Annoying Things Older Couples Do While Grocery Shopping


I have a special guest post today. My favorite patient, the love of my life, the reason the white streak in my hair is much wider this month, my darling husband, Randy wrote this post. He wrote it a while ago and then sat on it. 

He and I are different. He usually writes stuff for clients and he is meticulous. I write something and then I skip away because everything after the initial writing part is the boring part. 

Anyway, he graciously offered to give me this post as my coffers are empty at the moment. 

Do you know many people who enjoy the grocery shopping experience? If you do, then they’re probably weirdos.

The typical grocery shopping experience jams large volumes of pissed off adults and cranky kids into cramped aisles. Throw in a dash of bad manners with a confusing array of overpriced choices and you find yourself at supermarket stress fest.

So, if the experience spells stress, what’s left? Well, there’s observation and humor. Once you get past the half running kids and gym workout moms, you’ll want to watch the mid lifers. We’re some funny ass people.

Here are a few things you’ll see the 50+ crowd do while grocery shopping.

Argue – What’s grocery shopping without a few disagreements or vehement negotiations? Boring.

Let’s face facts, there’s a fixed amount in the grocery budget. Sometimes, we’re not shopping from the same grocery list. So, if one of us has a craving for something not on the list, get ready for a curse filled throw down.

Stand back and enjoy the spectacle. Young’uns, take notes. Someday, you’ll  have the same conversation.

Over Read Labels – Dude, we’re reading about processed food. Food labels are a confusing mix of myths, lies, and adjectives. We’re not going to allow a food conglomerate to “Nigerian prince” our food choices. Another thing; we’re armed with smartphones. We derive satisfaction in looking up chemical additives and how they affect our sex drive. Be patient because we’re reading the damn fine print. Right after, we locate our bi-focals.

Pretend we don’t want Oreo®‘s – Everyone knows mid-lifers try holding off death until we’re biblical. That’s why we stare, read labels, and mutter every week in the Oreo® section. The snake says yes, WebMD says no.

Wander off – Life doesn’t get more pitiful than two mid lifers lost in a big box store. We pull out our smart phones to locate one another, and both smirk at why they call them smart phones. After all, if phones are smart, would we be lost?

Once located, we arrive with accusation and irritation. Where the hell have you been? You were right behind me! I turned around and you disappeared! I walked 7.4 miles through this damn store trying to find you.

Next time, we’ll ditch the not-so-smart phones and make sure somebody wears a bell.

Order 11 deli items four slices at a time – We’re the reason grocery deli’s have ½ day waiting lines. After all, we don’t write out our deli list at home. We make our list while we peruse the deli scoreboard. Please understand, paper thin deli meat costs less. We’re sorry you’re losing seconds of your life while we fuss about meat width, but we need those extra pennies to spoil our grandchildren.

Indecision – We inspect eggs. Extra large or jumbo? Free range or cage free? Over easy or scrambled? We’re expiration date sensitive, too. We do stare at every milk or creamer carton in the dairy section. After all, no one wants cottage cheese coffee creamer three days later. Talk about grouchy.

Communal conversations – We love seeing high school friends. Especially, those we haven’t seen since we graduated 35+ years ago. Forgive us for holding a mini class reunion and blocking the ice cream aisle. You don’t need ice cream anyway. Go grab a carrot, young ‘un. We’ve got 35 years of catching up to do.

Taking our time – If you think we drive slow, follow us around a grocery store. Really, we’re not in a hurry to do much of anything. With all the label reading, fussing, and visiting we do, what do you expect? By the way, the only time we move fast in a grocery, is when we’re driving the motorized cart and you’re in our way.

Slip items into a stranger’s cart – We like laughing as much as anyone. Plus, we no longer feel embarrassment. When you checkout, you may find condoms, gefilte fish, and an anti-fungal itch cream in your cart. As your annoyance boils over, you’ll realize you’ve been had by someone carrying an AARP card.

