Monday, April 23, 2007

The Aisle Less Traveled

Retail environments are laid out so that items commonly bought together are close to each other. Pasta is next to the sauce. Salsa by the chips.

I was amused, then, when I couldn't immediately recall which aisle to head down to get new scrubby sponges for the kitchen sink. Why didn't I have an image in my mind of where they were in the store?

It turns out the aisle marked "cleaning supplies" is also the home aisle for "diapers", "baby formula", and "feminine hygiene": an aisle single men need never visit.

I don't think this is sexism. I'm sure it's empirical truth: Shopping brains that think "Oh, yes, I need foaming tile cleaner" also think "And we're out of tampons".

Which reminds me: I am out of tampons.