Because a lot of people have proper jobs and don’t sit about pratting around on Twitter of a day and calling it work, they might not have come across the announcement last week of the launch of a new dating site. By Asda.
Yup, that Asda (they of Walmart fame, for my American friends). Find your perfect partner based on your mutual shopping habits, so the press release would have you believe.
(Or rather, I imagine it would. There was deafening silence from their press office when I asked for a copy, and they’ve not got it listed on the press release section of their site. There’s also no information to be had from the asdadating.com site as the link now goes back to the people they ‘partnered with’ for the service. Not that you should assume this was a piece of news creation by the Asda PR team to gain a little press coverage around about Valentine’s Day. Ahem. I’m absolutely not criticising, you understand. That would make me the world’s worst hypocrite. All’s fair in love and press coverage, and anyway, news creation pays my mortgage. Yes, a lot of people find it distasteful. Bad luck. It’s just the way the media work. You’d have much skinnier (and more boring) newspapers without it. As I said: just sayin’.)
But, veracity of the project aside, I suppose choosing to start a dalliance with someone based on their shopping habits is no worse than any other way of doing it. In my experience, there’s no more science behind choosing the people one dates than blind luck and a bit too much red wine.
And actually, I rather think that what someone chooses to put in their shopping basket can tell you a good deal about them. I dread to think how much someone else perusing the aisles on a Sunday morning can tell about me. Far too much, I imagine.
On an average trip to the supermarket – based on several elderly, scrunched up shopping lists I’ve just retrieved from the bottom of my bag – a basket of mine is likely to contain any combination of the following: aubergines, goats’ cheese, tonic water, rocket, The Times, pillar candles, marinated artichokes, fresh pesto, cat food, cat treats, Arborio rice, eye make-up remover, limes, paté (butternut squash), a nice hearty Syrah, ibuprofen, fresh pasta, tomato purée, olives, pineapple, Earl Grey teabags, chocolate buttons (giant), some product I’ve never heard of that the cleaner has been very specific about and won’t be able to do her job without, and extra-virgin olive oil.
(Gods above, reading that I’m struck that it does, doesn’t it? It just reeks of ‘single girl with cat’. Bollocks.)
But people as judgy as I am are liable to leap, gazelle-like, to conclusions about others based purely on what they’ve chosen to stock up on...
Frozen pizza, 4 pints of (full fat) milk and a ready-meal curry? Male, mid-twenties, cultivating a paunch. Very single, and presumably planning on it staying that way for quite some time.
2 steaks, bottle of plonk, ready-prepped Parmentier potatoes, pre-julienned carrots? Early thirties, bachelor. Eligibleish. Keen to impress but with a tendency to overpromise.
Cigarettes, two bottles of Pinot Grigio, cheese? Late 20s, female, having a night to herself whilst her flatmate’s out and the boyfriend’s playing 5-a-side. Functioning alcoholic. Probably in PR.
Polenta, kohl rabi, blueberries, wheatgrass juice, line-caught wild bass and herbal tea? Female, early 40s, but looks far older. Any time not spent in the gym is spent with female friends, bemoaning the difficulty of getting an appointment with Mr. Best Eyebrow Lifts on Harley Street. Absolutely no fun down the pub.
Of course, whatever’s in someone’s basket, you can also tell rather a lot about them by where that basket’s from. Do a girl a favour: if you’re going to be pulling in the aisles, just make sure they’re Waitrose, would you?