Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Lists into the soul

Do you think the food you buy says a lot about you? It seems to me that what you eat, and what your politics are probably both say a lot about you, though I'm not sure what it says, exactly. It's weird, though, how many people seem to think their grocery lists reveal too much.

Recently at work, at the end of the night, one of my managers was buying a handfull of stuff. I was off running some in-store errand, and he saw me walking back and said he was going to follow me back to my register, and have me check him out. His reasoning was that he didn't like people asking him questions about what he was buying, and he trusted me not to ask questions.


Well, I disappointed him, because he was buying a very unique and odd plant and I made the mistake of asking him about it. Turns out he was buying it as an office-warming gift for his boyfriend's new office, but he jokingly expressed his disapproval at my asking.

Also, in the CD club that I'm in, someone mailed out their monthly CD to everyone with everyone's track listing written on his old grocery lists. Whether it was to save paper or just be unique, I don't know, but on the shared blog we have, someone pointed it out and said something along the lines of, "I feel like I know you so much better now, after reading your delightful shopping list." My first instinctive reaction was that I would never do that, because I don't want everyone to know what I buy at the grocery store, either.

But why not? Is it that personal? Customers often ask me if I judge people by what they buy. I'd never really thought about it, but I guess, yeah, occasionally, but not very often. Only if it's extreme. Like, the people who are always in gym clothes and buy nothing but boxes and boxes and boxes of frozen meals and 400 protein bars and 80 cases of Vitamin Water, and you know that's all they eat. I guess I sort of judge those people. Or just feel empathy for their future doctor bills.

Or the women who attend the Weight Watchers meetings on Tuesday mornings, then go shopping and spend $8 on a box of Weight Watchers brand protein bars, but then also buy 4 boxes of cookies and a bag of bagels. Or 3 pints of ice cream.

But I actually judge people far more harshly by how neurotic they are about how their groceries are bagged, or how many extraneous and totally unnecessary bags they use.

I mean, I'm really neurotic about how my groceries are bagged too, so I always bag them myself. Problem solved.

Does anyone else think their grocery lists are really personal? Do you ever feel embarrassed at the grocery store when you buy certain things? Cuz I do. I'm always embarrassed when I buy soda or potato chips. Or sliced lunch meat. I have no idea why, but for some reason I find buying sliced lunch meat kind of depressing.

I know, I'm a weirdo.

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