So, next time you’re grousing at a grocery store grandma, stop. Take a minute and appreciate what you’re about to learn. Appreciate the humor. Oh, one more thing. Help grandma find grandpa. He’ll be the one cursing a smartphone and slipping something into your cart.

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    • Thank you Cris. I wrote that 3 or 4 months ago. Michelle and I have had memorable times while grocery shopping – mostly funny, sometimes ugly.

  • HAHAHAHA!!!! Great post, Randy! So true! The part about the deli and losing each other in the store really hit home with me. And both are “kind of-sort of” MY fault, since I can’t stand meat on my sandwiches the thickness of a plank of wood and I’d tend to be easily distracted by shiny, sparkly displays outside the regular aisles and I would “get lost” in them. Pretty soon, I’d see my husband, looking more than a little perturbed, rounding a corner and stating, “THERE you are. I was talking to you, turned around and you weren’t THERE.” Well, of COURSE I wasn’t there because I’m HERE, at the sparkly, shiny display thing-y! 😀

    So, should Michelle be a little worried that you’re planning a coup? Will this one day be Rage Randy? 😉

    • Good Morning Terri Lee 🙂

      How fun was this?

      *hands Terri Lee her bowl from the other day*

      You make the BEST cinnamon oatmeal…sorry I had to leave so soon the other day!

      Quick, ask Randy what happens when couples have to buy Satan’s butt paste and only one of them likes it.

      I’ll bet that’s one label Randy gets to read all by himself :):)

      • Good morning—almost afternoon now—Lisa K! It’s funny, I was looking for that bowl and had forgotten I’d loaned it to you with the cinnamon oatmeal. I’m so pleased you loved it. 🙂

        My husband I and both enjoyed Satan’s butt paste, although not the same flavor. I am a raspberry kind of gal and he went for the blueberry. Now, to me, blueberries are Satan’s hemorrhoid ointment. I cannot tolerate blueberries—nasty, dark little butt plugs. Oh, I’m sorry, am I allowed to talk like that in the comments under Randy’s post? Or is that reserved for Michelle? HAHA!

        • Oh, we ARE the Yin and Yang! Blueberries are my FAVORITE!!! Wasn’t aware it is the hemorrhoid remedy from Satan…that guy is the achey ass awareness team leader, isn’t he?

          I love raspberries too, but mostly for the sound effects 🙂

          I guess we’ll see if we get in trouble for hijacking Randy’s post…I’m a ‘let’s see how this goes’ kinda gal, but Michelle invited us, sooooo…..


          Did you notice how he uses big words and trademarks?

          • I admit to being quite impressed with those trademarks in particular! 😉

            And yeah, Satan does seem to have a lot up his ass! Probably why he’s a cranky kind of guy. And with the heat factor added in…well… Haha!

          • Plain greek yogurt with frozen blueberries – that’s the shit.

            Big words?

            Hijack away.

            This comment was from Randy…he didn’t realize he was signed in as me.

    • Thank you Terri Lee. No coups here. I have been planning and half ass building a site. I hope to complete before late spring, but I’m not holding my breath.

  • I would like to think I am still considered a young’n but I find myself doing half of the things in your list…maybe I am just an old soul…not that you two are old…maybe ancient but not old ;)… however, slippinv something into someones cart sounds like a challenge I must accept!

  • Holy cow young’un — ya got us! Babe and I fit your description to at tee! Except the sticking goofy stuff in other peoples’ carts — gotta try that 🙂

    • I quite enjoy dropping unusual items into people’s carts. There’s bonus hilarity if they actually make it to check out before discovering the item.

  • Good Morning, Sunshine! Glad to see you’re bugging Michelle enough to make her let you do something 🙂

    That is a clas

    *claps hand over mouth*

    I promise I won’t tell, Michelle!!

    Where is the part about using a checkbook at the checkout and waiting until ALL your groceries are rang up and THEN start writing the check?

