Dearest readers, I’ve been feverishly prodding you in a forward direction along that big dating parade of the post40s age group, helping you dodge the rookie mistakes, drawing on the quirky unanticipated learnings from the experiences of our local celebs and generally doing my level best to help you #findlove despite how vociferously every core of your being might protest the prospect.
But every now and then I need to go on the defensive and declare a certain area the no-go-zone, the Chernobyl-two-headed-fish of dating, the veritable Fu-Ku-Shima of coupledom.
And here I declare of one the prime DMZs of the dating world….
The supermarket is NOT a place where you will meet your #notebook Ryan Gosling, find a chance to press your fevered forehead against a protruding Hemsworth forearm vein, or frenetically swap sustainable recipe ideas with that delightful hipster chap from River Cottage Australia.
Just as you are never going to look your best in rehab, you are never going to look your best in a supermarket (and when it comes to deprivation and despair, these institutions are on par)
No one shines bright like a diamond under the industrial lighting appliances that our supermarket chains buy in bulk (their purchase order must read: ‘150 x the Lets Make You Look Like A Long Term Inhabitant Of Guantanamo’)
Unlike the skinny mirrors in the department store change rooms designed to stop you crying over swimwear, or the soft focus lighting of cosmetics counters, supermarket electricals are hard-core. Believe me, until Instagram launches a #supermarketfilter, there’s not even a remote Kardashian third cousin that will post a gluten-free-aisle selfie to the world.
It’s not designed to make YOU look good. The supermarket gods pick a carefully-patented hue that makes the mystery-meat in Chorizo appear caramel smooth and thrice frozen prawns dredged from Thailand look like freshly-deceased local crustacea.
You? You will look like every downtrodden before-pic of any one of the #realhousewivesofanywhere without the costly attention of a cosmetic-surgeon-on-retainer.
You thought you were scared of gymnasium mirrors or Eastern suburbs kindy drop-off fashion faux-pas?
In your local supermarket, there is judgement everywhere:
- Paleo Guy is staring down at your basket, looking for an errant grain. A non grass-fed protein. a fish item with a loosely defined heritage
- Hot Vegan is scanning your purchases, searching for non-soy dairy.
- Fructose Intolerant Dude is turned off by your melons
- Average Aussie Bloke is deterred by your lack of burger mince or party pies and is quizzically eyeing your over-indulgence in greens
- The guy toting the Maggie Beer Quince paste only has potential to be your gay bf
If they are in there, they won’t be for long.
Available men are about as likely to venture into a supermarket with any level of enthusiasm as 40schick is likely to spend quality time in either Bunnings or Baby Bunting.
If there is an available man in a supermarket he will whip in and out of there quicker than you can squeeze an out-of-season avocado (given you WILL spend time evaluating whether paying more for an avocado than a double shot expresso is worthwhile)
Blink and you’ll miss one of them checking out their big-serve Lean Cuisine and 1kg bag of grated cheese (the only thing that makes Lean Cuisine bearable) – even if they are slowish by virtue of being rank self-checkout amateurs.
97% of men are there under duress and not actually available
Most of these are easy enough to identify
- They are toting sanitary products
- They are toting an infant in a sling
Your only shot?
Your only hope is to snag a hipster who hasn’t had time to tram it in to Mediterranean Wholesalers and who tried to sneak anonymously into Woolies. In this case your strategy is…Go Random
Stock up with any combo of the following
- Pearl Cous Cous
- 2 x cans imported lentils
- Wasabi in a tube
- Bassets Liquorice Allsorts
Or…. Just Go Kale. You will snag any well-researched male who is trying to Nutri Bullet his way beyond his 20s obsession with Alpine lights, forgive his early-apprenticeship ignorance of asbestos or thinks greenery will help restore a Jim-Beam-rotted liver.
It’s your only shot.
Just. Go. Kale.