Take Your Date to the Grocery Store

In love this idea and fantastic way to get to know someone inside and out.


NPR reports –

If you treat grocery shopping like a chore, all you will notice are the bruised apples, long lines, grim yellow lighting, and bitter chill of the frozen aisle.

But a grocery store is only as tedious as you make it. Disneyland also has long lines and a hellscape parking lot, but you probably don’t treat your visit like a chore — you go in wide-eyed and open to the magic.

Think about it. Your grocery store is a place made up of fresh fruit, birthday balloons, Skittles, live lobsters, flower arrangements, and hot-n-ready fried chicken. It’s kind of the perfect place for a date.

Breaking the imagined rules

The first grocery store date I ever went on, I was 3rd wheeling my grandparents. After we hit every free sample station in Costco, we checked out, and followed the spotlit billboard of an 8-foot hot dog, our North Star to the cafeteria.

“This is Pop Pop’s and my favorite date spot,” my grandma told me and my siblings as we parked our cart beside two plastic, white picnic tables. There, with several of their grandkids, Bob and Ellen sat under an indoor Kirkland-red umbrella and shared a chocolate and vanilla swirl ice cream cup. My siblings and I overflowed onto the neighboring table, enjoying our own ice creams and making the table a little stickier.

I remember watching my grandparents and trying to imagine them in their local Costco, getting ice cream with no kids around. In my mind, ice cream was mostly for kids. Dating was for hot 30-year-old actors who played high schoolers on TV. They were breaking both those imagined rules.

Their date ended with them helping us clean up our mess. I left Costco that day still knowing very little about dating. But I held onto that inclination that a date could be something simple and still surprising.

Bringing excitement to something ordinary

I knew my girlfriend was a keeper when we ended up at a Safeway on our third date. We just needed a place to meet up before going on a hike, but Safeway turned into the main event. We wandered around for over an hour and left with a rainbow slice of cake to share.

Thus began a long tradition of ranking grocery store cakes. Grocery stores became a go-to spot for a snack at the end of a night out, an air conditioned break from the summer heat, and a not-so-quick pit stop during trips. Nothing beats a spontaneous parking lot picnic.

If you’re thinking that a grocery store date sounds like a Mr. Krabs move, that’s fair. Maybe my girlfriend and I define a date too broadly. We also enjoy dressing fancy at a restaurant with white tablecloths, candle lighting, and menus full of French words that we have to look up on our phones. But an elegant ambiance can sometimes get in the way of getting to know someone, especially on those early dates. You might find yourself spending more energy trying to match the setting than being yourself, since your restaurant self is tucked in and buttoned up.


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Images by Fiona Geiran




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