Since I started working at Binland, I can count on one hand how many times I have done a physical weekly shop. Of course, this doesn't include Christmas when it is the law to go to the supermarket with the husband and a second trolley in tow. Most weeks, I do my shopping online, and wait for that shiny orange truck to appear at my front door.
However, last week was very busy in Binland, and what with the bending, dancing and drowning, I simply ran out of time to do the whole internet thing. So on Friday afternoon last week, I found myself in Waitrose, with a list, a trolley and a full purse (always necessary for shopping in Waitrose). Wandering up and down the aisles, narrowly avoiding small pockets of elderly ladies who obviously meet up in there at the same time every week, I found myself at the meat shelves looking for a couple of steaks for the husband and me. The husband is rather fond of a rib-eye, but there were none left, so I decided that sirloin would be a great second choice. And this is where my mouth hit the floor...
The steaks were labelled up as 'essential'. Now forgive me for being a bit picky, but surely essential implies that you can't run your house or live your life without it? I don't believe that sirloin steak falls into that category. Mind you, looking at the customers (pearls, sensible shoes, yummy mummies etc) perhaps sirloin is an essential part of their daily life. Breathing and getting dressed are higher on my priorities I'm afraid.
I have tried other supermarkets. The one which sticks in my mind most, and not for the right reasons, was a trip to Lidl with son number two a couple of years ago. I'm always suspicious when you have to pay for a trolley. All I had in my purse was a pound coin - ninety pence too much - and a most frustrating five minutes was spent haggling with a man who'd just brought his trolley back..
'Can I have your trolley? I haven't got a 10p'
'I didn't either. I used a euro'
'Oh, ok, well if I could have your trolley, I could give you a pound coin. Would that be ok?'
'But that means you'll be giving me too much. And I don't have change'.
'It's ok. I don't mind. I just want your trolley'.
'Are you sure? I really can't give you any change'.
'I JUST WANT YOUR TROLLEY, HERE'S MY POUND, I DON'T NEED CHANGE!'
Well that worked, and suitably trolleyed, son number two and I were off. I don't know if you've ever been to Lidl, but for someone with mild OCD, it drove me crazy. Who in their right mind sites peanuts between some flimsy looking washing lines and several pairs of Wellington boots? Plastic washing baskets nestled up to streaky bacon, and the bread was cosied up with a couple of lawn mowers. This was my first and last visit to Lidl.
I can't run the risk of coming home with a mower when all I wanted was a white loaf...