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My DF: "I'm just not good at food shopping"

(34 Posts)
MadameSzyszkoBohush Fri 19-May-17 17:57:31

I'm not sure if this is the right board, it's maybe more AIBU but I don't really want a fight.
Anyway, my DF was saying today how he's not good at food shopping. I think it's basically a hint to get me to do it for him, he has it to do it himself since my mum passed a couple of years ago. He's late 60s, no mobility problems etc, several supermarkets nearby and he's comfortable money wise so none of those things are an issue.

I just think women have no choice to say "I'm just not good at food shopping", they just have to crack on with it so it really winds me up.

He also misses my mum a lot naturally, but it just makes me think the main thing that he misses was her doing everything for him (which she did). Which makes me a bit cynical.

Does anyone else have this? Am I being U?

anon1987 Fri 19-May-17 18:12:25

I'm sorry to hear about your mum op sad
I do think men typically find it difficult to manage the household tasks when their wife passes away.
I agree that is women, just get on with it, we don't make the same excuses as men (in general.)
My dp late great grandads wife passed away and he took to eating out every afternoon in restaurants, and ate sausage rolls for his evening meal.
How is your dad coping generally? In your opinion Has he grieved properly yet?

Maybe you could suggest going with him and helping him, not every time, but a couple of times until he gets a better idea of how to do things. You could even help him out with an online shop.

I know that this is in the feminism section and il probably get berated for this..but (in general) when our car breaks or we need certain diy things doing, it's not uncommon for us women to reach out for male help.
I don't see the harm in helping him if you have the time, but long term he needs to know how to do it for himself.

VestalVirgin Fri 19-May-17 18:13:00

What does he mean by being "no good"? Is he inable to see whether a vegetable is ripe or overripe?
Does he buy lactose-free milk accidentally?

If he has enough money to afford such mistakes, I see no problem with it.

As you say, women don't have the option to be "not good at food shopping".

VestalVirgin Fri 19-May-17 18:22:20

I know that this is in the feminism section and il probably get berated for this..but (in general) when our car breaks or we need certain diy things doing, it's not uncommon for us women to reach out for male help.

The difference is that repairing cars is a specialised skill that needs to be learnt professionally, or at least semi-professionally. I'd not ask just about anyone with a penis to fix my car.

If he had trouble with cooking, I'd understand that. Cooking is a skill, though an easy to acquire one, and an absolute beginner would profit from a teacher.

But food shopping? You just go there and pick a product, and the worst that can happen is that you accidentally buy an overripe avocado. Which might be a problem if you are very poor, but apparently isn't, here.

winteriseverywhere Fri 19-May-17 18:30:40

I agree he's possibly trying to get you to do it for him which is a bit off really. Could you suggest he does his shop online?

TheCraicDealer Fri 19-May-17 18:34:00

Point him towards Tesco or somewhere where you can shop online and save items to reorder, so he just needs to top it up with what he fancies that week. Anymore than that is unreasonable. Food shopping is a chore, it's not a one-off favour or a specialist skill that take years to learn. You do not want to be in a position where you spend the next twenty years planning his meals and doing his food shopping every week because he didn't fancy getting his head round how to find a ripe avocado.

I'm very sorry for you and your Dad's loss OP. The same thing happened to my Granda- he lost his wife and he suddenly had to take over the running of a house. But he got on with it. Although thinking about it maybe that was because he only had sons!

Xenophile Fri 19-May-17 18:35:02

Sorry to hear about your mum.

Sometimes when we have lost someone, we can go into a bit of a tailspin and forget skills we were perfectly good at before the loss. However, this was two years ago now, and the time for tailspinning is past.

If you're really worried about him, you could maybe sign him up for online home delivery, so he can spend as long as he likes doing his shopping and become as skilled at it as he believes you to be. You could even, if you're feeling particularly generous spend a couple of hours with him so he knows what he's doing on the site. And don't put up with any shenanigans about how he's old and can't learn how to do things like that now, because I used to teach an ECDL class to people who I'm willing to bet were much older than he is.

I know it's not your job to do this, but it's short term pain for long term gain. Old dogs can indeed learn new tricks, sometimes they need both carrot and stick to do that though.

MadameSzyszkoBohush Fri 19-May-17 19:05:08

Thanks all for replies and condolences.

He eats really well and cooks, so he's not in danger of malnutrition or anything. Buys top-quality ingredients and free-range etc so it's not like he can't do it. Don't mean to drip feed with that.

I have suggested online food order, he could afford a Waitrose one so he would know it's all good food (he's a bit fussy) but he always makes some kind of excuse.

Sorry just had to rant somewhere, I feel like I'm up against a brick wall sometimes and the only solution is to do it for him (which I can't do as I'll never stop as a pp has said and I also don't have time).

ElBandito Fri 19-May-17 19:55:28

I was reading this just a few minutes ago, seemed pertinent

MadameSzyszkoBohush Fri 19-May-17 20:26:36

Thanks El. Great piece.

