My lil’ brother Sammy and I went grocery shopping a few weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon to purchase food for a football Sunday smorgasbord feast. We do this a few times a year when we are hungry but don’t know exactly what for. We put an assortment of things into the shopping cart such as (but not limited to) hummus, tzaziki sauce, various cold cuts, salmon spread, weird snack crackers, frozen pizza, curious Indian foods, strange deli salads, donuts, fruit, cucumbers, veggie trays, soft pretzels, ice cream with marshmallows, and always some new, strange kind of cookie. We spend a lot of time in the ethnic foods section. I discovered a great falafel mix this way. There is almost always some new and delicious item discovered as well as something totally disgusting and revolting. It’s so much fun.
So I was following Sam around and he showed me an entire section of Cub Foods which I had never noticed before. It’s tucked back near the meat section, a place I rarely shop at Cub because I find their meats to be sub-par. There is a magical bulk candy section hidden in plain sight behind the bacon and next to the loose spices. Gummy bears, Jordan almonds, off-brand knock-offs of peppermint patties, bit-o-honey’s, sesame sticks all by themselves, you name it!
Sam began selecting his candy easily, I suspect because he’s visited this section numerous times before. He knew just how much to measure into a bag to equal about a pound without even weighing it. I imagine this is a talent gleaned from years of bulk candy buying. I can’t even buy grapes without the scale, so this talent is impressive to me. I selected the little raspberry gummies. I wanted to try other things but I was too daunted by the unexpected choices that I had to step away. Then I noticed the case of freezers beside the bulk candy. They are filled with what I call ‘sad bachelor food’. Things like single serving chicken cordon bleu or just 6 frozen fish sticks. Single wrapped burgers, steaks, mini pizzas, breakfast sandwiches that are already put together and frozen alongside chicken nuggets and breaded popcorn shrimp. I look around me after spotting these items and noticed that only men were in this aisle. Men with baskets, not shopping carts, and no wedding rings -not even tan lines where a wedding ring used to be were keeping to themselves while shoving a variety of pre-cooked frozen burritos into their baskets which already contained Hungry Man frozen meals and Little Debbie snack cakes. Foods that only men with no wife to look after them would eat. Not even their mothers would allow them to eat like this! Then it hit me – the sad bachelor aisle is where the single, available men who don’t live with their mothers shop. No need for match.com when you can hang out near the bulk candy and meet the man of your dreams, ladies! The real bonus here is that the men found in this aisle are obviously not into cooking for themselves so the old adage that states ‘the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’ will definitely apply here. I should set up a little kiosk at Cub and help people meet and exchange telephone numbers.
Maybe a few happy couples would even chose to get married at the grocery store where they first met…It could be the new Paris of the Minneapolis suburbs.