    That’s Daddy’s favorite and the one thing GUARANTEED to make him ‘humph’ and eyeroll. I’ve been learning that lesson since I was big enough to want to beg that Gramma in front of us in line after church on Sunday to PPPLLLEEASE start writing that check while the produce is still on the cash register side…

    My husband and I don’t shop together unless he has to go to Wal-mart.

    I am his bodyguard. I run a 2-3 zone defense and provide plenty of target flexibility for when the Doritos® are under heavy guard.

    (Like how I pasted your ® ? I’m nit picky like that, but as soon as you’re not looking, I’m probably not going to use it. I’m lazy like that 🙂 after I get my head pats and praise)

    He can go to Safeway all by himself, so I try REALLY hard to only put things on the list that he can do all by himself.

    Yes, he takes a list and sometimes empty bottles or tubes of important items so he can get the exact right thing.

    He hates the indecision and guesswork. I hate it when he’s wrong.

    “We’re not going to allow a food conglomerate to “Nigerian prince” our food choices.”

    What the fuck does that mean? Is it a good thing my husband shops by himself? I’m pretty sure the only label reading he’s doing is the picture on front (and the ever important expiration date… that’ll get him the ‘Humph’ and eyeroll I learned from Daddy), but I shop Amazon online and I’m a label reader.

    (Love the ‘click to enlarge’ feature!)

    Am I getting ‘Nigerian Princed’ ? Fuckin’ email hackers anyway.

    Nuts. I thought I had the grocery store shopping curse nipped in the bud.

    You’ve raised some serious issues for consideration.

    And Amazon doesn’t have drones in Oregon yet.

    I could starve.

    We might need a new wife. One that can avoid the ‘Nigerian Prince’ influence, understand my list, enter Walmart willingly, and above all things, bring home those damn condoms, gefilte fish and antifungal cream tossed in by hilarious old people….

    We’re gonna need that laugh, while we’re rubbing in the antifungal cream, Googling ‘gefilte fish,’ and putting the condoms in our teenager’s underwear drawer…

    You’re a scary read, Randy… but I loved it 🙂

    • Hey, wait! I thought he was MY Nigerian Prince and was guarding my bank account, loaded with millions of dollars my distant relative left to me when he died in a car crash! Just WTH is going on here?

      My husband used to HATE that there were so many types of the same brands. It’s all I ever heard when he would come home from doing the grocery shopping. He constantly threatened to stop doing the shopping, but he was such a grumpy love, he’d still do it anyway. No matter HOW annoying the grocery store could be. And sometimes, if they didn’t have my favorite donuts in one store? The next day, if he was running an errand, he’d make a special stop at another store, just to see if they had them. I was spoiled by that man. I admit it.

      Please, tell me your husband does not wear hot pink Spandex pants while shopping at Walmart, Lisa! HAHA!

      • He would totally wear the hot pink spandex pants if it would clear the aisles for him!! (and at 6’6″ and 300+ pounds, they better clear something!)
        I have to admit, he took over the grocery shopping and cooking because when I went back to school there was a real danger of him and the boy-child starving to death, or dying of chicken pot pie overdose.

        The sacrifice was real and the reward… umm, I’ll have to get back to you on the reward because his kitchen cleaning balances out any reprieve I had from the shopping and cooking freedom.

        I’ve lowered the bar so many times….

