The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

May 18, 2007

Women, Shopping and Other Disasters

And I certainly know, then, about an undisputed, scientifically observed and proven phenomenon.
It's called "Women and their Wanton Disregard for the Rules of the Shopping Cart Superhighway."

Now, before my legions of female readers get all up in arms, or what have you, this behaviour has now been recognized by the World Association of Male Grocery Shoppers.

It has been verified over a period of many years of intense study by the Psychiatrists for Safer Shopping Practices Society. It has been endorsed by every consumer group on the planet.

Women pose a public shopping hazard because they repeatedly stop their shopping carts in the middle of the aisle, blocking other consumers -- mostly males -- from getting past them.

Males are clearly at a disadvantage in such situations because as humans evolved, men were the hunters and women were the gatherers.

Grocery shopping, by and large, is a gathering activity, hitherto not a pastime or activity largely engaged in by men. And studies are showing just how this development is harmful to males.

The typical male simply wants to hunt down his quarry and drag the food back to the cave. Females, on the other hand, tend to be much more selective in their choice of foodstuffs.

This results in frequent stops and incredibly long investigations of each brand or type or price as part of their evolutionary role in gathering only the best produce for their clan to consume.

And over millions of years, human females developed the behaviour -- in a very subtle way -- to attempt to block out other competitors for that same food by simply getting in their way.

In the 21st century, at a time when roughly half of all male-female marriage relationships end in divorce, more males are finding themselves in supermarket aisles, trying to adapt and be gatherers.

For now, sociologists and psychologists say, there's little the male can do except quietly wait for 10 minutes until the female ahead of him realizes that she's not the only shopper in the store.

...And move her shopping cart over to the side so other shoppers -- yes, even us out-of-our-element males -- can get by.

Studies also seem to be indicating that males (read: your's truly) seem to have a penchant for always picking the slowest line at the cashier checkout, but findings are not conclusive as to why.

It's also believed that further research is required to determine why females always forget where they parked outside WalMart or other huge megastores.

And consumer scientists are also anxious to gather further evidence on whether females or males are more responsible for leaving their shopping carts standing in parking stalls.


  1. Ah! Spot on!! If women aren't blocking the aisle with their trolley(as we call them here)they are blocking it with their big fat body while they chat with their big fat friend.I'm not being fattist -it's true -skinny women don't block the aisle, you can manoeuvre(sp?)around a slim woman.Of course that all depends on whether they've had the sense to park their trolley at the side of the aisle first.

  2. First of all, the minute I close the door of my Van at a Mall I forget where it is, what colour, make and model it is. So there goes the parking lot theory.

    I agree that *some women feel a sense of empowerment in an environment overflowing with food and notions. This behavior cannot be avoided because as gatherers they are totally over stimulated in a grocery store..

    much like a man would be at sporting event that featured lazyboy chairs, strippers and free liquor and steaks.

    Anyway I agree that some women take advantage of this empowerment and 'get their elbows up' when men intrude into what is obviously their territory.

    This bad behavior results in ladies blocking the asisle with anything at their disposal, snotty nosed screaming kids, moomoo draped butts, and carts that are overflowing with cases of diet drinks and 3 boxes of twinkies??

    Then traffic slows down to a crawl because they deliberately take for-frickin'-ever to read the same f'n label of f'n ingredients that has been on the same f'n brand that they have been buying every two f'n weeks for the last 35 f'n years! ((sigh))

    Then again it is also the hottest place to shop for dates!
    Now I'm more confused than ever and have no idea what I am talking about.

    *some women could mean anything I'm just covering my ass.

  3. So. Want. To. Say. Something.

    Must. Keep. Mouth. Shut.

  4. Lee:

    Doh! My intent wasn't to differentiate between women of different body styles, and I find that all sizes and shapes of women have this dominant gene or whatever it is.

    Quite effective, when you think about it...especially when using it against creatures who did not evolve with such skills...

    (And, of course, this is all in fun...)


    That first part must be your repressed feminine side coming out, I figure...

    While I somewhat agree with your hyper-analytical hypothesis, I find women quite unaggressive to and accepting of males in the supermarket.

    I've never witnessed elbows or been hit with any, to be honest. In fact, they can be quite helpful.

    I think it's all unintentional. They are just so focused on what they're doing.

    Now I too am confused and have no idea what I'm talking about.


    No. Spit it out. Go ahead. Make My Day.

  5. I prefer to do all my shopping at the liquor store where they give you one of those cute little miniature shopping trolleys on wheels. Easy to manoeuvre. Unless you're already drunk.

    And let me tell you, I have learned the hard way never to go shopping for booze with a credit card when I'm already drunk.

  6. Lee has it in spades.
    And don't forget the ones who lean across the check-out queue to read (without buying!) the magazine on that rack which are different from those in this rack.
    Good post, WW.

  7. This is not a phenomena that troubles just men WW but also working mums in a hurry! I start with an 'excuse me',
    if that doesn't work I move the trolley, if the aisle is still blocked I just ram with a smile and a breezy apology - god I hate shopping!
    Hurray for Tesco on-line my favourite store.

  8. Yikes on the fat remarks from some of your readers. That was harsh and so so sooooo wrong.

    Speaking as a (FAT) woman, I can tell you that it isn't just FAT women who do this, but tiny little waifs of women as well. It generally isn't the person who blocks the way (FAT or thin), but their cart. And the last time I checked, all shopping carts were pretty much the same size, regardless of the size of the person pushing it.

    WW, you hit on two of my biggest pet peeves - the aisle blocking and the carts in the middle of parking lots. I'm speaking as a non-blocker/ non cart deserter... and a FAT one at that! Who woulda thunk it?!

