I dunno. It's probably just me. I mean, it probably is just me. But I find supermarkets not just annoying and boring, or some tedious chore you have to accomplish, but deeply, profoundly, almost terrifyingly, stultifyingly dull.
Going to Tesco Metro fills me with the exact same feeling of despair and ennui that epitomised most of my Sunday afternoons growing up in the 80s. When all I had to look forward to was Last of the Summer Wine and Supergran, followed by the Sunday night bath and school the next day. That same, wearing, deep sense of hollow pointlessness and futlity of existence that I heaved around with me from just after lunch on a Sunday right through until at least Wednesday.
Once again I was reminded of this Morrissey-esque feeling as I trudged around Tesco Metro just now. It being the only supermarket open to me at this hour, and my cupboards literally bare, I felt I had no choice.
As is usual, my mind always goes immediately blank when I step through the creaky automatic doors. I suddenly don't know what I want to eat ever again, let alone for dinner tonight. All the meat looks anaemic and sad wrapped up in its plastic overcoat with people absentmindedly prodding it and attempting to sniff through the layers and layers of cling film, in some kind of nod to the natural order of selecting food, ie. with senses of touch and smell, before it was secured away from us in a land of best before dates and too much packaging.
As is also usual I see the same person-that-I-kind-of-know-but-not-enough-for-it-not-to-be-awkward and keep bumping into them aisle after aisle. Even if I mix it up and go round in a really spastic way, there's still just next to me and doing that thing where we only just realise when we've made eye contact so once again we're forced to acknowledge each other when all we really want to do is grab our packages and leg it.
I always see the same guy. He's just some guy from around town that I know to say hi to. It doesn't seem to matter whether I go shopping at 6.30pm on a Tuesday or 8.30am on a Thursday, there he is. It's like being on the same bladder evacuation timings as someone in your office that you don't really know and then you're always forced into awkward rictus grin smiles as you realise you've just heard them peeing. Again.
And then there's the couples shopping together. I'm always filled with a fascinated repulsion when I hear couples debating what they're going to eat. Can there be anything more dreary than going supermarket shopping with a partner? Passive aggressively working your way through a list of what's in the freezer and 'what we can have with that chicken'. Ugh. Something about it makes me want to eat Pop Tarts, Skips and Pepparami for the rest of my days and never have a sensible meal again. Anything to escape the screaming boredom of planning what I will be having for dinner for the rest of my natural born life. I mean, what if we plan steak and then I don't want steak? But the steak's been out of the freezer so it has to be eaten up. And then it's suddenly not just dinner, it's a 'thing'.
Oh wait, I know what it is. I used to have this exact argument with my most recent ex. On and on and on it went. What shall we have on Wednesday? Thursday? Friday? OH SHUT UP I DON'T CARE IF I NEVER EAT AGAIN AS LONG AS WE STOP HAVING THIS CONVERSATION.
Of course, if you're in a happy, balanced relationship where you like doing everything together, then it's probably totally marvellous. Maybe it's the highlight of your week to poke through the wilted vegetables in Tesco Metro with your loved one. I dunno.
Anyway. Then I bought overpriced cherries and some cream crackers and just bailed on the whole sorry experience. Hmph.