarket … this happened after many months of stalking bars dressed to the hilt in glamour and heels … apparently on this particular day she was dressed down in scruffies and tied back hair. I really have never thought about what Aisle she was in or what produce was in his basket… I must ask… great post !!! :-)x

    • If you find out, definitely share! A success story from the field, love it! And more proof that people need to stop looking for that special someone in a bar…

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