That's probably not a surprise statement to some of you who are convinced that I am slightly delusional. Just add that to the long list of mild psychiatric disorders that I like to claim. Mild enough so that some people don't notice and mild enough so I haven't been locked away yet. And mild enough so I haven't felt the urge to buy any cats lately.
The tip-off that I've been delusional was going in to the brand new Coles supermarket at our local shopping centre. And the thing I've been delusional about is thinking that grocery shopping is a chore. Apparently it's no longer meant to be a chore. It's meant to be an experience, according to the employee at the entrance who told us to enjoy ours.
I've been doing it all wrong for decades now. Every Thursday I grab a trolley. The trolley-grabbing is like the start gun and the aim of the race is to get around every aisle and complete my list in the shortest time possible and without knocking over any pensioners. Because knocking over pensioners really slows you down. Especially if their body somehow becomes tangled up in your trolley and you can't dislodge it. It's like deploying one of those parachutes on a dragster.
Grocery shopping had been considered a chore since the dawn of time, or at least the advent of supermarkets and supermarket trolleys. But some genius (who I'm convinced never does their own grocery shopping) has decided that we need to enjoy our grocery shopping experience more. We need to saunter down each of the aisles at a bridal walk speed, taking in each and every offering on display and weighing up the merits of white bread vs wholemeal vs wholegrain. Or maybe bread rolls would be a better option?
And if you happen to be faced with a decision conundrum, well now you can spend time pondering it over a cup of freshly made, barrista-poured coffee. With a muffin for only $4:00. In the little coffee nook with the mood lighting. Yes, I'm being serious!!
We were met in almost every aisle by a smiling assistant who enquired about our day. Or whether we needed any assistance finding a product. Thanks, but my day so far has been disappointing, having just seen possibly the worst movie ever (Noah, if anyone's interested). And no, I don't need assistance unless you'd like to run interference for me so I can get out of here quicker.
I'm not used to shop assistants who smile and offer help. I much prefer the ones that sneer and treat you with disdain. At least I know that they're sincere. But this 'niceness' seems to have become an epidemic - I'd noticed on Thursday that the staff at the Woolworths around the corner had lifted their game, terrified that they'll lose what they'd previously taken for granted - their customers.
All that sweet insincerity just got on my one last nerve left intact after the two and a half hour travesty that was Noah, but the tension was broken when we passed a hearing aid shop on the way out. A woman was out front spruiking for free hearing tests. I asked Iven if he was interested. His response? 'Interested in what?' He hadn't heard what she was saying. I'm thinking that she was heading for a very slow day if her target market isn't getting her message.