The Midult’s guide to... shop­ping bas­kets

Annabel Rivkin & Em­i­lie Mcmeekan

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - NEWS -

Don’t be fooled by the salt-of-the-earth ched­dar buyer. Still wa­ters…

Other peo­ple’s sex lives? they can keep t hem. We have reached sex sat­u­ra­tion. We’d re­ally rather not know. Un­less it’s dis­grace­fully pervy and you feel the need to share. in which case, an­swers on a post­card please: it would surely be a dere­lic­tion of duty if we didn’t pay at­ten­tion. But, gen­er­ally, sex gos­sip has lost its lust re. too easy.

Other peo­ples’ shop­ping bas­kets, though? A pub­lic dis­play of pri­vate pas­sions. A glimpse into t he whys a nd where­fores of a life. Ooh, i won­der if that lasagne for two is ac­tu­ally for two or just be­ing bought be­cause a lasagne for one is so dispir­it­ingly small? And those roses look a bit ‘traf­ficked’ – surely he’s (aged about 25, suit, bad shoes) not go­ing to present them to some­one? Oh, maybe he’s ex­pect­ing to take t hat some­one back to his flat (dark, stripy sheets and du­vet cover that don’t show the dirt, but ver y ex­pen­sive cof­fee ma­chine). And that lady is on a diet. she’s only buy­ing g reen things. i wish i was on a diet. Maybe i am on a diet. As of… now. Oh look, she’s fin­ger­ing those percy pigs. Buy them, buy them, buy them. Yes!

Are shop­ping bas­kets win­dows into the soul? they’re cer­tainly a sat­is­fy­ing form of cur­tain twitch­ing. su­per­mar­ket own brand? sen­si­ble, tight or broke. Quilted loo paper? Only the best. Mar­garine. re­ally? Mar­garine? is it 1953? Gosh. Mar­garine.

And on goes the judge­ment and the imag­ined nar­ra­tive. We tell our­selves sto­ries as we queue for the till. sto­ries only punc­tu­ated by, ‘Why hasn’t she got her card out by now? ev­ery­thing’s been rung up. Why is she so in­tensely leisurely? i don’t un­der­stand.’

let’s drill down…

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