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The International Writers Magazine

The Art of Shopping with Mother
Ben Macpherson is off his trolley

It’s said to be the most stressful experience next to moving house. It causes me - even the thought of it - to begin convulsing, shuddering uncontrollably; and yet without it, I would quite simply, starve to death. To what am I referring? Not clothes shopping, or gadget shopping; the interesting type that can consume hours of my life - but rather that shopping which necessitates wielding a lethal weapon around aisles. Food shopping. With trolley wheels which never go the way you want. It's a type of shopping that females seem to enjoy on a weekly basis, and we, the poor unfortunate males have to suffer intolerably. Being typically masculine, we groan, and moan and complain of a headache “Sorry love, I think I’ll have to sit in the car”; until they flutter their eyes and we melt - or threaten us with a visit to their mothers.

We push or rather fight the trolley along the rows of greens and other raw, fresh vegetables. We weave our way, like madmen with the trolley cart in and out of small spaces, as the other party throws in, seemingly at random, items which seem all at once to be edible (always good), interesting (hmm…DIY), useless (what? another set of hair-straighteners.)

And what’s worse is when you have to do this with your mother. Or to be more precise - with my mother. It’s a trait I’m afraid I seem to have inherited from her, to be disorganised in the order of things. Oh to be sure, they get done; just quite randomly. Who’d ever credit celery to precede hairspray but come after a fresh loaf, in the long line of things aimed forcefully into the wire box on wheels? Even as an infant I found this quite amusing. Now it’s bemusing, confusing and annoying. But still, I don’t go shopping with her that much - so it’s not that much of problem. Nevertheless, where I can, I try my hardest to avoid it. Mostly because when you come home and help carry the bags through you get the’ “I’m quite capable thank you.”

You’ve fought for her, rammed others out the way, just to keep up with the click-clack of her stiletto’s hammering down the aisle like John Prescott at a buffet; you have even taken the heaviest bags, so she don’t have to carry them. And what thanks do you get?...exactly. But herein lies the contradiction that embodies females (a sex I will never again attempt to understand). The following week, you go shopping, do nothing, get acid looks from other women and receive mumbles of “He’s not a very good son, is he?”; and then, on arriving home go straight indoors to leave your supposedly capable mother to do what she does best. The phrase “to do what she does best” is actually more accurate than it may seem.
True, she is capable of carrying the shopping in. But she excels at the following action. Coming in and moaning at you. “I can’t carry all of those bags on my own! Come and give me a hand now.'

There’s no consistency with women and food shopping. Things never go the way you expect them to. So this leads to me one simple question: were shopping trolleys invented by a woman?...
© Ben Mcphereson
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(Ladies attack at will - or send his mother round to clip him one- Ed)


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