Sorry, Atlantic — Grocery Shopping Is *This* Millennial’s Favorite Hobby

Clem Onojeghuo
Clem Onojeghuo

I’m really over this “Millennials are ruining our lives” trend. It’s bad enough that I’m the youngest person at my office by almost 7 years, and they’d probably be horrified to know that some of them are still considered millennials by definition. I have to give some praise to The Atlantic for remembering that correlation does not imply causation, and not throwing Millennials entirely under the bus in their recent article “Why Do Millennials Hate Groceries?”. In fact, The Atlantic kind of makes us Millennials seem like trendsetters. And if that’s the case, then my friend’s theory about me being an “old soul” is 100% correct.

Because I flipping love grocery shopping, I go to bed before 9 most nights, and my celebrity crush is Peggy Noonan.

I’ve always considered grocery shopping to be a hobby that I’ve not only enjoyed, but I’ve excelled in. I can’t say the same for some of my other hobbies, like co-ed softball (really, just ask me to be the designated beer girl from now on), and children’s book writing (Henry The Magical Ice Cream Man never did get picked up…).

I genuinely enjoy the art of grocery shopping. The weaving in and out of the aisles and gently caressing each tomato before it makes its way into my basket. Gracefully sampling the chips and guacamole at Whole Foods and coming back for seconds or thirds before the staff realize I’ve been there for two hours. Conversing with the local cheese expert (serious question: what’s a sommelier to the dairy industry? I just call him Patrick). I enjoy hearing the stories about the young boy whose father was a milkman in rural France, and how he used to help his father in the cellar, and then grew up to be a cheese maker, and named his signature cheese something that loosely translates to Cellar Cheese. I love crunching the sourdough loaves – think Disney’s Ratatouille style. And I enjoy counting the marble ripples in pieces of cow flesh to determine which ribeye is worthy of purchase. Meat guys usually love talking about meat, and I’d like to believe they are impressed when a single female purchase a $20 ribeye for herself.

Cuz when I’m at a grocery store, every day is #TreatYoSelf day.

I’ve even spent time picking out the perfect outfit for whatever grocery shopping experience I’m about to have. I’m making bolognese sauce, so I think I’ll wear a wool infinity scarf and my leather loafers. Homemade Cobb salad? My boyfriend jeans and Rainbow flip flops. Trying my hand at Pad Thai? That means I’m feeling frisky and adventurous, so crop top it is.

My favorite show as a child was that grocery store racing game, where participants had limited amount of time to race through the aisles and collect everything on the list and use the right coupons. I even had a similar experience to this as a young child. I was a six, and I came home from school one day to find my house on fire. My parents look back on this experience as rather traumatic and life-altering. All I really remember is that the insurance money allowed me to run though Toys R Us and buy anything that fit in the cart. I got approximately 93 Barbies. My little sister picked out a potty training toilet. What an amateur.

So I’m not surprised that my love of grocery shopping (and my blatant disregard for all budgets), is simply a byproduct of my childhood. I grew up in a home that loves to cook and experiment with recipes.

I also grew up in a home that used food as reward, but that’s a different article.

Still to this day, I enjoy leisurely grocery shopping as a way to stress relief. It’s me time. It’s walking meditation. It’s a declaration to the world. “Here I am! Grocery Shopping! Being an adult!” In fact, it’s one of the few times I actually feel like I’m doing an okay job at adulting. I know how to enjoy this one small part of life, that others my age disregard.

When I meet my future husband at the seafood counter and we both order smoked trout, this will all make so much sense. TC mark

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