The firestorm of divorce creates dramatic and often traumatic changes for both involved. Shopping is one area where things can often get better.
The new shopping
Shopping, a participation sport, leisure activity, or the means of acquiring stuff you really need? Rarely, I’m afraid, is it the last one. One of the biggest lifestyle changes after divorce is the shopping experience. Nothing in the divorce advice you had during the whole divorce process will have prepared you for this.
The new focus of getting it done quickly
The solitary, divorced pusher of the Tesco trolley has the great advantage of moving along the aisles without being constantly diverted by the choice between fair trade, organic, or single estate arabica coffee. Now any coffee will do as long as it has strength 5 written on the jar or packet. Shopping now at last becomes a highly focussed activity designed to achieve maximum benefit in the minimum time.
The joys of doing it just for you
Long diversions to find organic muesli can also be avoided. The lone shopper can cut through the nonsense and go straight for life’s essentials; lots of vegetables (though watch out for the food miles) , good cheese (try some English ones), any wine on offer at half price (give the French a chance here), some modest meat (happy chickens taste better) and, of course, lavatory cleaner. That's the one men always forget.
The problems of solo shopping, however, come into sharp focus in the buying of toothpaste. There’s choice and lots of it. Any sane person (divorced or not) wants a toothpaste to have efficient cleaning action, some plaque removal, a bit of whitening, something to stop holes appearing in your teeth and some breath freshener.
Why then do Mr. Procter and Mr. Gamble insist on making toothpaste which only does one or two of these and comes in 22 different sizes/packages? I want the lot in a single product and I don’t have time to consider the relative merits of each.
If you get the toothpaste wrong you have only yourself to blame
Before your divorce this angst would have been relieved by a short discussion with your shopping partner often resulting in a brief argument and then a unilateral decision by one to the lasting resentment of the other. As a divorced lone shopper you cannot do this. The decision is yours alone. The only person to blame you for getting the wrong tootpaste is you. What a relief!