I love to cook. I love to eat. If it can be grilled over coals, sliced, shredded, or diced raw – microwaved, broiled, fried or baked without extras.

No recipes, sauces, gravies, garnishes. Better reheated. Enhanced by fresh tomatoes, garlic, onions. Solid. Man’s food. Vodka before – wine with – scotch after. Cigars! No alfalfa sprouts, bean sprouts, parsley. The extra thick center cut bone in pork chops – barbecued – eat the fat! Real butter. Salt and pepper. Kitchen, den, patio fare.

My wife rarely cooks. She is however, excellent. Virtually none of the above applies. Aesthetics, creativity, uniqueness, health. Company food. Dining room, china, crystal food. Trophy wines. Women’s food.

Eating/cooking requires shopping. While the odd butcher shop – bakery – deli thrive in major metros, in most places it is the supermarket or starve. Virtually all neighborhoods have their own supermarkets so unless you deliberately go way out of your way, it is impossible to shop without running into friends, neighbors, family, business associates, or sons and daughters of same.

The very fabric of our society is based on civility. For most men, grocery shopping is not fun. The majority of grocery shoppers are women. Women love to visit. This fact makes it impossible for me to co-ed shop. I have one objective – get to – through – and out as fast as possible. Under no circumstances will I acknowledge another human being – let alone engage in conversation. My family and friends find this behavior boorish for reasons not understood by me or other male competitive shoppers I have known.

I never deviate from this except for the check out person and bagger, and then only if it speeds up the process. I have found repeatedly looking at my watch and frantically bagging along side the bagger increases their desire to see you go.

How often are aisles clogged or impassible because neighbors decide to chat half way through their list. If you must chat, go to a coffee shop – stay at home. Even more infuriating are those who choose to chat at the meat or deli counter when there is always a line and less than adequate help. This breed of chatter absent a customer with whom to visit, will talk up the help who regard this as a gilt edged excuse to cut back on cutting, packing, weighing, etc.

Grocery shopping is not a social experience, nor should it be. If talking were forbidden, it would improve productivity dramatically and no doubt lower costs. This point of view is clearly not shared by my wife or any of her friends. Thank God for diversity.