Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Grocery store dilema

I just returned from the grocery store. I went to Henry's. It was an hour-long trip.
It took 20 minutes just to drive there, 20 minutes to look for items and twenty minutes to drive back. Every light was red just to get to damn Henry's. Every person was driving below the speed limit.

At one point in the store, I'm so lost and cannot find my little bottle of cinnamon, I ask an employee for help. Well, rather, he has seen me pass behind him so many times, he asks if he can help me.

Cinnamon kindness

He directs me to the the spices section which has giant spice containers. I say I just want a small bottle. We round the corner. After my eyes scan across 20 different spices - from cumin to paprika - I find cinnamon. I pick up a bottle that is over $5 for an ounce and a half of cinnamon. A discounted sticker below the regular sticker price mocks $4.89!. $4.89? Seriously? As if that's a good deal.

The employee helping me brings me packs of cinnamon. "Hmm...$1.19 for an ounce of cinnamon. A much better deal," I think to myself, then tell the employee out loud. He says, "Yeah, those are expensive, especially because you picked up the organic cinnamon."

When he leaves, I proceed to find the non-organic cinnamon, for less money.

I then wander around a few more aisles, only to ask the friendly male employee, again, for help. He walks me to where the sugar is - it is ankle level, to where I had just been standing, staring up at the expensive spices. Another dilema envelopes my thoughts.

"Hmm..." I ponder, as I see the regular-sized cane sugar, used for baking. "That one's too big, but it's regular sugar," I say to the employee.

"You can have this one," he says, pointing to some calorie-free sugar. What is the world coming to? Pretty soon, sugar-free sugar will grace the aisles and real sugar will cease to exist.

I picked up the giant thing of cane sugar, plopped it in my basket (because I didn't get a cart) - because I don't want calorie-free sugar - and I suddenly realize my extremely disproportionate sugar-to-cinnamon ratio.

At one point, after I have the cane sugar and bottle of olive oil in my basket, I feel like I'm a little tilted, because the basket is a little heavy. I proceed over to many different tomato sections and realize none of the tomatoes are good. They are sullen-looking yellow and reddish things - not the bright, healthy red they are supposed to be. An older woman with a British accent tells me that she doesn't want to pay what the store wants her to pay for a green bell pepper.

"I just want to make a pizza," she says. "I've got tomato sauce and cheese. What else could I put on in?"

I told her a bell pepper would be great, but yes, it is expensive. I suggest she throw mushrooms on the thing, and she says no. Then I think, "Well, a cheese pizza is pretty standard with just cheese and tomato sauce..." I'm not mad whatsoever; I just can't help her. Another woman peers at the green bell peppers, and the British woman tells her how expensive the bell peppers are.

The yogurt section

When I peer through the glass doors at the yogurt, I am having trouble finding a big-sized bottle of vanilla yogurt with a brand I recognize. A woman next to me looks for her yogurt type just as long as I do. There are a trillion brands to choose from. But I cannot find vanilla. I find plain and non-fat, many times over with many brands. I start becoming discouraged and think to myself, "What happened to good old Vanilla? It used to be a popular flavor." When I finally find vanilla, I am relieved.

Finally, when I walk toward the check-out lanes, only two lanes are open, and both lines are long. I get in one, with a male cashier, seeing as both choices would be the same, since both are the same length.

Nope. The other lane, with the female cashier, shrinks down. Five people in and out, prompto! I'm still standing in the same spot. I place my basket on the floor, as I begin to feel my spine move slightly out of alignment.

"I should've gotten in the other lane."

When I arrive home, I realize what I thought earlier, pre-grocery store trip. Which store do I go to? Trader Joes is equally as far away. Only some items can be bought there, some at Ralphs, some just at Henry's. I went to Henry's simply because the parking lot is giant, compared to Trader Joes' tiny parking lot. Then I realize that I feel like a divorced child of the grocery stores, split and torn between two. Henry's has the bigger parking lot, which I can seamlessy drive in and out of, without a ten-point turn to back out of the parking space. As for Trader Joes, I love certain items there, and they are inexpensive. Downfall - tiny parking lot.

A divorced grocery store woman I will remain. But I need to eat, so what can I do?

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