So we’ve all been sitting on our couch watching TV, at one time or another, and have seen someone get ambushed at the grocery store. The slender, healthy TV personality (in full make-up) goes through the chips, soda, cookies, and white bread in the shopping cart and they tell the poor, unprepared mom who just popped in, sans make-up, with her yoga pants on, why her children should not be eating sugary snacks.
I never thought it would happen to me.
On a random Thursday I popped into my local Publix grocery store with my 1-year-old, sans make-up (with yoga pants and my worn and beloved orange and blue Coca-Cola t-shirt on) for my regular mid-week shopping trip. This trip usually consists of things I forgot to get over the weekend, or things like fruit and milk that we’ve run out of.
After I put a few items in my cart, and right before I went to the bakery to get the baby a cookie to munch on while I finished my shopping, I stopped to look for string cheese for my older boys. It was then that I felt someone tap on my shoulder.
“Hello—do you mind if I take a look in your cart?” I looked up. It was none other than Dr. Mehmet Oz (in full make-up, for the record) and his camera crew. Why was he in my Publix? Why was he talking to me? What am I wearing? WHAT IS IN MY CART?
Luckily for me these were the contents of my cart: eggs, cantaloupe, apples, bananas, yogurt, and a roasted chicken. After he tried to juggle my apples and commented on eggs being the greatest source of protein, he told me I had the “healthiest cart of the day!” PHEW—I passed!! Thank goodness!!!!
On any other given day it could have been soda, cookies, goldfish, white bread (that my husband insists on), fried chicken, Little Debbie snacks for the kids’ lunches, or a myriad of other Dr. Oz no-no’s.
After the ambush he gave me a $50 Publix gift card. As I thanked him, the baby grabbed the remainder of the gift cards out of his other hand. We had a good laugh. I asked him if we could pose for a picture. He obliged.
After he walked away, I got the baby a cookie, finished my shopping, and paid for my groceries with my new gift card.
Two days after the ambush, my husband went to the store to get me ice cream because I had a sore throat. While he was there he picked up fried chicken for dinner, chips, and soda. He texted me a photo of the conveyer belt and said, “Where’s Dr. Oz now?”
I began to wonder, what would have happened if Dr. Oz had ambushed me on a regular day, with a less-than-stellar grocery cart?
The truth is, I wouldn’t have been embarrassed. When I buy cookies for the kids’ lunches, it’s because they are eating turkey and fruit and a string cheese along with it. They are allowed to have a cookie, and I would have told Dr. Oz that. When I buy fried chicken for dinner, I know full well it isn’t a great choice. Maybe we have been eating healthy all week and we want to treat ourselves with fried chicken while we watch the Gator game. Regardless, those are our decisions to make.
Grocery shopping is a very personal thing. What we decide to bring into our homes and feed our families is no one else’s business. Shows like Dr. Oz’s serve a purpose, which is to educate viewers about health-related topics. Ambushing shoppers is just a way to bring attention to his show. I get it. It’s funny.
I might have been in my grungy clothes, with no make-up on, but at least I had fun, and a crazy memory I’ll never forget. I also got $50 worth of groceries. And an epic photo op. A win in my book.
Watch Samantha on “The Dr. Oz Show” below: