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…!