What pisses me off: Going to the supermarket

I am standing at the automatic doors, drenched from the downpour, which opened up from the heavens just as I

I am standing at the automatic doors, drenched from the downpour, which opened up from the heavens just as I was making a mad dash to the supermarket.

Going to the supermarket — one of my pet hates. Oh, the frustration and stress that takes hold when I have to venture to the hallowed halls of the holders of our food.

Tangling with the traffic, doing circle work in the carpark looking for that elusive parking spot. There are only two spots left — one for mothers with prams and one for the disabled and, having been brought up to feel guilt about anything even slightly inappropriate, I cannot bring myself to snaffle these spaces and envy those stiletto-heeled power women or pinstripe-suited corporate giants who, clearly sans baby pram or disability, sail into those treasured spots always closest to the automatic doors, feeling no shame, instead walking away from their expensive imported SUVs bathed in a natural aura of ownership to these treasured spots. But not I.

I continue my circle work until that corner spot on the far side of the carpark suddenly becomes vacant and I burn rubber to claim before the other circle workers spot it and swoop like hawks on a rabbit.

I’m in.

Time is against me. I make the mad dash across the tarmac. Higher forces spot me and send forth a dearth of rain to rival the 40 days and 40 nights pelting on my head.

Drenched but undaunted, I make my way into the supermarket. As I had only planned to be a few minutes (oh how you laugh) I had ventured out without make-up and garbed in my favourite trackie dacks because I was going to be real quick and won’t see anyone I know. Wrong.

This whole dreaded process has taken much longer than I planned and now school is out. I am gripped with fear. As a part-time teacher, I know those students will be waiting at the checkouts, judgement streaming from their eyes. And parents, who you only just finished convincing at the recent parent-teacher interviews, that little Johnny and Jane are showing signs of genius under your dedicated tutelage. Buggar!

I grab a trolley and head into the fray. Of course, my selected beast has a wonky wheel, which threatens to spin off every time I make a sudden move. I can’t change it because I have entered the realm of no return (without actually passing by the judgement-passing students manning the checkouts).

Turning at the dairy aisle, of course, I am greeted by a parent who remembers me better than I remember her and breaks into a opus about the genius little Johnny/Jane, who is clearly on the rode to Nobel prize winning futures.

I gather my few items of need after carefully checking the labels for country of origin and contents such as salt, sugar and poisonous additives, which I have been counselled through plentiful advertising, must be avoided at all costs if I am to travel the road of a healthy lifestyle and withstand the creeping obesity threatening to come my way.

Now to run the gauntlet of students who have recognised the power shift with their ability to now place the ‘Checkout Closed sign as you push to trolley forth, or stare at you condemnation when you incorrectly enter you pin number and hear the sigh of impatience when they have to restart the machine for you to make your payment.

I’m out.

Now to make that epic journey across the carpark, hoping I am not again spotted by the rain gods, battling my wonky-wheel trolley, which is set on a right-hand turn when you want to go straight ahead.

I am at the car at last. Ignoring the warnings for women to have these keys always at the ready in case of attack, I dive into my handbag for the car keys that have sunk to the bottom of my bag, down under the tissues, minty wrappers, pens without lids and a couple of rubber bands.

I open the boot of my car ready to offload my groceries. Unbeknown to me, the gas in the little arms that hold up the boot lid is starting to leak and as I heft the groceries out of the trolley, the lid crashes down upon my head. Really? Haven’t I suffered enough!

Apparently not because as I try to exit the carpark, the evening rush hour is underway and no one seems willing to let me pull out into their lane. Cars are now lined up behind me, tooting with impatience so I cautiously edge out onto the highway and plunge into the tiny gap left by homebound motorists.

I’m out and on my way home. My trials continue. Now I have to repeat the process of offloading the shopping bags out of the trolley and inside my house.

I am one of the people who never makes two trips to the car when one will surely suffice, even if it does means carrying four loaded bags of groceries in one hand and your two precious wine bottles in the other.

Forgetting the escaping gas leak, I am again smacked on the head as I offload my treasure from the depths of the boot hole.

