Funny Quirks, or Smart Moves? (Stream of Consciousness Saturday)

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I have some funny little ways; idiosyncratic things I do that people often find odd. I’ve written about some of them before, and a few more have come to me that I thought I’d share.  I’d love to hear what you think of them, either way! Here goes…

When I’m shopping at the supermarket, I wish I could just casually toss the products I want to buy into my cart and be done with it, like I see so many other shoppers around me do.

But I can’t.

No, instead I am compelled to closely inspect all jars, cans, containers and bottles. And I mean, closely.

Now I know many people do a form of this with certain things, like checking that eggs aren’t broken or that fruit isn’t damaged or too ripe before buying them.

But I’ve been told that what I do goes beyond that. Some examples:

  • I look under the lid of products like peanut butter and cottage cheese to make sure the inner seal is secure.
  • I unscrew the cap from a carton of milk or juice to confirm the inner plastic pull-tab is still in place.
  • If I buy a product that comes in a spray bottle, like hairspray, I do one test spritz to make sure the atomizer nozzle works.
  • I squeeze cans to make sure they don’t feel swollen and full of air.
  • I check paper products that are wrapped in plastic, like paper towels, to make sure there are no holes in the wrap that have exposed the product to dirt.
  • I look over and gently tug the foil seals on yogurt containers, to be sure there are no holes or gaps in them.

Now it occurred to me as I was writing this that I must sound like Mr. Bean when shopping. You’ll see what I mean in the video clip below, which I then had to look up on the official Mr. Bean YouTube channel:

And maybe, just maybe, I am kind of like that. But I must share why I have these funny quirks when shopping. Quite simply, in the past, I’ve come home with spray bottles that won’t spray, food products with a missing or loose safety seal, and so on — items I can’t or won’t use, all of which have been an annoyance, especially when I really needed the item in question. Plus it’s also a hassle to have to return to the store; sometimes I haven’t wanted to bother with that, so I end up throwing out the product and losing the money.

Basically, once I’m inconvenienced by something, I tend to remember it to the point where I will go to great lengths to avoid it again. And that is why I neurotically check everything before I buy it.

For the record, though, doing this doesn’t take as long as it might sound — I’m not quite as crazily in-depth about it as Mr. Bean there!

And on somewhat of a side note: I usually try to do my quick checks in plain sight of a supermarket employee and/or other customers, even though at one time my instinct was to try to hide my paranoia. But I never want it to appear that I’m actually secretly tampering with products; I want to make it clear I’m checking and buying each item. And when I have found an issue (it really does happen more than some might think), I tell an employee so that no one else ends up taking the defective item home.

The benefits of what I do at the store also extend to anyone who eats from the food I buy once I get it home — not only are the items as secure as possible, but I take some additional protective measures at home, too. For instance, once I open said jars and bottles, I quickly wash the insides of the lids and caps with soap and water. This is especially true with products like peanut butter, since items like that are not consumed in full once opened and some of it will often touch the lid; I want that lid clean before that happens! Otherwise, I picture germs just sitting in the jar day after day, spreading throughout. So, washing it with soap and water first gives me some peace of mind! Now no one has to worry about the germs of anyone else who may have opened the jar in the store, then closed it again without buying it for whatever reason — although I admit that likely doesn’t happen a lot. But still…

So, while some say what I do is funny, in a weird way, I say I’m just being a smart shopper. And in a sense, I’m performing a public service, also helping those who shop where I shop and eat from the food I buy!

But what do you say? I’d love to know your honest opinion!

Note: This post was created as part of LindaGHill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. This week’s prompt was: “funny/haha or funny/peculiar.” I clearly went with funny/peculiar, as per the opinions of people who have shopped with me and found my ways strange…!

16 comments

  1. I have my own little quirks –

    I set the parking brake on my automatic car. Why? Because it’s a similar model and the same color as my husband’s car, which is a standard, and the parking brake is identical. I don’t want to get in the habit of not setting it in my car, because I might forget to set it in his some day, with disastrous results. The fact that I seldom drive his car doesn’t factor into it.

