RELATIONSHIPS

Squeeze My Mango - Are Supermarket Hook-ups Still Happening?

4/12/2006

Picking up a few staples at the grocery store today, I sadly realized that supermarkets have become like overgrown 7-Elevens. People just want to grab and go.



Picking up a few staples at the grocery store today, I sadly realized that supermarkets have become like overgrown 7-Elevens. People just want to grab and go. I remember a different era, not so long ago when people would linger around the produce aisles scoping out the scenery while feeling up fruit to check its ripeness. Below is a story I wrote that originally ran in Toronto alt-weekly Eye recounting a friendlier time when supermarkets doubled as well-lit meet-markets:

I was perusing the fresh produce aisle at my favourite Loblaws, feeling up some mangoes in search of a firm ripe one, when a fresh-faced college girl widened her eyes at me. She seemed to be impressed by my taste in quasi-exotic fruit and started up a conversation. She told me she was also a big fan of mangoes, but she just could never peel them properly and always ended up getting fine strands of mango stuck between her teeth.


I sympathized with her plight as I too was once in that boat. I happily told her there is an easy way to carve up a mango where you end up with little bite-sized cubes. She was overjoyed at this news and gave me her phone number under the pretence that I would show her in person how to achieve this marvellous feat. At first I thought this supermarket pick-up was an isolated incident, maybe even a fluke, and so I decided to put supermarkets to the test.


The following week, I invited three of my friends to accompany me on another Loblaws mission. Upon our arrival we each unlocked buggies and set out to do some reconnaissance work.


It was a Wednesday afternoon and there was moderate traffic in the aisles. It was the perfect testing ground for my theory. We split up into teams and worked on opposite ends of the supermarket. My friend Chris and I stuck to the produce section since we are both veggie fans and we let Jordan and David handle the meat and frozen food section. We wanted to see if the supermarket had returned to its '80s glory days and was once again an ideal place to meet new people.


It didn't take long for Chris and me to spot a pair of cuties haplessly sorting through green peas in search of the good ones.



"It's unfortunate but they are not in season any more," I shyly quipped.
"Yeah, it's truly a shame," added Chris coyly.


"Oh well. I wanted to put some in a salad," shrugged off one of the beautiful strangers.


"You should try using snowpeas they're really crunchy. They complement salad well," I offered in a concerned tone.


Soon we were shaking hands and making introductions, one thing led to another and Chris and I had a double date that Saturday.


An hour later we reconvened with our friends Jordan and David, who also had smiles on their faces and plans for the weekend. It was a lot easier than in a club because our introductions were much more innocent (we were talking about food after all), and so the girls were completely unaware of our intentions and were very open to conversation. In a club, girls are expecting guys to try to pick them up and so they dismiss your advances without even giving a guy a chance. But somehow the cool, well-lit atmosphere of a supermarket is conducive to affairs of the heart.


Of course, we did receive our fair share of rejection, but every girl we approached was at least willing to engage in a little idle chit-chat about the items they were purchasing. Our study was not very scientific so we plan to return many times and do some more research -- if you know what I mean.



Copyright © Mike Dojc, 2006

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