May 24th, 2006
|07:18 pm - A reader survey|
I'm curious, do you folks have grocery shopping memories from your youth? Kindly baggers? Things you always looked forward to? Hating having to go with mom? Getting busted for stealing? C'mon, share them below. C'mon...
when i was a wee child (4 years old) i would always want to ride IN the shopping cart. my legs would always fall asleep.
ah, but did your cart ever get smashed into by another shooper? Did you roll away from your guardian? Did you have to be told, "No more cart for you, you're too old!"?
I don't remember this, but apparently my very first excursion (besides the ride home from the hospital) was a trip to Starns Shop Rite when I was 8 days old.
I hated all people when I was a kid. I was super shy, suspicious, and untrusting. The grocery store, an IGA store, was like two aisles big in Chateaugay. There would be like three people in there, and that was a huge, overwhelming crowd to me. I remember vaguely when my mom stopped buying the no name generic canned food and bought the label canned food. There were never any fresh vegetables at all.
Did you ever drive by the MaCadam cheese factory? See the cheesemakers smoking cigarettes outside in their hairnets?
Being totally puzzled by the folks who ate grapes while shopping, because damn would I have been spanked for doing that.
Having a speech impediment which greatly complicated things... "use" and "lose" sounded exactly the same, for starters.
Riding underneath the basket because the baby was in the seat, the middle kid was in the basket, and I was the oldest. When I got older, riding standing at the end of the cart.
people who eat grapes while they shop should be spanked. Except of course, that back then was probably during the UFW grape boycott which makes it not only ok, but a political act.
Going for a ride underneath the grocery basket, pretending I was driving my parent's Nova.
Awesome. nothing else to say
omg I wish you had pictures of that. not the pickles, but you and mom and the glaring babushkas.
I remember being about 5 yrs old and waiting in the car for what seemed like hours for my mom to go grocery shopping in Vons or something. It also seemed like we never bought the same food as anyone else. It wasn't that my mom was super healthy but we never bought regular person food, like chips and soda or name brand stuff. It was weird things like pickled herring in a jar or veggie-protein "scallops" in a can and prune juice. just the weird stuff.
Vons? Are you SoCal?
that sounds like a really disgusting shop. I always remember having something to look forward to when I got home. Probably HoHos, not not pickled herring.
I remember that my mom always would walk us by the bulk candy aisle and put a bunch of chocolate covered raspberry jelly rings in a produce bag and we'd eat them as we walked around the store and then she'd tell me to throw the bag out near the deli section and I did as she told me. This happened every time we shopped. I was in high school before it clicked that she never paid for them, and that this was technically stealing. It was one of the funnest things about grocery shopping, because at home I wasn't allowed to eat sugar and my dad would have had a cow if he knew we were a) stealing and b) eating candy.
OMG, I totally know your family. well, not really, but trust me, you are not alone. except in our store it's probably dried mangos.
1. was talking to a pal when i was about in the store. security came up to bust her and her 4 year old brother fro stealing cigarettes. they tried to arrest me too - but i found my mom and proved i wasn't with them. saw them get put in a cop car.
2. fighting with my mother in the store at every trip from 12 on because i needed her to get me veg options and she was opposed to me being vegetarian. this lasted until well until about 6 years ago actually.
3. always looking for "exotic" fruit for something different. hard in michigan. harder in the winter. kumquats and star fruit and asian pears were my favorites.
1. I got pulled aside by security for stealing a sandwhich in my early 20s. I totally had paid and had a receipt so i loudly made a scene asking why they were harrassing me.
That's awesome. I love seeing families like that shopping together. Seriously.
When I was too big to ride in the cart anymore -- besides, my little brother was there -- and riding standing on the end of the cart. That was fun!
I got in trouble for puncturing the plastic wrap around packaged ground beef and trying to eat it raw -- I think I was 4 or something.
|Date:||May 25th, 2006 03:35 am (UTC)|| |
The humiliation of my mom singing along with the Muzak or, worse, singing "I'm a lonely little petunia in an onion patch" OVER the Muzak.
I never heard that song until catching up of Six Feet Under episodes recently. Creepy!
But I kinda think your mom is awesome for that.
When I was about 5, I was at the grocery store and there was large bin with a bunch of pepper containers in it. Some of the containers had opened and pepper was at the bottom of the bins. I had noticed that in all the Tom and Jerry cartoons, pepper would make people sneeze. So I took some of the pepper that had spilled and blew it in the face of some other kid that was there at the market. Well, pepper doesn't make you sneeze when it gets in your eyes. IT BURNS LIKE HELL, or so it seems, because the kid started screaming bloody murder. I remember explaining it to my mom, and I remember feeling really badly, but I can't remember how it was resolved. Sorry kid, whoever you were.