    I'm also here to say that women aren't the only ones who leave their carts everywhere. My dear husband does this as well until I shoot him a look that could kill.

    It's about laziness and disregard for others. If people are going to disregard others, then they shouldn't be part of society. Let's lock them all up!

  9. And what about those men who sit at the back of the bus with their legs spread so wide they're taking up 3 seats?!

  10. MJ:

    HA HA HA!!! Good point. But if you were drunk, I bet you'd STILL block the liquor store aisles.

    And it's only a minor point, but, you actually EVER go shopping for groceries, then?

    Or does Mr. MJ do that?


    Personally, I rarely watch women and their racks at the checkout counter.

    I'm usually too busy trying to find my bank card and Airmiles card and looking at the latest space alien abduction headline in the trash tabs...


    Better stay outta your you wear your pointy hat while shopping, then?

    I don't mind shopping, actually. I get to spend countless dollars buying food I subsequently forget about until it rots.


    As I said, in my experience it is all manner of people who block aisles, and yes, even men (GASP!)

    This was all intended to tease, that's all. I don't think many people do it on purpose, they're just zoned in on their mission.

    And I always return my I can get my quarter back!


    Yeah, so what about them?

    They're just displaying a silly male evolutionary trait: making themselves as puffed up and big as they can appear to try to guard what they think is their territory.

    The thing to do there is to go right up to them, unafraid, and sit right next to them. They'll move.

  11. Thanks, WW. Just another example of me being a man with boobs. I hate it when (mostly women, true unfortunately) block the aisles, I hate asking for directions, I hate talking on the phone ... you get the picture.

  12. PS I love women, though. It's just that I thought I was one! :)

  13. Grocery shopping? Are you out of your mind? No, I don't do that.

    As for the men taking up 3 seats on the bus with their spread out legs, you read me like a book.

    I march to the back of the bus and sit beside them just to make them make room for me. Even if there are plenty of other seats available, I still do it.

    And then I feel better. In fact, I feel better just typing this.

  14. Andrea:

    I would hardly want to be the one to suggest you were a man with boobs, and I'm certain hubby wouldn't agree either.

    But do you pee with the toilet seat up or down? (*Runs away*)

    And I love women too.


    Glad I could let you vent. And somehow I'm not surprised you'd march right up to them like that...

    As for grocery shopping, I guess you give a whole new meaning to the term liquid lunch...

  15. back to see if laurie vented yet!

  16. love it:) Its the male "If you cant carry it out of the store you dont need it", approach to shopping.

    If you need a trolley you are spending too much, man can survive on noodles and beer.

    Safe shopping:)


  17. Aidan:

    No, Mate, I go every couple of weeks and stock up, roughly coinciding with when I get my kids...

    But still, I do more or less survive on noodles and beer...

  18. you call youself a man, real men dont need trolleys or hygene products or vegetables...

    We need to cure you, this calls for beer and pizza Stat!

  19. Chris, I just stopped by to thank you for the wonderful card you sent to Cousin Dale. I read it to him today and you could tell it meant a whole lot to him.

    You are a very kind and thoughtful man and we all thank you.


  20. hmmmm...i just did the grocery shopping today....

    hate aisle blockers as i am on never ending quest to finish grocery shopping half an hour max. especially when i do it at the end of the working day in heels and haven't had dinner yet.

  21. Aidan:

    No, yesterday after I responded to your last comment, I went out and bought more actual food.

    Even peach yogurt and lettuce for my daughter! Horrors!


    Hugs back to you and Dale and the gang, and here's hoping his condition stabilizes...


    Strange, but all the words you typed between all those periods somehow disappeared. Must have six sentences worth.


    Yeah, shopping is especially bad in heels, isn't it? I always turn my ankle as I swerve in and out...

  22. "snotty nosed screaming kids, moomoo draped butts, and carts that are overflowing with cases of diet drinks and 3 boxes of twinkies"

    Omg...Ha ha!!!

    Actually - I despise all the grocery-aisle hoggers. I usually, unless I'm going to the Big Store for a holiday shopping trip, I grab a small basket that I can carry, and I weave in and out around the slowpokes and rude people taking all the space...Like last week - I just wanted some beer, and there were FOUR people hovering and blocking the way (from both sides) so that I couldn't get closer to the beer case than about 8 feet. It was two shoppers and two employees. GRRRRRR!! I turned around and left. I can buy my beer somewhere else if they're going to set up freaking roadblocks.
    When I'm shopping I am an ISLAND. I speak to no one, no one speaks to me. I shop mostly at Whole Foods so I don't have to read all the friggen labels. Those employees are way too friendly and talkative, however. I'll be in the zone looking at all the different pretty cereals and fruits, and they insist on asking me if I need help, like I wasn't just taking my time. It's my meditation! I am calm and collected when I leave, and it's great.

    Oooh! /rant off. =)

  23. Shelley:

    Now I know what all those r's in Tidal Grrrrrrrl stands for: RANTS!

    But good on you, girl.

    If there's a perception that women tend to be the ones who mostly block the aisles, then the perception that it's only males who are on the warpath on those aisles is obviously not entirely true either...

  24. Ranting - Yes. It's good I have a blog because I do tend to ramble on. A lot.

  25. Shelley:

    Ranting is good. You have beautiful, full substance to you. You care and things matter. And that makes all the difference.

  26. teehee... fantastic post dude! i try hard to adhere to the very simple rule of "keep left pass right"- like on the roads- whenever i'm shopping, and i've actually hit trolleys that other people have left in the bays so i either send damien to park them or i shift mine onto the pavement.
    i do admit to spending too much time investigating the different brands and comparing prices...


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