I was recently shopping in the local farmers market with my daughter and begun a ritual handed down by many women in my family. As we shopped, I taught her how to select the best products that a store had to offer. I explained to her about sizing up fruits and vegetables, inspecting cans for dents, smelling the plants because if you are going to spend your money why not be selective. Money is after all energy. It’s the result of hard work, good decisions and planning. Your money habits say a lot about who you are so you don’t spend your energy carelessly.
With all the trips to the store, all the explaining, receiving and answering many questions. I had an epiphany. Therapist would call it a break through. Just like my mother I am taking so much energy and time to explain to my daughter about how to pick a squash but had never opened a dialogue on how to pick a partner.
The concept seems so simple but the conversation is one I never had before. I was never taught about how to look for signs of bruising, dented cans or when something wasn’t ripe enough for what you needed it for and let’s just bypass the fruits that appear ready but are rotten on the inside. Considering some of the men whom I’ve deemed “damaged merchandise,” who I’ve brought home from the dating market, I wondered if they were really damaged goods or if I was a damaged shopper?
I sincerely thought about the criteria I used to pick a partner. Truth is, I didn’t have any which explains why my dating basket was filled with items such as Brown Bananas, Canned Meat, Eggplant, Kumquat, a Family Size Bag Chips and a Snicker Bar.
I decided it was high time I warned my daughter about some of the signs I missed in the dating market so she could hopefully avoid making those same mistakes when she entered the market so after we finished shopping for groceries we sat down over lunch and discussed what to avoid when shopping for men:
Brown Bananas: This man was to be honest, too old for me. He had seen his best days already. Unless I was going straight home to make banana bread, there was nothing I could do with him. I hate I took up any of his very limited days.
Canned Meat: I made this purchase out of fear. I thought there would be a time where I would possibly starve to death from empty shelves. But after looking at him after a month, I realized how great I’d look on a liquid diet. Not only that I started looking into gardening and started looking at the squirrels with new eyes.
Eggplant: Truly there was nothing wrong with him. I just did not know how to cook this. I ended up chopping up a perfectly good vegetable because of my ignorance. I did take this one back to the store but sadly more savvy shoppers passes it by because it appears damaged. I am remorseful. I should have understood the handling instructions before leaving the store.
Value Size Bag of Chips: This very large bag of chips is misleading. I know the appetite I have so I spent a little more money thinking I have taken advantage of a great deal. But once opened the bag was only half full, mostly air. Now I deal with the struggle of not hating the bastard for having no nutritional value, leaving me unsatisfied and bloated but still hungry.
Snicker Bar: This was an impulse purchase. I was almost out of the store. Like the saying, you’re not yourself when you’re hungry. He was not a full meal. In fact, he wasn’t even a dessert. What the hell was his purpose? Just a bunch of empty calories! Because of him, I have learned I am allergic to peanuts…and caramel. Also nougat, whatever that is.
I explained to my daughter that at one point my refrigerator was filled with wilted lettuce, spoiled strawberries and expired milk so I had to learn to make better purchase. I needed to shop in more upscale stores and occasionally walk down international isles to see what was there. I am not saying she won’t ever purchase a product that doesn’t meet her needs but I can promise she knows how to check the expiration dates and won’t be bringing home curdling milk like I once did.
So step up ladies, tell your daughters about your shopping faux pas because the goal of a great parent is giving your child new aisles to conquer and not have them make the same mistakes you made using your old shopping list.
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