Retail Therapy

by Hanina Stettin
Print Email

tostitos.jpg I can’t help it.  I really can’t. 

When I go into a grocery store and I put an avocado in my cart, I think “Ohmigoshwhatifsomeonecomesoverandwantschipstoo?” And so I go and buy chips.  Two kinds.  Because what if a friend has a craving for blue corn instead of yellow?  G-d forbid I should not have blue corn tortilla chips in the house.  That’s thought one. 

Thought two is more like “hmm, never heard of that before.  Maybe it would add a nice kick to stir-fry.”  And so I put the odd looking, non-English labeled jar into the cart, too. 

By the time I’ve made it through the first few aisles and thrown in everything I or my roommate could possibly need in the next week (or month), I’m usually just plain hungry.  Clearly, that’s trouble.  You remember being a teenager in the grocery store and your mom opening up a bag of something “just to snack on while we shop”?  Mortifying.  And, of course, exactly what I do now. 

cart300w.jpg Grocery shopping is about turning into my parents.  As I trail crumbs through the aisles, I become my mom.  And then, as I reach for the weirdest thing I see (most of it’s not in English), I become my dad.  Enter a store and voila! Instant channeling.   

It’s my retail therapy only my retailers are Trader Joe’s, Vons, and, if I’m feeling particularly spendy, Whole Foods. Grapes? I’ve got them. Pasta? By the case. And ice cream?  I’ve filled my cart too many times over to start counting the half gallons and pints. 

I’ve relaxed a bit over the years.  Sometimes, I even let my fridge get down to the last bit of chevre and a lonesome looking bok choy.  But when the urge hits, I rarely fight it.  I head to the grocery store and allow myself to be swept up in fantasies of beautiful couscous and lamb tagines or spoonfuls of chocolate ice cream smothered in whipped cream, and as my shopping cart fills up, I relax.  And seeing my credit card bill at the end of the month sends me straight back to the store.        

 
A Los Angeles native, Hanina Stettin currently works at Mama's Kitchen in downtown San Diego.

Comments   

#2 LS 2011-09-13 09:48
Love this article. I have gone to therapy at Ralphs on Beverwil countless times. :b
#1 Reut 2008-03-20 08:53
What a brilliant article, and how true. I have not laughed so hard in a long time.

Comments have been closed for this piece.

 

restaurant news

Cambria's Best: The Black Cat Bistro
Southern California
by Maylynn Morales

blackcatlogo.jpgWith my weekend plans suddenly cancelled, I got to drive up my beloved Central Coast  for a second visit to Cambria in a month.  Both times, I had one place in mind at which to dine: Black Cat...

Read more...
Hemmer Brothers Burgers, Sioux Falls, SD
Mid-West
by Scott R. Kline

ImageHemmer Brothers Burgers in Sioux Falls, South Dakota is easy to drive by as it is placed inside an office building on bustling S. Phillips Avenue. But make sure you find it. They make a nice...

Read more...
Fairstead Kitchen: Supper, Libations & Late Night in Brookline, MA
Boston
by Kitty Kaufman

fairsteadintAndrew Foster and Steve Bowman dish contemporary American at Fairsted Kitchen in Brookline. It's a young vibe with a busy bar and communal tables so be ready to party. Why not? Even I have given...

Read more...
Fig in Fairmont Miramar
Los Angeles
by S. Irene Virbila

figreview.jpgAgainst all odds, not one, but two excellent hotel restaurants have opened in the last few months. First, we had the Bazaar by José Andrés, the dynamic tapas restaurant in the new SLS Hotel at...

Read more...