We had 5 kids in our family, and for a while when my dad was stationed in another city, I remember my mom taking all 4 or 5 of us down the Commissary, which is military speak for supermarket. My mom would wait all month before going shopping (probably an economic decision, raising 4 kids on a military salary) and we'd load up two carts with groceries and kids. And before computerized UPC codes and registers, all the checkout was done by hand, and I remember the line to check out would be like 100 feet long, or so it seemed from a child's perspective. Going to the Commissary was an adventure, each time...
OMG, you maced him!
I remember doing the two shopping cart thing also when my brother and sister still lived at home. I also remember my brother, obsessed by war movies, claiming to arrange the food like armaments. thanks for bringing that back.
I always wanted candy. My hippie mom insisted upon misunderstanding my requests for Milky Way and Three Musketeers bars--real candy--and instead offered me those cardboard-y hippie sesame-and-honey pressed bars of horrible-ness that parents gave their kids in 1976 in attempts to be "natural."
Raisins and fruit were also deemed perfectly acceptable substitutes for real candy, despite my sighs of dismay. "Those candy bars are full of sugar," my mom would explain. "That's the White Death."
I wanted the White Death so bad.
Mom cooked with honey and molasses instead of normal sugar, and weird stinky brownish oil instead of Crisco.
I hated grocery shopping because I never got normal cereal--Apple Jacks, Frosted Flakes, and my particular obsession, never tasted but lusted after due to the commercials that ran during Saturday morning cartoons--Alpha-Bits. Instead my mom insisted that I choose between Rice Krispies, Cheerios, and anything with Bran, Wheat, or Fiber in its name.
Eating grapes while shopping was "stealing."
Mom bought Tab. I was allowed a Tab every couple of weeks. I loved the pink can and the sexy white font of the letters.
That's about all I remember.
When I lived in Ithaca, the consumer Co-op wouldn't carry anything with sugar. Just to fuck with them, I used to always put in a customer request for "sugar". Just that, "Sugar Please!" I would get longer and longer resonses in return, sheets of paper stapled to the bottom of the form so the evils of white poison could be detailed.
Cheerios are ok with LOTS OF WHITE POISON!
There was one checker at our supermarket who had a huge loud grating rasping cigarettes 'n' whisky American Lady Voice. She'd call out the prices as she checked at huge volume: CUCUMBERS, THIRTY NINE CENTS; WINE, EIGHT DOLLARS etc. I was afraid of her, but she was actually the nicest lady.
My mom taught me comparison shopping and unit pricing with a little mechanical calculator. It was a red plastic box with buttons on it. When you pressed a button, one of the digits would move up or down, and then you did it again and got the answer.
I remember a checker telling my mother about an unnamed local woman who was a heavy drinker. Her grocery list, which she often left behind, would read like this:
DON'T FORGET THE BOOZE
DON'T FORGET THE BOOZE
One local market, Richards, was the rich people market and we didn't go there often. When we did, I usually got a cookie which was gigantic and covered with good thick hard sugar frosting. Richards also had an organ built into the wall and an organist who played most of the day.
There was an Alpha Beta which wasn't as good a market, but had good riding toys outside, especially the horse which could get a good whiplash going in a little kid for a quarter.
In my elementary/jr. high years we skateboarded behind the market because there was (and still is) a really nice deep dip for the loading dock, and you could go back and forth like you were in a swimming pool. I nearly became part of a produce truck many times. It smelled horrible back there.
OMG I want our store to have an organ!
and yes, Alpha Beta up here had the best rides too.
I almost always had to go with my mom, but I loved it when my dad would get sent out for something on Saturday afternoons. He'd go to the farmer's market instead of Kroger and we'd taste every sample, and he'd buy bizarre fruits and stinky cheeses and things we couldn't identify because they were written in other languages, stuff that my mother wouldn't consider just because he wanted us to be adventurous eaters (which we both are as adults). We'd get home with bags of strange items, often having forgotten what we'd been sent to get, and she would just roll her eyes and find places to put everything.
As for shopping with my mother, I remember being small enough to sit on the rack under the cart (maybe 4?) and getting an Archie comic book when we walked in so I had something to read. I was surprised when I noticed recently that they still make Archie comics.
