I am…Old.

I filled out a questionnaire about six months ago that a friend had forwarded me regarding my grocery shopping behaviors. I thought it was funny at the time, because I avoid the grocery store like the black plague. Until they start selling all leather purses and shoes at Kroger or Randalls, then I’m never really going to enjoy the experience. But I do go grocery shopping frequently (because my family INSISTS on being fed on a regular basis) and I definitely have opinions about grocery stores and the overall experience.

So I filled the questionnaire out because I had this super cool chance to participate in a shopping trip where they would follow me around as I shopped and give me $150 worth of free groceries.

And how cool was it that many months later I was actually selected?! For the first time EVER I got up in the morning and looked forward to going to the grocery store. I even put on a pretty outfit to celebrate the occasion! I mean, $150 of free groceries is pretty cool.

I pulled into the parking lot EARLY (I know, I’m never early to anything!) so I decided to kill some time and look at my face in the mirror. Maybe I’d go crazy and put on some lipstick? And I’m looking at my face and I see a HUGE piece of hair sticking out of my nose.


What am I, an 85-year-old man? I immediately checked my ears to verify, and no – there wasn’t any hair in there, thank GOD.

So I’m sitting in the parking lot and starting to panic because I have an appointment to shop with a gal from the store who would be taking my picture in about 5 minutes. I tried to pluck it with my fingers. As it turned out, it was just long enough to notice but not long enough for me to get a good enough grip on it without tweezers. I tried about 100 times though – so that I had a big nose hair AND bleeding fingers because I had jammed my thumb nail so hard into my finger so many times.

Now I’m almost late so I decide, well – maybe it’s not too noticeable…so I walk to the store. But it has to be noticeable because I can actually feel it blow in the wind as I’m walking. I swear. So now I’m going cross-eyed trying to look at my nose to see if I can see it….while I’m walking.

The gal I’m meeting hadn’t arrived yet so I pulled out a compact and frantically tried to pull it out again. Without any luck – I consider going to the cosmetic counter to buy some tweezers but I see the girl walking up to me so I start trying to shove the hair back into my nose…thinking maybe I can tuck it up in there.

Good times.

If she could see it, she didn’t let on and was so very nice as she took my photo and talked to me about the shopping trip. They basically wanted me to shop and then she would go to their competitor to buy the same things to see what store was cheaper. It occurred to me, as she explaining the process, that it might have been beneficial if I had actually prepared for the shopping trip by writing up, I don’t know, a shopping list….or checked out the sale ad….or brought along a few coupons. But this isn’t how I roll – and if she wanted to experience a true shopping trip with me – then I had to be myself.

And so it began. As I’m steering my cart around and she’s following me…I felt like I needed to give a narrative for her enjoyment. I mean, how boring can it be to just follow someone? So I’m walking through the produce section and I’m explaining how I kind of just eyeball the section to see what looks good and how I’m allergic to apples and any nuts that come from a tree and how my kids don’t eat fruit, but I always put something in their lunch box so the teachers at their schools don’t call CPS.

About half-way through the store I gotta admit I felt kinda like Oprah (of course, without the nose hair). I ran into several of my friends who were obviously shopping without a helper and just smiled and waved to them all as if I always brought along a companion to make the tedious chore go by quicker.

My companion let on that I was a bit of an unconventional shopper (she’s been shopping with a lot of women!) This made me feel good. I mean, why would I shop like everyone else, right? She said that I didn’t seem to have a plan at all – and didn’t seem to give any thought to what I was purchasing. Which is kind of true. I mean, I kind of know what we need and things that my family likes – so I just shoot from the hip and hope that I see said items as I walk down each aisle. It’s not really the most economical way to grocery shop – and while my family is on a tight budget, I feel like the quicker I get in and out, the better. As it is, being there makes me break out in hives.

My shopping companion told me that most other shoppers spend time going over every grocery store ad, compare like items for the best deal and look closely at the calories/fat/protein/sugar content of products. I just seem to be tossing things in my cart willy-nilly.

Now I felt bad. I SHOULD be paying more attention to what I buy and the nutritional value of the food I bring into my home. Why am I not being more cost-conscience? And why do I have nose hair?!

So I spent the second half of my grocery shopping trip asking my companion for tips and recipes. In the snack aisle I told her I was snack mom for Jackson’s baseball team. “What would you get the team?” I asked her. I think she was a bit thrown off by the 180 degree turn I’d made.

At the end she said she was going to have fun getting the items I got because a lot of them were so different. What? Doesn’t everyone get green curry paste and almond milk? (There is a rocking recipe in my weight watchers cook book that I really want to try but know I never will. ) I often buy high dollar spices and condiments for odd-ball recipes that I think I might make but don’t and the spices sit unopened in the pantry until the expire and I throw them away the next time I move.

But I really, really hope that she ends up spending more money for the stuff I got because if she does then I get to be on a TV COMMERCIAL! I wonder if I’d get paid?! And if that would spring-board a career in acting?

If so – I’ll definitely bring some tweezers with me.



  1. 1
    beke rios says:

    Oh my Lord Girl! Tears are streaming down my face. Yes, tears streaming. Can I please reproduce this shopping trip with you. Oh I will gladly film it too. We can make our own flippin commercial. I mean after all you wouldn't want to go into the commercial without any practice. Well, ok maybe for my own enjoyment you would- because an ad like the story you just told would make me shop there. NO MATTER WHERE THAT WAS!
    You are really truly the most fun person I've ever known.

  2. 2
    TJ Avery says:

    First, take a deep breath… we're mammals, not magazine models.

    TJ's Nose Hair Realities:

    1 When the hair gets so thick that breathing is noticeably more difficult, it's time for a trim.

    2 Nose hair comes from hidden ogre-DNA that activates sometime after 30 years of age. (in case you're wondering why nose hair is 10x thicker than other hair found on your body)

    3 Long hairs can be pulled out with your finger tips. Keep a box of tissues handy. If someone asks you why you're crying, just punch them in the nose.

    4 Using little scissors to trim requires skill and experience. The first few times you will most likely stab and or cut the interior of your nostrils. If you're in a hurry, you will most likely stab and or cut the interior of your nostrils. If someone bumps your elbow, you will most likely stab and or cut the interior of your nostrils. If you sneeze, you will stab your brain or give yourself a nose piercing.

    5 A nose hair check should be added to the public outing prep-list (along with checking your fly, pulling out self-induced wedgies, and making sure your gut isn't flopping over your belt).

    6 Nose hair eventually grows down to connect with the mustache area. This is great if you're going for the all-natural mountain man look. This is bad for non-lesbian females.

    7 Nose hair is a sign of wisdom in some countries. In others, they extract it and make stiff-bristled brushes for cleaning industrial equipment.

    8 Checking on the status of your nose hair with a finger-probe is often confused with the act of picking your nose by others.

  3. 3
    MIchelle says:

    Had the nose hair moment at work. Note: Large Fiskars office-size scissors don't work any better than finger nails. As to the shopping, if you get on TV, I'll get to tell my kids I know someone who was on TV. That hasn't happened since 1974 (Now who's old?).

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