"Or your widowed father now expects you to run around after him like a skivvy, just as he did your mum?"
So true <laughs hollowly>

I'm going to check out more from Janice Turner, I've read a couple of great things from her.

Trills Fri 19-May-17 20:37:58

Fucking practise then.

It's not rocket science.

Northgate Fri 19-May-17 20:38:49

I suspect it's more about not enjoying food shopping than it is about not being good at it.

It's not exactly difficult to wander around a supermarket and put food you like the look of in a trolley, especially if you're financially comfortable and don't need to meal plan down to the last penny.

Trills Fri 19-May-17 20:42:51

It is possible to be a bit shit at planning, and find that you have plenty of biscuits but no meals, or bread but nothing to put inside your sandwiches, or potatoes but not butter.

But a single person who is healthy and has no money problems is in the best position to suck it up and eat a non-ideal thing until they can go to the shop again. It's not as if he has small children to feed.

DJBaggySmalls Fri 19-May-17 21:40:14

If he eats well and can cook, offer to show him how to meal plan then write a list. Or it may be that he just wants company. If he used to go shopping with your Mum, it might make him feel sad.

ChocChocPorridge Fri 19-May-17 21:42:10

I'd say that DP is no good at food shopping - in that he'll come home having just picked up stuff that he fancied, with no real thought as to what the kids'll eat, or whether there's room in the fridge, but he still does it.

I think that your suspicions are completely correct, and he's just angling after you doing it for him. If he has a smartphone, sign him up to Ocado, and make it easy - they store the list so next week is super-quick, suggest stuff you might like, and you don't have to actually muck about going to the shop. When I lived in the UK we rarely went in supermarkets, because even though Ocado is more expensive, we spent less because we weren't even looking at stuff we didn't need.

Trills Fri 19-May-17 22:00:01

ChocChoc but if your DH were single and lived alone, his "being no good at food shopping" would hurt nobody else and he'd eventually learn to be better.

anon1987 Fri 19-May-17 22:06:00

VestralVirgin I bet you have at least once in your life expected a man to do something for you because he's a man.
For example, you've given heavier shopping bags to your partner or got your partner to wash the car.
We all do it and you'd be lying to say you never have.

Xenophile Fri 19-May-17 23:09:09

You're making a fair few assumptions there anon.

Datun Sat 20-May-17 06:39:53

OP, although I agree that doing an online shop might take the angst out of the process for your dad, it will also do nothing to get him out of the house. A slippery slope.

It might be that focusing on buying food for himself is still a little miserable. Eating together is often a huge part of a marriage.

I know you say he can cook, but would a cookery course be beneficial? He would have a definite list of what he needs to buy,
new recipes and a focus on food that is different to the one he had with your mum. A little loosening of those associations is sometimes a good thing.

If you suspect he is just doing a bit of a Man Thing, then no, I wouldn't cave. Apart from anything else, it wouldn't be good for him.

CrapstainBirdseye Sat 20-May-17 07:03:50

Janice Turner is such a great journalist, spot on on many women's issues. thanks for posting that good daughter article- so true.

InvisibleKittenAttack Sat 20-May-17 07:14:39

Food shopping is boring.
Much better if you don't have to do it.

Set him up with Ocado delivery, he can set up a regular delivery slot with a regular "basic" shop (so that'll turn up if he forgets to edit it) and show him how to edit for what he wants/needs.

AuntieStella Sat 20-May-17 07:15:49

If he's no good at it, then that may well be because he is very inexperienced at it.

I think the best thing to do would be to help him became better at it. Go through lists, talk about meal planning and keeping an eye on your store cupboard; supermarket layouts and how they are designed to trick you into spending more. Possibly setting up an online shopping account for hi.

Remember of course that this might all be code for 'I miss my DW' and the reason he's asking you to help him with something (anything!) is because you're one of the people most like her and who knew her ways.

LastGirlOnTheLeft Sat 20-May-17 07:19:09

That article is brilliant! Women just can't win. I liked the bit where men, who drop in to see their elderly parents for ten minutes each fortnight (so busy, so important), are deemed as 'marvellous'. So true, so sickening.☹️

picklemepopcorn Sat 20-May-17 07:28:31

Practice some phrases like:

Oh, you'll get better with practice!

I know, it's a pain isn't it!

It's even harder shopping for (however many of you there are)!

Online shopping has saved me hours of boring drudgery, it's such a relief.

At least you know you'll get what you like.

He'll soon get the message.

sashh Sat 20-May-17 07:29:11

My dad is almost 80 and he manages to food shop and cook.

When my mum's cancer came back and was terminal one thing the hospice did was run a cookery course for men who were like my dad, soon going to be fending for themselves.

Could you look in to something like that, or perhaps get him to organise something. It made cooking and by extension shopping an enjoyable and social thing.

My dad could always feed himself but has gone from making egg and chips to making ratatouille on garlic bread.

You could also try meal planning with him, my dad was buying for two and throwing food away but has started planning now.

And you are right, I'm crap at food shopping unless I actually meal plan, but I just get on with it.

Maybe suggest he gets farm foods or meals on wheels.

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