People that know me will be aware of my slight obsession with supermarkets. Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, I’m not fussy- in fact Home Bargains, Aldi and Lidl too. Throw in M&S and that’s a bonus!
I don’t know exactly what it it is about the fluorescent tubing and primary coloured advertisements, but supermarkets have this compelling and calming influence over me that I just cannot control. Whether I’ve had a bad day, or just need some time to reflect on everyday life, I found a trip to the local Spar on campus a soothing experience. I’ll get excited, then disappointed, by the reduced section, scoff at the prices of the bananas knowing they’re cheaper at other X supermarket and browse through their foreign food section with interest. I’ll read every label of every yoghurt comparing saturated fat, calories and sugar, seriously consider whether to buy more bread and look wistfully at the sharing crisps but very rarely on these reflective trips do I actually buy anything. Sometimes I may fill a basket then looked panicked and rush off (as if a sudden emergency has caught my attention) but mostly, I leave empty handed.
I just enjoy looking at all the food and reading their descriptions. I love how Tesco can make some strawberry yoghurt sound like it has to go in your basket and the vibrancy of all those vegetables and fruit under tube lighting and the smell of freshly baked bread enticing you into the doughy dangerous lair. There’s something mundanely magical about the supermarket that traditional ‘proper’ markets fail to capture. Maybe it’s the extra touches of the ‘bup’ ringing out at the checkout, the roll of the trollies and sharking attitudes of efficient mum’s hunting out the next bargains that make it appeal more than a traditional market. Maybe it’s simply because it’s inside and I like to be warm? I don’t know. I do know that supermarkets are extremely wasteful, are putting milk farmers out of business and putting horse meat in our burgers, but my love affair is comparable to the Winehouse/Blake affair. It’s unexplainable and eventually destructive (to my bank account).
I’m quite aware that the feelings I hold towards supermarket browsing is abnormal, it’s probably a mistake that my parents and close friends indulge this madness whenever I seem low or have something to celebrate, but I just love the places. I think the appeal lies in all the food that’s there just waiting to be bought, brightly coloured and packaged especially for you, extra special, chosen for you, by you, ready to give you every little helps, looking after your pockets and just generally being there.
A slice of supermarket heaven is sometimes exactly what I need. It’s not Disneyland, but lets just call it the Disneyland of everyday?