Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Flying Dutchcart

I can’t find anything in the supermarket anymore.

It’s not just me, either, which may or may not be a comfort.

I’m the one who goes grocery shopping in our household, mostly because I’m the one who actually enjoys it.  I like being surrounded by food.  I like running across new and interesting things to eat, even if I’m not really much of a culinary adventurer.  I come from a long line of people who like to feed other people, and being in a store dedicated to just that sort of thing is a marvelous time as far as I am concerned.

The main grocery store here in Our Little Town is roughly the size of your average local airport.  It stocks more varieties of more things you’ve never heard of than you can possibly imagine.  The potato chip aisle alone goes on for about a quarter of a mile, and even that is dwarfed by the dairy section (as you would expect here in Wisconsin). 

Once in while I can even get escarole, so I can make real Italian wedding soup, but not often.

So it’s big, but I’ve been doing the grocery shopping for a long time now.  The girls used to come with me when they were little, when it was an adventure, and once in a while Lauren still does, but it’s pretty much me.  I had my coping mechanisms.  I had my routines.  It was a smoothly oiled machine, really.

But for the last few months they have been Expanding the place.

Oh, the actual parade-ground-sized building hasn’t changed, but they’ve been reorganizing the usable space so as to allow for more actual aisles of stuff, so it feels much bigger.  I'm not sure where they're putting the stock anymore.  They've probably drilled into a parallel universe where it is both colder and less populated, so they can just leave stuff there where it will stay fresh and not be stolen.  And if the employees never seem to age, well, that explains that.  It certainly isn't because I'm getting older.  Can't be.

Naturally, all of this reorganizing has entailed a tremendous amount of moving things around.  Not much of what you want to buy is where it was the last time you saw it – just enough, really, to be confusing, since you think to yourself, “That can’t possibly be still there, right?  Nothing else is.”  And there it is.  Sometimes.

I’m not alone in my confusion, either. 

Every week I go to the grocery, grab my cart, and walk aimlessly around with my cohorts – a glassy-eyed food-shopping army of the damned, doomed to spend eternity (or a rainy Sunday afternoon, whichever is longer) roaming the aisles looking for canned goods.

At least we won’t starve along the way.


Gristle McThornbody said...

Ooh, oooh! Does your shopping experience take place in a store that starts with M and ends in eijer? Mine does, and has been the same as yours for the last couple of months. For awhile I swore they were getting ready to go out of business because they would completely run out of things like paper plates, or a particular brand/style of pickles, or whatever I happened to need that week.

Then they started putting in complete new upright freezer compartments (much nicer than the open-air chest type freezer/refrigerator units they had before), and I realized they were just doing an overhaul of the grocery section of the store and had been reducing stock to make the transition easier.

I have a real love/hate relationship with change.

David said...

Not Meijer, but they sound like they're operating on the same plan as my supermarket - the missing items, the new facilities, the works. I like the new upright refrigeration/freezer units, since they are probably much more efficient than the open-air units. But I am definitely looking forward to things settling down again.

KimK said...

Who moved my cheese? Again? ;)

zythia13 said...

It's upsetting, really. I have a preprinted grocery list that displays all of the boring food items that my husband and children will allow past their face holes, and additionally, such things as toilet paper and deodorant. Every two weeks, I take stock of VB the pantry and cross the items off the list that will not need restocking for two more weeks. I then make my husband by the remaining items. (Part of the administrative tasks fee.) Naturally, (would we expect anything less?) my list coincides perfectly with my preferred (and most efficient) travel route through the behemoth of subpar cart driving. MY LIST COINCIDES PERFECTLY. When will they be DONE?! (Yes, that's me, lurking in the end town row, taking notes, changing row numbers, drawing arrows as needed...)

zythia13 said...

Sorry - for some reason, multiples of me were showing up. No one wants THAT.

David said...

There must be some kind of glitch in the system. That's okay - I can delete the duplicates too, if you'd like.

You're more organized than we are. We make up a menu for the week, figure out what needs to be obtained in order to make everything on it, add in the things that a) we've run out of during the week and/or b) we always buy (BUTTER!) and then off I go. Even that level of organization cuts down significantly on the random attractively packaged items in the cart, though.

zythia13 said...

Lots of duplicates. I tried to delete them, but I see it left behind the one with all of the typos, and not the corrected one. Figures. Needless to say, there is no "VB" pantry, and my husband 'BUYS" the groceries.

David said...

No problem!

I kind of figured the "buys" thing, though I did spend a couple of entertaining minutes trying to figure out what VB could be an acronym for. :)