        I love how Paul took care of you!! Nothing says ‘Love’ like a chased down donut after two days of searching unknown donut outlets!! Whether he was on another errand, or not, you were always first on his mind 🙂

        *smiles up at Paul*

        • I must say..I haven’t had many highlights this month, but one of them has been watching this friendship between you and Terri Lee develop. I can’t stop grinning. 🙂

          • Trust me, Michelle, it’s been one of my highlights, as well, in an extremely lowlight several months. 🙂

            Paul did take care of me, maybe to a fault (because I feel so helpless now), but still, he did. And he and I were opposites in some ways. I swear, the poor man probably felt as if he was living with a bratty teenager at times. Haha! But, when he cooked and he did that a lot, too, I would clean up the dishes and the other stuff. He wasn’t messy. In fact, he was probably a hell of a lot more organized than I was! I tend to leave magazines, papers, books wherever I finish reading them and they begin stacking up. My “piles” were a bone of contention at times. But, I did have a prince—fortunately, he was the “charming” kind and NOT the Nigerian kind. 🙂

            Monday will be what you called my “powerful day”, Lisa. I also discovered another factor adding to its power. It’s not only the 34th anniversary of our first date that also fell on a Monday, but it dawned on me that his shift at the fire department where he worked 26 years is falling on that same day. So, do you think that adds extra mojo to the mix?

            Stay warm and safe everybody! It’s cooler here today and windy as hell.

          • Terri Lee – Yes!

            Can Terri Lee and I go sit in Randy’s ’50 Shades of Grey’ room? I wanna keep talking, but I want Randy to keep his guest speaker spot revolving around sneaky shopping cart commitments and Nigerian Prince awareness.
            You can come, too!!

            Anybody can 🙂 Don’t need privacy, just room to chat!

            Terri Lee – meet me back in ‘But For You’ where we were sitting around, waiting for Michelle and Randy to get back from the hospital… when Michelle’s day turned into a ‘Win all the way around.’

            See ya there 🙂

            Thanks, Randy! I’m still new at this blogging/comment etiquette, but it feels weird to go off tangent and drag everybody with me…

            You coming? You can pop back and forth…that’s what I do 🙂

    • Nigerian Prince = fraud. Most labels I read are stuffed with less than truthful adjectives in order to push up that price point.

      My favorite financial fuck up which I commit on a regular basis…not having the debit card after checking out. I’ve made numerous trips home to gather the card and return to the store.

  • Wow, Randy, your nail hit the head on this! My partner and I do this all the time!
    He hates the young kids, old people, motorized carts. I over read labels, check coupons, contemplate deli meat which I know is bad.
    Together we both hate WalMart for relocating our favourite items, for hiding the day old bread cart and never having eggs on sale.
    We don’t need to meet old high school classmate; we make new friends in almost every aisle.
    And please, while we’re shuffling down those crowded narrow aisles, keep to the right, turn your clicker on before you pass us, and remember……you will be one of us sooner than you expect!

  • A family member works in a supermarket (the early morning shift) and is amazed at all the seniors who gather in the produce section, at 5am, to scrutinize the produce with the eye of Inspector #86. He asks, why? why? Will we be like that one day? Until that day, guess we’ll overread labels while blocking aisle traffic.

  • I have never dropped something into someone’s cart but I probably will now. LOL Thanks for the laugh. I hope you are healing quickly and feeling good. 🙂

  • I had a good ol’ snort-chuckle at the smartphone bit. Recently I bought a new “smart” scale that can calculate muscle mass and body fat percentages and do your tax returns (okay probably not the taxes but a girl can dream), but before I settled on the one I got, I spent a good long while in the store aisle on my iPhone looking up the Amazon reviews of all the scales to compare them.

    A few minutes into this, a woman who had also come over to look at the scales glanced over at me and gave me a look of pure incredulity. “Are you…are you Googling reviews of all these?”

    “Sure am!” I replied cheerfully.

    My candor threw her off. She stared at me speechlessly for a moment, then took a quick peek around to make sure no one was watching and sidled closer to me. “…What do they say?”

  • I’m going to claim to be to young to relate to this post at all. (It’s not true…but I’ll give it a try anyway). Well written Randy. Glad you’re on the mend.

  • (Laying on the couch recovering from my broken leg which demands to be elevated or else it throbs, pulsates and swells in the fucking cast that isn’t coming off for a month only to be sawed off and replaced with a new bitch of a cast)…
    I enjoyed this bit of observation. Please keep writing. Your husband is funny too. I need all the entertainment I can get from you! The mental hopscotch is outstanding.

