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What your shopping says about you. - Ed's journal
What your shopping says about you.
I've just been to Tescos.
I bought 4 posh noodles, 3 bottles of Riesling, and a sandwich.
The person on the checkout gave me a really rather funny look. I could almost see the cogs whirring of 'hmm, what's _his_ game'.
Trust me, they all do it - I know, I've been there.
It's the old game of guessing things based on what they bought.

Things like: 12 pack of lager, large packet of crisps, and a 3 deck of condoms, means that they're going to a party, and hoping to 'score'. Oh, but they'll never just put the condoms on the conveyor belt. No, they'll be craftily hidden behind something else. As if somehow, by not being able to see them until it's time to scan, the checkout staff will fail to notice what they're buying.

Couple of sandwiches and a drink: Oppressed corporate slave on a lunch break.

If you see 'sweets' in a shopping trolly, they're _always_ in multiples of the numbers of children they have. Usually just 1 per child, so 3 cadbury's creme eggs means 3 children. (Sometimes you have 'numbers of children, x days in the week for packed lunches).

You also tend to see things like chips, fishfingers and 'low maintenance foods' when the shopper is buying for children.

If these things are absent, but you have a trolly load of 'nice' foods (fresh meat, vegetables etc.) it's typically shopping for a couple, and it's also almost invariabley 'her' doing the shopping. You do sometimes see a reversal about Feb 14th though...

More booze than food (but including 'meal' food like pasta, rice etc.) typically means student. especially when the 'meals' are staple foods rather than anything that'll require real work. Although can apply to 'single professionals' if the total bill for a week's stuff is more than about £20.

Large selection of 'red stickers' - they're bargain hunting, and usually a 'new couple' or an 'elderly couple'

The one thing you _almost never see_ though, is a bloke buying tampons or panty liners. Lots of other stuff, and you can make your guesses about their lifestyle.

But you see, I've only ever once spotted a single bloke doing this. His wife was 'immobile' due to a broken ankle. Now there's some that don't like buying these things just because they 'feel uncomfortable' - in much the same way as popping into the chemists, and buying condoms from a pretty lass behind the counter.

But the fundamental problem is there's just such a huge selection, and us blokes just ain't equipped to understand. I mean, you've tampons and liners by a wide range of manufacturers, and they all come in a variety of shapes, sizes, geometries and in 'lightweight' and 'heavy duty' variants.

I appreciate that they're catering to 50% of the population, but without specific 'make and model' instructions, a bloke just gets confused. And then, of course, the _specific_ make and model he was sent for will be out of stock, and that's when things go wrong.

This poor bloke approached me, because I was the only male on the checkouts. And he wanted my opinion on what 'sort' of tampax his wife'd be likely to want. I really had no clue, and was completely flummoxed by the question. But we just had a bit of a conspiratorial sort of chat in the corner of the supermarket, where I offered that whilst I had no idea, I'd be prepared to let him use the staff phone so he could ring up and 'check'.

Another satisfied customer ;p

Sometimes, I'll just add something to my shopping a little unusual, _just because_ I know it'll be freaking out the checkout staff.

I'm easily amused I know ;p
15 comments or Leave a comment
jambon_gris From: jambon_gris Date: September 10th, 2004 05:45 am (UTC) (Link)
once when shopping with vince, he bought a bunch of flowers and a 3 pack, the rather cute check out chick (who was very cheeky) did ask him if was going on a date. The answer was of course yes.
gingerboy From: gingerboy Date: September 10th, 2004 05:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I've bought tampons before for my wife - but only once I've been given specific details of brand / type etc :)
karen2205 From: karen2205 Date: September 10th, 2004 06:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh sweetheart - you remember the way there used to be independently published books that were guides to different makes/models of cars? I saw a couple of spoofs (well not quite, 'cos the info was quite sensible) on 'men' and 'sex' in Borders on Tuesday. Seems to me that they need to write a 'women' one:-)

Menstural products

Sanitary towels/pads/napkins (the last if you're American) come in:

Night time (being longer and thicker than super)

You then get the choice of

No wings ('wings' being little bits that go over the sides of your underwear to protect that bit).

And also the choice of

Normal thickness

Depending upon how heavy someone is she'll probably wear 'super' for the beginning (it tends to start off heavy and then slow down) and move on to 'normal' for the end. The first few nights she'll wear night time ones, then probably super ones for the rest. Other people with lighter flows never need anything thicker than super even at night and may use panty liners for some of the days. Panty liners are very thin/small pads.

