Wednesday, July 29, 2009

legal tender

Every time I go to the Norwood Spar or the 'Tops' bottlestore, I get the best subliminal messaging of my week. I queue to ring up the groceries (loaf of bread, coffee - man do we get through coffee in this house - dishwash liquid, Tanglewood natural yoghurt) and she asks me if I need plastic bags (oh no! I forgot to bring them again!) and then as she totals it all up, and I tell her I'm paying with a debit card, and she swipes the debit card, and she asks me to punch in my code, I look up, and two words are flashing green on the little screen on her till - tender validation. Isn't that sweet? The same at the bottle store. Beer for the boys, a not-too-cheap bottle of red for me. And there it is - blinking green at me. Tender validation.

I'm usually in a grump at this moment, having wended my way through grindy traffic, or squeezing the shopping in between appointments that are Much More Important than bloody Grocery Shopping! Usually a little bit of a scowl lurking around my jowls. I'm not fond of grocery shops, supermarkets, places where I'm reminded that I'm not a hunter gatherer after all and the harvest from my kitchen garden is still not yielding packaged pizza dough. I grumble to myself, like the wolf who missed Red Riding Hood, until I see it. Tender validation.

And I always obey. I always tell myself something really nice, really tender. I do. I say - Tam you're so clever and nice and well done for getting through that traffic, and you're just the best, no-one knows what it takes to be you, but I do, and well done, I think you're great. Good choice of wine too.

Try it - a little bit of tender validation. It works a treat, it really does.


The Bug said...

I should remember this the next time I get groceries - I'm usually in a snit by the time I get to the checkout too!

tam said...

Bug, grocery shopping sucks. It's so undignified, isn't it? Validate yourself, just for showing up for that.

Janelle said...

oh yes yes! i will....except here in tz we don't get any signs like that...only a dull stare and mostly those old tills if at all....great post! loved it! xxx j

Lori ann said...

haha! why not? if those aren't the two most lovely words.

i am weird i know, but i love grocery shopping. not the big stores with too many choices,but the local markets. looking for items for a new recipe. it's like a treasure hunt. i know i know, i'm weird.

Anonymous said...

Too funny! And why not indeed.

Shiny said...

How lovely! I don't use a debit card but I think I must now. If it doesn't mean I have to go and queue in the bank though. Although, I suppose I could just think about this story while I did that. Or eat a delcious biscuit or something. How about I stop writing down every thought that comes into my head and just say I loved this post. Alot. I'd share the biscuit I'm thinking of with you, if I really had it, and if I were there x

karen said...

What a marvellous idea - really made me smile! The messages I get out of the machines I encounter lately are very stern and strict, nothing as adorable as yours!

Freya said...

I have to say grocery shopping is absolutely one of my least favorite things, but tender validation is something most of us could stand a little more of.

Lovely post. Thanks for the reminder!

Chimera said...

Awww honey this made me laugh out loud! Absolutely caught me by surprise and what genius sweetness!
T xx said...

perfect. isn't it wonderful how a dry word like tender can be wrought beautiful and soft and - well - tender?

Reya Mellicker said...

I hate the supermarket, too. For me it's a matter of too much stuff. I feel overwhelmed and pressured, like I'm supposed to buy everything and I don't want to. I really don't want to.

Makes me want to be tough, not tender!

The best part is when I come home and suddenly there's food in the cupboards and in the fridge. I love that feeling. It's the hunt/gather part that gets on my last nerve.

tam said...

Lori, foraging through market stalls for fresh fruit and veg is an entirely different matter. Its the flourescent light-tubes, and dizzying arraay of stuff you really don't need that gets to me.
Thanks for the biscuit Shiny. Or the thought of the biscuit anyway.
RM - tender is a chameleon word isn't it?
Freya, it doesn't always come easy does it, though, that validation?
Ooh, Janelle, the blank stare like those depressed shopkeepers?
Karen - public messaging can be very funny can't it?
I saw a sign on the escalator at a new shopping centre the other day: "wheeled craft must not travel here." How sweet and sad. The other great one is "barefoot children and ladies in long dresses must not use the escalators."
Reya, I agree with you, there's no feeling like full grocery cupboards and overflowing fruit bowls.

family affairs said...

Tam I'm so sorry I didn't manage to contact you - I sent you a text as soon as I arrived in CT but it wouldn't send - stayed in my outbox and I tried again several times from the valley but it didn't work - I may have had wrong no.

Would have been so lovely - had such a great time and especially loved where you lived!! Felt amazing to be there - only one night in Kapani and two in Kikuli with Audley - failed to meet your mum sadly - just no time and we were too far away for two days - have just read your dad's book though!

Hope your tooth is feeling better Lx