'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
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MEN’S GROCERY SHOPPING: A STUDY IN OBLIVIOUS
A recent survey found that 51-percent of American men say they do the vast majority of grocery shopping in their households. Hmm, that number doesn’t seem right. I occasionally go to the grocery store, and while there, I do see a few men. But most of them are doing exactly what I’m doing: pushing the shopping carts as our wives make all the purchasing decisions. Even if guys define doing the “vast majority of grocery shopping” as being a pack mule moving a cart when prodded with a stick, it’s still nowhere near 51-percent.
I think there’s a few things at play here. First, most guys are oblivious. If they do the household grocery shopping, say, once every two months, they assume their wives also go grocery shopping once every two months. They don’t even notice that new food keeps appearing in the refrigerator every few days. (If they do notice, they assume it must’ve been the magical food fairy.) You see, when men go grocery shopping they talk about it and announce it to the whole family for days. Of course, the rest of the family doesn’t need to be told, since only dopey dad would buy the wrong brand of every item. But since the wives don’t talk about their twice-a-week visits to the supermarket, in the guys’ minds this means the gals must not have gone.
Secondly, most guys are really oblivious. To the average guy, swinging by Stop & Shop to pick up a jumbo bag of Doritos counts as a grocery shopping trip just as much as when his wife spends $245.00 and fills up the entire back of her SUV with bags of food.
Third and finally, most guys are COMPLETELY oblivious. When a survey company phones and asks if he’d like to take a questionnaire about how much he helps around the house, the typical guy gladly says, “Sure!” convinced that he is the epitome of the enlightened, modern husband who shares the domestic chores with his lovely bride right down the middle, 50-50. After all, he helps with the vacuuming. Whenever she’s running the vacuum in the living room while he’s watching a football game, he elevates his legs for up to ten seconds so she can get the Dorito crumbs in front of the couch. Not only is he helping to vacuum, but he’s also exercising his quad muscles!
When it comes to the household grocery shopping portion of the phone survey, the man considers his frequent Dorito trips (I was going to type “Dorito runs,” but for someone who’s lactose intolerant like me, the nacho cheese in Doritos gives that phrase a whole different meaning). He also factors in his occasional cart-pushing and his wife’s lack of boasting about her shopping trips, and then says with a completely clear conscious, “Yes, I do the majority of the grocery shopping.”
There may be another explanation. The guys taking the survey might have been distracted by a sporting event on TV while talking on the phone. So maybe they misunderstood the grocery question. They thought the question was, “Do you EAT the vast majority of the groceries brought into your household?” Fifty-one percent said, “Yes!” (The other 49-percent have teenage sons.)
The same survey also reported on women’s answers to the questions. Eighty-five percent of women say they do the vast majority of household grocery shopping. Let’s do the math. Fifty-one percent of men and 85-percent of women say they do the majority of household grocery shopping. That’s a total of 136-percent. Well, I think we now know why America has an obesity problem!
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