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Men at the market: It's a lost cause

December 29, 2011 | 12:38 pm

Grocery shopping men
Hey guys, wanna get together and go grocery shopping?

Didn't think so.  But according to The Times, more men are doing exactly that

Seems that the trend of men doing the grocery shopping has been growing for years, but then the recession put more men out of work, leaving them at home to handle domestic chores.

Sorry, I'm not buying it.

Now, I don't really have a lot of formal research to back me up on this.  

What I do have is "man's intuition" -- you know, the same thing men use to find their way when they are lost, or when they need a birthday gift for their wives/girlfriends, or when they want to lay down a few bucks on the Packers vs. Steelers in the Super Bowl.

It's not that I've never been grocery shopping.  Of course I have. Here's how it works:

My wife gives me a list of what to get.  I go to the store and wander the aisles. I see many of my favorite things: Cheetos, English tea cookies, Whoppers, Diet Coke. None of those are on the list.  I get them anyway. 

Then I find that I've lost the list somewhere in the store.  So I buy what I think was on it.

When I get home, my wife says: "Where are the eggs?"

And it's back to the store for the eggs.

The Times' story says some stores are creating "man aisles" to make it easier on guys.

This isn't new. There's always been a man aisle.  That's where the magazines are.  We used to stand there and read Road & Track or Hot Rod while our moms or sisters or girlfriends or wives shopped. 

Sadly, now it's mostly magazines with stuff about Kim Kardashian, and who wants to read about some poor guy getting dumped before the gifts have been unwrapped? (Maybe he refused to do the grocery shopping?)

Anyway, I also have anecdotal evidence to refute this man-grocery-shopping myth. And you can try this  yourself.

Next Mother's Day, go to the market, early.  Watch carefully.  Hundreds of husbands, some with kids in tow, will be wandering the aisles, seeking ingredients to make their wives breakfast in bed.

If they are lucky, the dads will have daughters.   They'll know where the stuff is.

Otherwise, it's ugly.  By the time they finish shopping, you can forget breakfast. 

How about a nice brunch in bed, honey?

You want to know what else happens when men grocery shop? Check out this excerpt from The Times' story:

On the food side, Barry Calpino, vice president of breakthrough innovation at Kraft Foods Inc., said the company selected several products to market to men in 2011, with solid results. The Northfield, Ill., company developed, packaged and marketed MiO, bottles of liquid flavor droplets to make water more enticing.

"Guys, when it comes to shopping and cooking, they love to customize and add their own personal touch," Calpino said, adding that the interest also extends to beverages.

That's right.  We like to buy stuff to make water "more enticing."  And we "love to customize."

So, working women of America, when you get home tonight, be sure to compliment your man on the "enticing" water and the "customized" cheeseburgers. (I think Cheez Whiz is even better than that silly sliced stuff, don't you, honey? 

Who knows.  Maybe we'll at least solve the obesity problem.


Inside the mating economy

Battle of the sexes: Where men still win

Christopher Hitchens gets the last laugh

--Paul Whitefield

Photo: A man shops at a discount grocery store in Reading, Pa., in October. Credit: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

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