For the love of the groceries…

I love grocery shopping.  Is that strange?  I think it might be.  I remember growing up, my mother hated going to the grocery store.  To this day she avoids that place like the plague and makes my dad do all the shopping.  I don’t know why exactly, but I suspect it has something to do with her apathy towards food in general.  Unlike me, she eats because it’s a biological requirement.  She hates cooking.  She’ll eat whatever is there and sometimes, if nothing is, she’ll just skip dinner.  I don’t understand this way of thinking at all.  Skip dinner?  Not in my house. 

No, for me, food is practically a religious experience.  I read food magazines and cookbooks.  I watch Food Network all the time.  I’m a great baker, but a lousy cook…although that doesn’t stop me from trying.  Good food is very important to me.  So I guess it makes sense that I like to go to the grocery store.

Tuesday was a rotten day at work.  I was really stressed and tired when I got home and it was a sweltering 101 degrees when I left the office.  On the ride home from work, J and I had our usual “what do you want to do for dinner?” conversation.  I knew there was no food in the house and that I’d have to go to the store.  I wasn’t especially looking forward to that because I was tired and cranky.  But I collected my coupons and my list and off I went. 

As soon as I walked into the store a feeling of calm came over me.  It was freezing in there in a way that my house will never be.  It was a Tuesday night, so it was basically empty.  I collected my cart, got out my list and got a scanner.  My grocery store has scanners that you take with you and scan your groceries as you shop.  I love this…it makes checkout so much easier and I can keep track of what I’m spending while I shop.  I started out in produce, with a quick stop at the deli.  Then I strolled each aisle, leisurely selecting items I wanted.  I stopped to read labels and check out new products.  I compared prices and sales.  I sang along quietly with the easy listening favorites playing over the sounds system.  I smiled at other shoppers as I passed them.

Only twice was I bothered.  The first time it was by two kids who were running wildly up and down an aisle, screaming and knocking things over.  I gave their mother a dirty look as I passed her…not that she did anything to stop them.  The second time was by a woman who was yapping loudly into her cell phone while she followed me down two aisles.  I gave her a dirty look too…because, really, what is so important that you have to talk on the phone while you shop?  Get off the damn phone…you are harshing my mellow!  If I wanted to be annoyed while I was shopping, I’d bring J with me.  (Note: We used to shop together, but he annoys me too much…touching everything and asking a lot of questions and bitching when I buy brand names instead of the store brand…so now I leave him home.  He helps unload and put away.  He’s much better at that.)

While I was loading my groceries into the car I realized how much better my mood was and that it was all due to my relaxing shopping experience.  I started to wonder if this love of grocery shopping was strange?  Are most people like me or is my mom’s hatred of it closer to the norm?  What do you all think?  Love it or hate it?