Posted on May 17, 2013 by Jennifer Lilley
Does anyone remember the Billy Joel song, “We Didn’t Start the Fire?” The catchy world-in-a-nutshell tune rattled off a series of events and memorable names, good and bad. When I go grocery shopping and am faced with the vast array of food choices, I can’t help but create my own fast-paced Joel-ish tune. Ready? Sing it:
Gluten free, calorie-free,
MSG, GMO . . . OMG!
Coconut milk, almond milk,
Soy and silk
Men in kilts . . .
CHORUS: We didn’t print the store flyer / It was always turnin’ since our stomach’s been churnin’ . . .
Random kilt comment aside and great as it is that there’s a food for just about every dietary need, it is overwhelming. This, in addition to thinking of the Piano Man, got me thinking about how similar grocery shopping is to dating.
Think about it.
We search for what’s best for us, hoping the experience won’t make us nauseous. Sometimes we end up with junk, other times we land a fun mix of wholesome goodness with nuttiness on the side. We can be picky or passive. We browse, ponder, explore and always, always try to have in our homes what fuels our appetite for life.
“What’s really right for my needs?”
“How does this new one compare to the other? Is it fair to compare in the first place?”
“Is now the right time or should I wait?”
“I don’t know. Something just doesn’t seem right about this one.”
Yep, something seems off about this one.
See what I mean? How we select applesauce is actually kind of like how we choose the man or woman of our dreams. Who knew?
Clearly, I’m just having some fun here with the food/dating parallels. Hey, we have to find fun amid the label reading chaos, right? Here then, are six ways grocery shopping is a lot like dating:
Six Ways Grocery Shopping is Like Dating
1. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is:
One product that’s gluten free, calorie-free, sugar-free using all natural sweeteners (huh?), rich in fiber AND has the winning lottery numbers under the lid? C’mon. Food descriptions, just like dating site descriptions . . . are all vying for our attention by putting the best of the best out there. But let’s not forget about substance (both food and people). Too much of a supposed good thing is likely lacking in good-for-you value, and while initially probably fully of sweet, lovely bliss, is probably loaded with bad stuff (aspartame in food, a public belcher in the dating scene).
Make sure that relationship is truly healthy!
2. Eye the Package (Mind out of the Gutter, People!)
When it comes to food packaging, rebranding can do wonders for sales. But too much of it too soon or too often suggests to the consumer that a product or company is having issues. Constant change messes with our minds and sends the wrong message. We lose sight of what it is or was in the first place.
Same thing goes for finding that special someone. It’s one thing to change our look from time to time. But going Jackie O. one minute and Lady Gaga the next is a bit concerning. If the man or woman who makes our heart all a-flutter wears spiffy outfits one week and decides it’s cowboy/girl week the next (at a restaurants and movie theaters), well, it may be a cause for concern. I mean, will it be leather and spikes when we meet for latte? Or the hot pink Spider Man muscle shirt?
Anyway, too much image change can be a red flag: is this person secure in who they are? Trying too hard to showcase a personality with ever-changing “see the new me” styles, rather than letting it evolve naturally throughout a relationship isn’t always a good thing.
3. Sometimes we have to shop around to find the right one:
Much, much more than you bargained for. Just because it’s right there, doesn’t mean it’s right.
Some folks tell us a certain coworker or restaurant worker is perfect for us because 1) after all, we see them every day and “know” them and 2) they’ve had the hots for us for 10 years anyway (insta-easy love: I’m already liked, so no working hard to figure it out, huh?) Oh boy.
There’s a difference between “Right there” and “Right for me.” You guessed it – just like food shopping. Of course you can go for that feisty hot tamale within arm’s reach, but love born out of proximity and convenience isn’t always wise. Think about your feelings: Do you have more energy now? Or are you drained to the core? Do you have a queasy stomach because of your choice? Food, like a person, may be convenient and have a bit of intrigue, but deep down, you know what best suits you.
So take a good look around and don’t just go for it because it happens to be there. Quality over convenience: Works for spinach as well as soul mate searchin.’
4. It’s what’s on inside that counts (Oh, like you didn’t see this cliché coming?):
We’ve heard it a million times over: it’s the person’s heart and soul that matters, not all of that shiny hair, hourglass figure and muscle man stuff, right? We all know what an avocado looks like. Deep baby poo olive colors meet Yoda-with-acne. But get beyond the whole appearance thing and surprise . . . it does wonders for us.
It’s good for our heart and so many other things.
So don’t be afraid to peel back the layers. You might actually discover something good for you if you look deeper (food and people. . . huh).
5. Don’t try to turn chocolate chips into chia seeds:
What you opted for -vs- what you really want.
Dipping your chips in a veggie dip doesn’t magically turn that Lay (the chip, people, the chip) into a healthy choice. In other words, don’t get involved with something you know isn’t right only to feel hopeful that a few changes along the way magically make it so. Don’t be fooled. We know what we’re getting into at the onset and no amount of added good on the side can offset what simply is. Adding fudge to broccoli won’t cut it. If it’s bad for us (or we just don’t like it), it doesn’t matter what good stuff accompanies the badness. Bananas are great. Banna cream pie, a whole other beast. See things for what they are: if the label says it’s extremely sour, it will be. Seek what you truly want and don’t try to change what’s not right into something that might be . . . someday.
6. You’ll know when it’s the right, forever choice:
Does a day with your lovely one and only give you highs, then a horrible crash that leaves you depressed and tired? Or is time together leaving you hungering for more? Do you feel energized, alive, totally in love or are you considering other options before you walk down the aisle?
If it’s the right match, go for it! But think wisely before making this a routine thing (really? Kale every other day? Really? Johnny every day?). And certainly be of a clear mind before you introduce family to this wonderful bliss.
Found a keeper? Dig in and dish the excitement to the world!
I’m goin’ with this one!!
(And cue up the song . . . )
Raw cheese, tofu, peas,
Bad breath, great eyes,
Yellow dye number 5,
Steel cut oats,
cow or goats?
Dates and prunes, macaroons
Va-va-voom, a lotta perfume
All this stuff, what to choose . . .
©Copyright 2011-2013, Jennifer Lilley, FlabbyRoad.com and Flabby Road: Moving on & Leaving the Elastic Waistbands Behind. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Lilley and Flabby Road with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Jennifer Lea Reynolds
Jennifer Lea Reynolds is a weight loss success story who enjoys living a healthy lifestyle. A fan of the elliptical, roasted asparagus and remembering to put the lid on the blender, she’s appeared in many national and local print publications. She lives in New England where she writes professionally about health and wellness in online publications including U.S. News & World Report, Reader's Digest, Woman's Day, The Huffington Post, and more.