Attempting to unlock the front door while carrying the hand-cutting plastic bags (should have recycled my cloth bags) is an exercise in stupidity but I overcome.

At last, safe inside my house. I bundle all the parcels on the bench with a sigh of relief. The task of unpacking groceries and putting them away can wait until I have a cup of tea or better still, break open one of those wine bottles. Because I have been to the supermarket and I deserve it!

I hate going to the supermarket.

Are there tasks you dislike carrying out? What things get on your nerves? Share your stories with us.

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  1. Ruth van den Berghe  

    I really enjoyed this writing. You should write more. Thanks for the laughs.

  2. Dianne Evans  

    It is a chore and it is good to laugh once it is over and you are home again !

  3. Linda Kazlauskas (nee Finch)  

    Well I have a good supermarket story to tell. Last week I went into Coles to buy a few things and walked out without them. The next morning my husband said “we have run out of milk”, no I brought some yesterday. He went off to work with a black coffee. In the shower, where my best thoughts come, I remembered I had purchased Lamingtons, Where are they? I went back to the supermarket and as I walked in the young girl said “hello you forgot your groceries, I have made a list of what you left behind so here is a basket take the list and go around and collect what you forgot”. I was stunned at the customer service, but I was also stunned that I had walked out without my groceries. It is nice to know that there is a multi national organisation out there who will look after me in my old age.

    • Liz  

      Oh boy can I relate to your lost items. Did that last week and was stunned to find that yes they had noted my oversight in “the book”. Surprised that there was a process in place for we “forgetful ones”. Only in this store an assistant had to go around and collect the items again. He couldn’t find the Libra liners so I had to go and get them myself. I guess that was just a male/female thing. I was stunned by the customer service too, took it in their stride, must happen often. At least I now know that I will be taken care of in my dotage. Wow I am assuming it will happen again, oh dear.

  4. taylor  


    Woolworths’ have DELETED…………’Jaffas’!



    I really can’t believe they’re not bought anymore by the populace!

    Have to try Coles’ to check they’ve got ’em!

  5. Carmel  

    I think it’s called a senior’s moment ……….or two.

  6. Beverley  

    Okay nice story and brought a few laughs but before you get too serious about hating supermarkets and finding a car park, jaunt be thankful you have a car and fuel to make it run, and a supermarket that stocks every food you could ever want and many that you don’t need, and that you can afford to be selective and pay for what you have chosen. Remember, a majority of the world’s population doesn’t have these choices, in fact barely enough to sustain life!
    I don’t mean to preach, and am often guilty of taking things for granted myself, but I think it does us good to remember every so often that more people struggle for the basics of life every day, often through no fault of their own, and we in the Western World are so incredibly fortunate in so many ways.
    End of soap box!!!!

    • Guy Flavell  

      Totally agree with your comments Beverley. This was a complete waste of space on Starts at 60 … boy, what a load of “nice” drivel. When there are such problems in the World that you describe, people like Ms. Farnham whinging about trivial everyday things like a visit to the supermarket make me wonder as to their thought capacities. Perhaps Ms. Farnham should consider only buying one bottle of wine as two bottles obviously dispatches her off to
      La La land. She could easily remit the cost of the second bottle off to ‘Doctors Without Borders’ and contribute just a wee bit to the millions of the World’s deprived.

    • elena  

      Beverley, Have you ever reflected why is that ¨… a majority of the world’s population doesn’t have these choices, in fact barely enough to sustain life…´? Here is mine: it is because the clever powerful people, and countries, are taking too much (much more that humanely needed) for themselves (I´m included)

  7. Amanda  


    The paparazzi all over the new Prince Harry ‘romance’.

    I really thought that he’d more ‘brain’ than to ‘date’ someone like her.

    He’s in line to the British Throne.
    There’s just lots of ‘no-no’ situations’ which go with that.
    I doubt that HM the Queen, would sanction a marriage between them.

    Read the list of things her sister says about her, & if she revealed the ‘truth’, according to that article, Harry shouldn’t have a bar of her.

    • lurch  

      Blah Blah who give a stuff about Harry and where he stuffs his ****, also you post is way off topic

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