Wings/no wings + normal/ultrathin are very much down to personal preference. If you want individually wrapped pads then they tend to be the ultrathin ones. Individually wrapped ones are useful for taking to work.

Oh and you also get pads designed for use with thongs - only buy these if the woman you're buying for tends to wear thongs.

Tampons come in

Night time

and come as:

Applicator/non applicator

The absorbancy is lowest in the junior ones and highest in the night time. Tampons have been associated with toxic shock syndrome and it's therefore important to not use a higher absorbancy than necessary. If someone wears them all the time then she'll need the same variety of thicknesses as she would with pads.

Applicators are pieces of cardboard fitted to the tampon to help insert it - most women will have strong preferences about whether they prefer applicator/non applicator. To put it bluntly I prefer non applicator because my fingers are much softer than a piece of cardboard, but other people prefer having the applicator so they don't have to use their fingers. Buying an applicator tampon is the best way to go - 'cos if the individual doesn't want to use the applicator she can remove it before inserting it.

Some tampons come in lubricant - don't buy these unless specifically told to, 'cos they're more expensive.

sobrique From: sobrique Date: September 10th, 2004 06:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm, something like the Haynes Baby Manual
Man Manual
Sex Manual
jambon_gris From: jambon_gris Date: September 10th, 2004 06:45 am (UTC) (Link)
The hynes mauals are written by blokes who fix cars, so the woman version would clearly be a load of old rubbish.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: September 10th, 2004 07:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't know. How to lubricate mechanical parts, keep the chassis clean and rust free, and the best way to care for specific mechanisms strikes me as at least having _some_ of the essential components...
gingerboy From: gingerboy Date: September 10th, 2004 06:54 am (UTC) (Link)
We've got the Haynes Baby Manual - anyone familiar with the usual spark plug diagnostics chart will appreciate the colour nappy contents colour chart... :-)
sobrique From: sobrique Date: September 10th, 2004 07:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Is that as deeply revolting as it sounds?
karen2205 From: karen2205 Date: September 10th, 2004 07:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, it was those I saw - oh God - there's a wonderful book somewhere at my Mum's house called the Child owner's handbook or something - it has me in hysterics whenever I pick it up....'under no circumstances feed breasts alcohol':-)

Do Haynes still write car manuals?
sobrique From: sobrique Date: September 10th, 2004 07:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, they still do a 'full set' of car manuals. One of the reasons that they're familiar to blokes :)
sobrique From: sobrique Date: September 10th, 2004 06:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Of course, that neglects the other problem. Guessing which one is 'right'.
I mean, there's the old adage of buy bras one size too large, and knickers one size too small. (I think ;p).

But how'd you tell with a tampon? :-D
From: feanelwa Date: September 10th, 2004 07:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, these quick fix solutions for the problem "men have neither female genitals nor clue".

The old adage is bullshit. If you buy bras one size too large, knickers one size too small, then keep the receipt because neither of those are the blindest bit of use and she'll need to take them back and get them exchanged for ones she can actually wear.

With tampons - there's this magic thing called looking in the bathroom cabinet to see what kind they are.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: September 10th, 2004 07:39 am (UTC) (Link)
No, they won't be the blindest bit of use, this is true.
The idea of that adage is that if you're going to get it wrong (which you probably are anyway, for the reason you mentioned) then you might as well do so in the most flattering way possible.
karen2205 From: karen2205 Date: September 10th, 2004 07:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd strongly suggest you replace that old adage with 'never buy bras' - most women won't buy a bra without trying it on, boob size changes quite regularly and what one manufacturer calls a 36C won't be the same as another's 36C. You have to try them on to get a good fit.

Knickers are generally stretchy enough that if you're out by a size you're OK, but really buy the size that fits because that'll be the most comfortable.

Good alternatives to actual underwear are camisole tops/shorts or flowing slips etc - here buy to fit the largest measurement eg. if she's a size 14 for tops and 16 for bottoms, you're probably going to want the 16 (unless it's really wide and flowing).

With tampons/pads - most women will use a variety - so buy a pack of super and a pack of normal and a pack of nighttime. They keep - even if she doesn't use it immediately, it'll do for next time.

sobrique From: sobrique Date: September 10th, 2004 07:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Actually, I'm pretty unlikely to by clothes in general for other people, although I might go as far as acquiring things like T-Shirts.
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