It's Like the First Day of School All Over Again

>> Monday, August 10, 2009

For the past many weeks I've been avoiding my local grocery store. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, mind you. The poor thing is just located in the wrong county. See, around here, grocery prices can change when you cross the county line. I don't know why that is, but it is. This is why I have been taking advantage of Toddler's weekly appointment in the next county over to do a little cheaper-than-down-the-street shopping. Lots of important things (like baby food) are ten cents an item cheaper, and since I'm out there already, I don't have to worry about whether I've saved enough pennies to make up the cost of the gas in actually driving there and back.

So, each week, we stop for something -- sometimes a lot of somethings, and we come equipped with a cooler on those days. Since its the same store as the one down the street, all our coupons work, as does our shopper card. Add that to the five cents a bag they give me for bringing my own bags and I feel like I'm getting away with something.

Today, I just decided to go back to our local store. I didn't need much. (Famous last words ... I know.) I was debating whether to use my Starbucks gift card at the store itself, or whether I would go to a real Starbucks after Toddler and I were done. It's a good thing I decided to wait because they remodeled and reorganized the entire store. Not only was the Starbucks gone, but the shelves were different, the bins were different, and almost nothing was where it used to be.

I think there are few things that upset a quiet, routine domestic excursion than finding yourself a stranger in your own grocery store. It feels ... a little bit like the first day of high school or something. I mean, no matter how you stray, your home grocery store is just that -- home! You might forget where some things are because you get confused, but you shouldn't ever be wandering down each aisle like you've never seen the place before.

On the one hand, the renovations look nice. The store was due for an upgrade, as it was starting to look out of step from the other stores. On the other hand, it is a little disconcerting to find all the organic foods in the same alcove where I used to shop for flowers and balloons. I'm a little uncomfortable that the wine shelves are the same height as the other shelves (meaning above my head), though. Plus, instead of having the wine shelves facing each other in one aisle, they are back to back in two separate aisles, and for some really strange reason I can't understand, someone thought the popcorn should be in the same aisle with wine and not with the other snacks. I don't get that.

To top it off, I bought one single jar of baby food at the store today and it didn't seem to make it home with me. I hope the woman behind me liked it. It was pea soup and green vegetables.


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