THE BLOG
08/20/2012 09:21 am ET Updated Oct 20, 2012

Dadmissions: Grocery Line Confessions

I can figure people out in 4.2 seconds. Call it a gift. Call it a talent. Or call it a black belt in "psychogrocerization" as in the black belt that the groceries go down at the store. C'mon admit it. You must at least peek at the people in front of you to see what they're buying. Sure, sometimes it's just plain old groceries, or sometimes it's magazines and cigarettes, or sometimes it's more. I can tell the life story of a person just by looking at what they're buying in those last few seconds before they pay. Shallow? Maybe I am. Or maybe not. Today, I was at the store and the guy in front of me had a jumbo bag of ice, a party bottle of Maker's Mark Whiskey, shrimp cocktail, and a couple of other party supplies. It's Sunday night. I had a 4-pack of Charmin, a package or Oreos, and a soda.  

What conclusions can we draw from this? I have kids at home. He doesn't. My kids are in bed already. His aren't... because he doesn't have any at home. My wife and I will watch TV, Food Network, and then the Newsroom on HBO while snacking on some Oreos we intentionally hid from the kids before peacefully using the bathroom with my new Charmin -- since the kids are asleep and can't barge in -- and then retiring for early bedtime. He and his gal will dent that big bottle of whiskey, while leisurely eating shrimp cocktail and joyously talking with friends about how they can enjoy a Sunday night of relaxation without the worry of kids. Too simplistic? Maybe. Or maybe it's spot on.  

Let's face it, the grocery trip changes when you have kids, and I'm not just talking about diapers, milk, and Gogurt. I'm talking about the things you DON'T see. The entertaining days aren't as easy as they used to be, and I guarantee with the exception of the Super Bowl and the Oscars, they're not happening on a Sunday night. So as much as I sit there and make sweeping generalizations about the people in line in front of me, maybe I'm just a little bit jealous of mister anonymous and his gal pal, and that big bottle of whiskey they'll be drinking by the fire pit tonight.  

The flip side is we have two girls who love us and one day -- many years from now -- they'll be out of the house, and the wife and I can shop like a young couple in love without a care in the world again.

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