6 Oct, 2015 @ 11:47
2 mins read

Off my trolley!

belinda column e

WE do it once a week, only a minority of couples enjoy sharing the experience and 67 per cent of women prefer to do it alone, according to ‘retail anthropologists’, aka people in America paid to come up with the staggeringly obvious.

belinda-columnThat’s the big ‘grr-ocery’ shop and we women could have told them for free that men are useless at bringing home the right bacon.

Why is that guys who are perfectly capable of making decisions when seated behind an office desk are at a total loss when asked to produce an inventory of domestic requirements otherwise known as a shopping list?  According to research, most men never write one.

They stare into the cavernous wastes of a refrigerator bereft of staples, then bring back crisps and pickled gherkins and enough beer to refloat the economy but nothing you can actually combine to make tonight’s dinner.

Perhaps the emasculating act of pushing a supermarket trolley causes a testosterone blockage that leads to a brain melt-down. But when will men learn that that the first priority, when entering a Spanish supermarket, is to take a ticket for your turn at the meat counter? There’s nothing that turns me into a basket case quite like the sight of my loved one languidly feeling up avocados while a queue longer than Syrian migrants at the Hungarian border is building up in the butchery department, wanting everything cut up ‘en trozitos’.

And unless your relationship is rock solid, steer well clear of the pick-and-weigh because what it is about men and tomatoes? Why can they never pick a firm salad tomato when they seem to have no problem at all in the breast department?

Another rule of thumb is, never split up. You won’t find him again, no matter how many aisles you look down, until you meet up at the checkout. Then you’ll spend another 10 minutes removing half the trolley contents because your credit card won’t cover them, which drives everyone else crazy. But if you have shopping intolerance, join the queue. The average human spends 273 days of their life waiting in line and men must take some of the rap.

They behave like kids in supermarkets. They want alphabet spaghetti and Variety Pack cereal. They want Tibetan goat’s cheese and kumquats and they want to go to another shop for the Guinness where they do it in widget cans.

And never let them roam free in the toiletry department, where they’ll be thrown into a panic attack by 50 flavours of toothpaste (with or without fluoride, coloured, white, gel or striped), 10 fragrances of deodorant (stick, ball or aerosol?) and hair sprays with more varieties of hold than you’d find in the World Boxing Federation handbook.

We won’t mention the size of the bill, the time I last let Him Indoors loose in Mercadona, the fruit mountain in the fridge (what do you do with kumquats anyway?) or the tube of Preparation H he mistook for moisturiser. But even if neither of us suffer from piles, it’s not all bad news. Sandra Bullock swears by haemorrhoid cream for reducing wrinkles!

Belinda Beckett (Columnist)

Belinda Beckett is a qualified journalist and freelance writer based in the Campo de Gibraltar, specialising in travel & lifestyle features and humour columns.


  1. What a load of sexist rubbish. Us men us quite capable to do shopping without the help of women. Many of us run the house with no problem and yes I’m happily married.

  2. What a stupid sexist article. I’ve seen it in 4 different countries – that in supermarkets, the overwhelming majority of women just pick up the first thing that comes along, it is the men who are far more discerning. in the Netherlands I used to watch the Turks out shopping and it was the man whose job it was to pick and choose.

    If this woman was talking about Spanish men then it would be 90% true. I feel sorry for her husband, she makes him out to be a silly little mommies boy. If this is so, why has’nt she educated him or does she just like to always be in control. If I was him I would be visiting a lawyer to get rid as fast as possible.

    Why no criticism of his mother for not teaching him to shop. Oh yes I’ll bet I can shop and cook her into oblivion.

  3. Very funny Mrs B. My other half has a sort of half ban on me shopping with her in Morrisons but seems quite content to drag me around in Mercadona. Even let’s me select stuff now and again. You’re right about ripeness selection…..many a yellowing brocolli has had to be eaten that day as I didn’t notice. Having said that she buys the exotic stuff that ends up in the bin as it’s gone off and how many toothpastes can you have even if they are 3 for 2 or half price. I’d have to clean them 5 times a day for life to get rid of our current supply!
    AND while I’m on it :-) why can you women never remember the list you wrote out not 10 minutes before or the bags for life from the hall or the one euro coin for the trolley!!!! Back at ya!

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