It's past 7 pm, Rick will be home in approximately one hour and there's nothing to eat. Why is it that this food shopping thing always sneaks up on me? What part of food shopping don't I understand? Deep down, I know what the problem is: I detest it with passion. It just shouldn't be called shopping at all. I can liken it to tampon shopping or car oil shopping or light-bulbs shopping or pumping gas... that sort of inescapable crap that you must tend to but that doesn't give particular elation in any shape or form. In fact, both Halfords and B&Q are two of the places that I detest the most.
They are followed by the supermarkets, by which I mean all of them, from Waitrose down to ASDA. A friend of mine says that the more depressing the supermarket (Lidl or Aldi for example), and the harder food shopping becomes for someone who already hates it. I agree. You may as well start waxing your bikini line rather than getting into the car for a trip to a discount shithole. In fact, I'd take the bikini wax, front, sides and back any time over a trip to Lidl (or Ikea, but I am about to digress). Still, I don't find Waitrose any more fascinating. In fact, I was just leafing through one of their leaflets trumpeting THIS CHRISTMAS THERE IS ONLY ONE PLACE TO BE. Are they kidding me? And that place would be a Waitrose supermarket? Spare me.
Tempers tend to flare even when I stumble upon the Harrods Food Halls. Now there is a difference here: while at Waitrose (and everywhere else) you will come across some of the most disgusting pies, cakes, and dinky appetisers, Harrods doesn't sell anything that isn't at Jamie Oliver (or above) level. So that definitely plays in their favour. However, the mere calculated cutting through their food section so that I can reach the Egyptian escalator makes me speed up as if I were in mortal danger. I can cope with chocolates, coffees and teas, naturellement, but not with veggies, fish, bread, meat, herbs. In short, I cannot cope with the mundane, no matter how good it is.
Double-yuk, just thinking about the humming of fridges makes me sick. Yet... it is now 7.30 pm and there is still no food. Because, of course, food doesn't tend to materialise itself when you need it. You need to go out and get it or you need to be so fantastically organised to sit down and order it. Even that is too much trouble, even that requires cell-power from one side of my brain that hybernates at the mere thought of food shopping.
I suppose this explains why years ago, I returned to the flat in London to be greeted by my friend shouting from the kitchen: 'Steph, your Sainsbury's delivery has arrived, but why did you buy all of these bananas? Are you making something?'. There were bananas all over the sides, the table, on top of the fridge and the microwave. I had ordered eight KILOS of bananas. Well, no, I actually thought I had ordered eight UNITS, while in my irritated haste, I had not scrolled to the right option. That's what happens when you just can't get excited about food shopping. Not even the supposed convenience of the net will save you. But, of course, at least we had bananas to eat.