I’ve been wooing 2 potential clients lately, so I’ve been sort of distracted while I both work out my proposals and fantasize about the summer cottage I’ll buy with all my projected earnings. Which means I left my meal planning and grocery list-making until the last minute and found myself at the grocery store Sunday morning, the day of the Super Bowl and the day before a predicted snowstorm. Whoops!
This grocery store has an on-site childcare center for kids 3 and up, which we’ve loved using since the very day Miles turned 3. It was closed for a week for renovations and I was worried it wouldn’t be opened yet, and I’d have a disappointed kid to drag through the store. Thankfully, Miles got to explore all the “new toys,” while I anxiously navigated all the rearranged aisles.
You see, this grocery store is undergoing a transformation from regular grocery store into “fancy” grocery store. This chain has gradually been converting their stores into sort of Wegman’s-esque shopping meccas, only their store brands are not as affordable as Wegman’s and their fancy stuff is not as nice.
But in the mean time, they’ve been moving crap all over the place until nothing makes sense.
I spent an hour wandering around with other agitated grownups. Everyone held out their lists, sort of pleading with one another. “Have you seen bread???” someone asked me.
“It’s right there, next to the laundry detergent,” I’d say [not actually where the bread was...can't remember where they moved it], “but have you seen pasta??”
I definitely found cereal a row over from toilet paper and for some reason, chocolate chips were in the same aisle as the olive oil. Like, right next to the olive oil.
I saw one couple in their 60s or so in a screaming fight with one another because they COULD NOT find the butter and the husband kept yelling, “It’s been a half hour. Where the hell could it be?”
I kind of liked how all these strangers were coming together to help one another find party snacks, but didn’t like how angrily people talked to the random store employees they’d find and then verbally throttle over misplaced salsa. I very nearly walked out of there without going to get Miles from the childcare place. I managed to leave without 3 things on my list–freezer waffles among them, which means breakfasts this week will have to be prepared by me.
The whole experience made me realize what creatures of habits we all are, how we’re all used to cruising through the grocery store on autopilot. It made me feel better about the crushing sense of anxiety I felt at my utter disorientation in this rearranged store.
Having stepped so far from my comfort zone (which, the fact that a rearranged grocery store counts as stepping out of my comfort zone is very telling!), I was excited to get back home to the rest of my family and my day. It somehow energized me, refreshed my thinking. I have no idea what the week ahead will bring–other than a lot of labor at breakfast time–but I know I’ll probably emerge ok.
I mean, I’ve been to a place where the kosher food is next to the dried beans. I can surely survive anything.