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Excitement of the Big Shop is running low as lockdown lifts

Brendan O'Connor


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Brendan O'Connor. Photo: Andres Poveda

Brendan O'Connor. Photo: Andres Poveda

Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

Shopping doesn't feel like such a big adventure anymore

Shopping doesn't feel like such a big adventure anymore

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Brendan O'Connor. Photo: Andres Poveda

The elder daughter comes on the weekly shop with me. She is now allowed to actually come into the shop rather than just sit in the car. I can tell this week she thinks it's not as fun as it used to be. I suppose it was more exotic before, when it was the only place we went all week, and the roads were deserted, and you might get stopped by the guards. We added a stop in Aldi a few weeks ago, which injected some novelty into the proceedings. But it doesn't feel as adventurous anymore.

In the early days, it was me and her heading off for a little look around, going a little bit outside our 2km, having the random chats, getting away from the other two. Now it's more like just a chore, messages to be got, but with the added pressure of trying to buy everything we need for the week. This involves checking dates on everything, looking in at the back for better dates, often being unable to get what we are supposed to get, because either it's not there or the date isn't good enough on something that we aren't scheduled to eat until, say, Friday.

It also means somehow buying too much food. I suppose the reality is that, in normal life, we wouldn't have seven dinners in a week. Some evenings we'd just graze or do something with a couple of eggs. But now we panic-buy dinners for every evening because there is absolutely no way we are going to the shop again until next week. I don't even know if that's rational anymore, to avoid the shops so much. There are never any big queues anymore, and the supermarket doesn't feel as uncomfortable and dangerous as it used to. But the Big Shop is part of our pandemic pathology now. It's one of those things that gets us through the week.