Shopping and Wine: I Need All My Faculties For The Job

Does anyone else find the trend to add “bars”, complete with wine and beer glass cup holders to shopping carts a bit odd?  For a few years now, I’ve watched moms wheel their kids into the  grocery store’s babysitting service, and then wheel their cart directly over to the free wine counter to fill up before embarking on the quest to find the correctly-labeled TIDE. (This, is a chore within itself.. All in type you have to squint to see, you need to determine which one is labeled, or not, Fresh Scent, HE, and let’s do the math on which size makes the most economic sense.) Personally, I need all of my faculties available in the cleaning aisle.

Today, before 3:00 PM, I spotted this, and it made me laugh. Really? You need that to get you through this trip? I’m exhausted enough by the time I’ve put the groceries away– this would probably put me into a deep long sleep before I could get the groceries securely stored in cold storage.
When I trudge to the grocery store, my goal is to get out as quickly as possible — not linger over the pasta shapes until I find the perfect match. I either have a full day ahead of me, or I’m tired at the end of the day. If I do remember to bring along my list, it’s all I can do some days to remember exactly what I came to the store for — even if it is written on the palm of my hand. I can’t imagine how a glass of wine would create more fuzzy thinking.

Shopping for food today is a complicated job. It’s work, actually. With so many options, dietary concerns and conflicting price schemes, there is much to be considered for even a purchase of a box of tea. Fair trade or not?

And there is something oddly disconcerting about placing a beverage, sans lid, so close to where I put raw poultry and red meat. Am I wrong? Do I dare bring up the subject of “drips?” When I leave the grocery store, sometimes I feel ready for a bath. Hardly the atmosphere conducive to wine tastings.

Where did the grocery store get the idea that we need to “linger” in the already crowded shopping aisles? Do we need any more of the customers to be “less sharp” when it comes to counting to see if we are under the 15-item limit, and find ourselves in the wrong express check-out lane?  Apparently, all system are go, as even Target will be rolling  out a new bar in its stores in Chicago. We move from coffee cups (at least those are lidded) to wine glasses. When did we become a nation that must have a constant “pacifier” in our hands?

This all flies in the face of the book I just finished, French Kids Eat Everything
Even if you don’t have kids, or your kids do eat everything, I highly recommend this book. It’s a particularly painful eye-opening account of the way French culture elevates the enjoyment of food  into a civilized activity. The French DO NOT SNACK. This very fact is crucial to the understanding of why French kids eat everything, and also why French Women Don’t Get Fat. The kids eat, because they’re hungry when they come to the table. Women don’t get fat, because they don’t walk around snacking, and carrying a drink in their hands at all times. The snacking in French is so “taboo” that they actually put warning labels, like our smoking labels, on snack foods and as a disclaimer on French TV commercials for snacks.

When the French eat, they sit down at a table, and the focus is on the conversation, the colors, the textures, flavors and the smells of the food. It’s an experience that satisfies all of the senses and one to be savored. Needless to say, the American habit of eating-on-the-run is seen as barbaric and vulgar.

When I went to Paris, the only thing I saw in the hands of the locals was a bottle of crystal clear water — and a big one at that.



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