I am an alpha male. I am a bit of a jock and have way too much testosterone in me. If I weren’t too cool to take the Myers Briggs I am certain I would come out as a D-B-A-G. So when I went to the grocery store for the first time to use coupons that I had clipped, it was an interesting experience.
In the Store
I wandered around the store grabbing the normal “not in college but not quite a real adult” staples (frozen pizzas, chef boyardee, etc.). I would go down each aisle and then remember that I had a coupon for something three aisles previous. After muffling an obscenity under my breath, I would go and pick up that item. See, as an alpha male, I can’t be seen using a list at the grocery store. I take what I want, when I see it. To plan ahead too much would just be a waste.
Eventually I get to the frozen food section. I know I have a coupon for chicken nuggets. I grab the two bags that I have a “buy one get one free” for. I shuffle through my hands to verify the coupons and look back into my cart. “Son of a b—-.“ My coupons are for Tyson brand, while I just put Banquet nuggets in my cart. For some genius reason, the people that designed my Safeway decided not to put the Tyson nuggets in the frozen food section, but in the meat section. I leave the cart; go grab my nuggets, and 5 minutes later, return to shopping.
The end of my shopping experience is near. I walk towards the peanut butter aisle armed with my last coupon. I went to grab the jar of Jif that matched the picture. Its some organic something or other. I really couldn’t care less, but its on sale. Sure enough, I can’t find it after two minutes of searching (you’d be shocked at how many varieties of peanut butter there are; do we as consumers really need over 100 verities of peanut butter?). I give up, I’m outta here.
It’s on to the register to have the checkout person judge me for eating like I was a teenager. I’m on the phone as I unload the cart to the conveyer belt (yeah, I can be one of those if I want to be). After she rings up all my purchases I hand her the coupons as if to say, “Go ahead and do whatever it is you do with these, that’s your specialty, not mine.”
She proceeds to look at me, and then at my overstuffed cart. She starts digging through my bags to make sure that my purchases make the coupons valid. I have this, “I just want to leave,” look upon my face.
Finally, I get out of there and head home. I had saved a handful of dollars and was happy about that. However, looking at my trunk, I realized it was full of food. I started to lug it all upstairs, like any macho man. I am carrying 7 bags in one hand and five on the other. After all, any more than five on my dominant hand and I won’t be able to operate the door handle.
I get back to my car, upset that I have had to make two trips unloading my groceries. Sure enough, the laundry detergent and 12 pack of Pepsi One for my roommate are going to be too much to handle on Trip #2. I mutter another obscenity and trek back to the car for trip number three.
As I unpack the groceries I juggle all sorts of glass jars, ensuring they don’t fall or roll as I hastily try and conclude this experience. After emptying bag 14 my jaw drops. I forgot the main reason I was going to the store was to buy toothpaste. Guess what is not in any of the twenty bags that I am unloading on the kitchen counter. Toothpaste!
I grab my keys, and its back to the grocery store.