Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Men and Vegetable Shopping

Most women I know are never really satisfied when they send any of the men in their lives alone for vegetable shopping (Be it their fathers, their spouses, their sons, or anyone else).

I always think “What is it with men and vegetable shopping?” that simply don’t gel.

And I am not talking about illiterate dumb foolish men. But educated, smart, successful and really intelligent men. Men who are in charge of large global organizations, men who run billion dollar projects, men who have double masters and a PhD, men who are so wise learned logical and experienced in every facet of life.

But then what happens to them when they go to buy vegetables? I mean how difficult can it be? After all, you are only buying vegetables and that too on the request of one of the most important woman in your life. All it probably requires is some clarity on what needs to be bought, some basic knowledge on where to buy, some basic sense of how & how much to buy and some basic skills on communication and negotiation. Pretty basic stuff. Almost like common sense!!!

So most men leave the house entrusted with a clearly written shopping list which clearly specifies the quantity. Not to mention additional instructions on where to buy and how to look for the right stuff. All you have to do is follow instructions. I mean how complex can that be? We all know how to follow instructions. And probably leant it in kinder garden!!!

And so after the shopping, he returns happy with his efforts expecting an acknowledgement, appreciation and heart-felt gratitude. And in turn he is on the receiving end of the displeasure and dissatisfaction. Something just does not add up.

Why are the women invariably dissatisfied?…Simply because the instructions are not followed!!!

• Most times, everything on the list will be ticked – That’s great!
• Quality is completely questionable to the point that many times lots of stuff simply needs to be discarded (Is it so hard to identify good quality? Or rather so easy to ignore bad quality? Well.. Whatever!!!)
• Quantities are invariably ignored; and mostly much more than what is written in the list (There’s a reason why the quantity was mentioned!!!)
• Several additions are invariably included – A great bargain or a new exotic looking or a fancy organic breed is irresistible (It really does not matter whether they are really required or already available in the house or what the price is)

After a point in time, one of the following happens.
Most woman either “Buy vegetables themselves” OR “Accept their fate and just silently utilize whatever is bought” – What other choice is available huh?

Most men either learn to “Follow instructions to the dot” OR “Expect and are prepared to be on the receiving end when they are back home. They pay no heed to any comments on this subject” – What other choice is available huh?

And I’ve wondered why men fail in such a basic and simple task. So I asked few of them. Here’s what they said:
• It’s so boring. I’ll just be in a hurry to finish it off so that I can get back to my TV / laptop (As if there is no boring activity in their professional responsibilities. But they still do it with some level of interest!)
• I am just not interested. So I’ll buy whatever I can lay my hands on first (Yeah! Application of complex LIFO algorithm – Last In First Out )
• I thought I will help her by buying more stuff (As if it takes a genius to realize that vegetables are perishable and have a fixed shelf life. And as if he does not know how many people are in the house and how much it is humanly possible for one person to eat – Basics of any estimation?)
• I felt proud that I got a great deal. Just could not resist buying extra (Yeah! Right)

And when I heard the responses of one of these individuals who has a double masters and PhD and is on the Board of Directors of several reputed organizations, I almost asked him “How he got his PhD? Why did Dr. NA confer you with this title? How he figures on so many boards?”. Because to me a PhD is a great honor, achievement and the ultimate degree one can formally ever get. In addition to establishing your credentials in a specialized area, it involves a great deal of research. And with any research, there is a process to be followed and a logical & analytical mind-set required. So, how difficult should it be for him to buy vegetables from the local market???$#$!@!


  1. i was laughing so hard as i read it. But whats worse is going with the man for vegetable shopping!! It is so much easier to DIY!! :)

  2. So true ... I have stopped asking my husband to buy vegetables or fruit. I got fed up with accumulation of bad produce in my home ! Eg , in a bag of 10 apples, there isn't a single undamaged apple !