I gotta say that, anecdotely, those gender dynamics for het couples still hold much of the time. I, of course, can't really see it unless the couples are shopping together, but I see it at least once a weekend. Mom with a list, dad with the impulse buys. Mom saying, "What the hell did you just put in the cart."
|Date:||May 25th, 2006 04:12 am (UTC)|| |
A NICE COLD SAUSAGE FROM THE BUTCHER
OMG! potentially triggering!
haha. Wow, I totally can't picture smoking in a grocery store either. Where was that?
|Date:||May 25th, 2006 04:15 am (UTC)|| |
Our town only had two stores. One of them used to have a lunch counter. The first time my mom went there was when my dad had a job interview. She walked in and saw all these farm guys sitting around and thought "god I hope he doesn't get this job, because I could never live in a town like this." But he did, and thirty years later she's still there.
|Date:||May 25th, 2006 04:21 am (UTC)|| |
(Oh, and, slightly related -- that store let people buy on credit, in the 18th-century sense. My sister and I would go in after school and buy candy or pencils and tell them to put it on my mom's "bill," which was basically a receipt scotch-taped under the cigarettes with a bunch of numbers on it and her first name. There were about 20 or 30 receipts up there at any given time, with different local folks' names on them. Every few weeks she'd go in and pay up.)
I grew up in the Third World in the 1960s and 1970s where your groceries either came alive and kicking (often literally) or on big pallets wholesale style. No real memories of grocery shopping in my youth in the ordinary sense, though my earliest memory in life is the cook cutting the head off a gray chicken in the back yard in Cotonou when I was about 3.
well, it might not be a grocery store, but that's certainly a vivid food memory.
Oh sure. My mom and I went grocery shopping together from before I can remember.
I remember firmly believing that Lb was pronounced "Lib" and would happily find her a lib of hamburger.
The place I remember best was a store called Memco...it was a dept. store in front and a grocery store in the back. I had two dollars per visit to spend and I wasn't allowed to spend it all on books. I had to spend a dollar in the grocery section, then I could get
books whatever I liked in the non-grocery section, if I didn't dawdle ('cause of frozen things). Luckily the Little Golden Books and such were ninety-five cents (or something...I was seven, and thus don't quite remember) so I was golden.
The thing I'd generally get in the grocery section were two little pot-pie type frozen fruit pastries. It was cool, 'cause I got *two*! *Grin*
It was great...not 'cause of the pastries but 'cause my mom and I got to just talk about stuff...it wasn't about doing homework or cleaning the living room or worrying about being late for something. We had time together (the market was fifteen/twenty minutes away) that couldn't really be scheduled and we took full advantage of it.
I love love love that the rule was that you couldn't spend it all on books. "C'mon Gessi don't be a freak. Buy some candy!"
i just got this aim:
"i have an intense aisle-lurking rainbow grocery crush from hell"
to which i responded
i have only traumatic grocery youth stories.
heh, I know I certainly do.
|Date:||May 25th, 2006 04:53 am (UTC)|| |
I remember generic foods in the 80s. I liked the black and white boxes. Seriously. Also sometimes my mom would let me have Fruit Stripe gum or Tic Tacs at the counter.
Sorry, dude, but it was all about the candy.
what, you think I was picking out fancy cheese at age 6?
When I was little I liked to sit in the shopping cart and rearrange the produce aisle at Guasco's, restacking errant fruit into pyramids and piles. When I was four, I lost my favorite stuffed animal--a little bear named Cubcake-- there. I was totally destroyed because my sister had given it to me and she usually didn't give me presents but rather did things like whap me with her hair brush and trick me into eating disgusting stuff like uncongealed Jell-o in juice.
I lost the bear in the Guasco's produce aisle and I was totally destroyed. A couple of days later, my mom told me that someone from the store had called to say that they found my bear. My sister presented me with the toy, which was fluffier and cleaner than it had been when I lost it. She told me that the people working there had taken it home and shampooed and blow-dried it. She had big Farrah Fawcett feathered hair and she knew a lot about blow-drying, so I believed her. It wasn't until I was around ten years old that I figured out she had bought me a new bear.
When I was eleven, an adult man told me I had nice tits in the kitty litter aisle.
There was also a tiny hippie co-op down the street from my house. It was called Our Store and it smelled like feet and what I now know to be nutritional yeast and Nag Champa.
oh man, I haven't thought of guasco's in quite some time. I still miss Lansdale Station Cafe.
We used to go to A&P because they had "double coupons" - sometimes, I think they even had triple coupons, which were pretty amazing because sometimes you'd essentially get the item for free. My mom bought Roman Meal bread because she was convinced that the brown flecks meant it was "healthy", which still makes me laugh. I like my mom because she always let us eat stuff while walking around, before we'd paid for it. We always got whatever was "buy one get one" even if it wasn't a product we normally consumed.
I remember not liking Roman Meal at friends houses because it was "too healthy".