  • Ah! This is fabulous! I’ve done a few of these things but I’ll have to try the ‘slip stuff into a stranger’s cart’ trick. I had an old guy scold me for taking a carton of eggs off the shelf last week. Apparently, they were grossly over priced and I was a ‘fool’ for buying them. Sigh. I don’t need strangers telling me I’m a fool. I spent years with an ex who liked to call me that. Of course, he was a Senior and not a middle ager. Thanks fro the laughs Randy and Michelle, for sharing your Hubs with us. 🙂

    • Lisa…I’m notorious for slipping items into people’s carts. I drop the item and set up to observe. I’ve never been disappointed in their reaction.

    • Bev…Michelle and I go into full on human avoidance when we grocery shop. We curse a lot. Michelle rams peoples carts. We often walk the store in the opposite direction to avoid people who entered the store with us. Since we shop at Jungle Jim’s, the place is often filled with tourists who are overwhelmed by the store’s enormity. Yeah, those people annoy us, too. Our motto: shop early, get in, get out.

  • Ha, that’s so me, without the arguing, apart from when I have a grumpy old woman moment and savage one of the management for bullying one of the older members of staff, (yes, I did that the other day).

    Thankfully I no longer have to deal with my ex having toddler tantrums in the middle of the supermarket so it’s usually a peaceful, if slow experience. Now the world has to put up with me peering myopically at every label and price comparing. Never thought I’d get to this but hey wait till I’m really old and don’t give a toss! 🙂 I don’t think the world is ready for the punk generation of senior citizens.

    Hope you’re feeling a whole lot better Randy!

  • The inability to not stay together is my pet peeve! I think my husband goes into a black hole or time travels and then pops out just when I am sure he is totally AWOL/MIA/Captured by aliens!

  • Randy I hope you are feeling better and Michelle I hope you are getting to rest. That’s a hard time when the other half of you is sick. Hubby has always been the one nursing me not the only way around, so I can only imagine how scared you must have been. On the other hand, I cannot wait to go grocery shopping because I am going so going to put shit in people carts! My husband loves to go around asking people random questions just to see their reactions. Fun times. Hell that’s our only excitement, our weekly trip to Walmart and maybe dinner out lol!

  • I particularly love the Oreos bit. “The snake says yes…”

    Granted, I have an unopened pack of Double Stuff Oreos sitting right here. I bought it for my recent road trip, actually, and then didn’t crack it open, somehow.

  • Totally accurate! Made me laugh – especially the high school reunion part. That happens to us all the time! I get such a kick out of the irritated tuts of the clueless 30 somethings as they bustle past with their self-righteous attitudes. Calm the hell down already – we aren’t welcome in ‘your’ wine bars anymore – this is all we have. Brilliant post.

  • Randy, as soon as you feel well enough to be up and about I want to go grocery shopping with you. Or I want to avoid going to the grocery at the same time you’re there. I’m more fixated on how the kid at the end of the checkout line is bagging my groceries than what I’ve gotten that I probably wouldn’t discover the anti-fungal itch cream, condoms, and gefilte fish until I’d gotten home.
    And you’ve also reminded me why my wife gives me a list and sends me out by myself.
    Yeah, she’s too smart to put up with this sort of stuff herself.

  • When you said, “Slip items into stranger’s carts” I thought you meant accidentally, until I read the rest of the paragraph and realized that you, sir, are obviously a troublemaker! My problem is that I often put my goods into other people’s carts – not realizing that I did so until I get home and my item is not there. If it’s a good day, I’ll actually take off with the other person’s cart – at least that way, I realize before I get to checkout that something is terribly wrong.

    I’m glad you’re home and on the mend – you frightened the bijeezus out of your wife. But then again, I think we’ve already established that you are a troublemaker 🙂

By Michelle


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