    I often go to Panera after I work out. I want a blue straw in the smoothie I order. Why? Because it tastes better out of a blue straw. Never mind that I have no empirical evidence. It does. Trust me.

    I bless anyone who sneezes, even if they can’t hear me…

    And that’s just the tip of the iceberg….

    I’m so glad you shared. It was brave, and I’m sure many of us recognized ourselves in this post – if not the specifics, at least the fervor.

    Bottom line- if it makes your life better, why not?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ooh, I can definitely see the merits to doing what you do with the parking brake in your car. I think that’s a very wise approach! And I love how you bless someone even if they can’t hear you! I so relate — although not involving sneezes, but I usually say a little prayer whenever I see an ambulance race by with sirens blaring. I figure, that person could use all the support they can get! Thanks so much for sharing some of your own unique traits, and for your kind words on my post! By the way, I don’t think the blue straw thing you do is odd — there have been studies that show the color of our plates and cups do make a difference in the tasting experience, so why not a straw?! 🙂 Plus I bet the blue is more calming and relaxing after a workout!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I always send good wishes to those needing emergency vehicles, too. And that smoothie definitely tastes better out of a blue straw than it would from any other color…I never thought of it as relaxing, but, when I go to Panera, I often take my laptop and indulge in a quiet hour or two of writing…I love my life, but quiet is something of a rare commodity in our little house!

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  2. I am fairly sure a lot of us pick up curious tendencies that others think are weird – yours comes through in your caution and shopping sensibilities. Apparently being a little paro of germs is a classified as verging on neurotic but really – so is being afraid of spiders, or people, or the dark…yours just makes a little more sense 😉
    You know what though – I would imagine that IF someone else has opened the peanut butter jar to check…they have left no germs behind as they too are likey cautious with germs.
    I take it you defo wash your fruit and veg when you get home right? 😉

    Thanks for sharing your mild ‘obsession’ with us… makes me feel more human.
    |If only we could all be honest with ourselves and others this way hey!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your perspective, I think what you said makes sense — most of us do have a curious tendency or two. I appreciate that, and your compliment on my post! Oh and yes — I absolutely always wash my fruits and veggies. And with soap and water, mind you. 🙂 If you want to see that side of my paranoia, the link to a post I wrote about that is linked in this post, at the start!

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  3. I’ve come home with enough expired dairy products to check the dates. The other thing I do in the grocery store – though it has nothing to do with food – is wipe down the handle of the cart on my way out with the handy wipes they have at the exit. I also make sure not to wipe my nose while I’m there. I just figure if enough people do it on the way out, fewer germs will be spread. 🙂
    Thanks for this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, date checking — I forgot to add that in too! I do that quite closely too. And I like your idea on wiping down the cart, especially doing it after — that’s very considerate of you! I may adopt that strategy as well…I’m always looking for other ways to minimize germs for myself and others. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It really only takes me a couple of extra seconds per item. I suppose that does add up during the overall shopping trip, but not by much — a few minutes at most, I’d say. And I too prefer to be out as soon as I can, especially since stores by me tend to be very crowded; I hate navigating around for long and just want to get it over with as quickly as possible. 🙂

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  4. I made fun of my BFF for washing apples using dish washing soap before eating them – I laughed and laughed. Then I read an article about the dangers of pesticides on apples and the recommendation to wash them with dish washing soap before eating. Oops.
    You go girl!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, thanks! 🙂 Oh yeah, pesticides are a major factor to consider with fruit! We have to at least try to wash some of it off…although I’ve heard we still get some with something like an apple since it has a thin skin most people eat. I go for organic when I can with fruits like that…others, like bananas and oranges, I feel are OK non-organic since they have a thick skin protecting them a bit more, so you can save some money on fruits like that…

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