by Kate Reed
There are three major grocery stores within 0.75 miles of my apartment: a Whole Foods, a Shaw’s, and a Trader Joe’s. The Whole Foods is closest, incredibly nice, and, of the three, easily the most expensive for what we tend to buy. The Shaw’s is the largest, has a liquor store in it, and has the traditional layout that most of us know (think Publix or Kroger’s). I go to Trader Joes.
The Trader Joe’s is only slightly larger than my apartment (which is about 400 square feet), has an escalator leading down to the main floor, doesn’t have everything we need all the time, and boasts a gridlocked conga checkout line that snakes through 70% of the store after 11a.m. on the weekends.
So why do I go to Trader Joe’s?
There are no children.
It could be that the escalator prevents strollers from reaching the main floor. Maybe its small size and resulting crowdedness means that any tot present would be whacked an average of 3 times per visit by a stranger’s bag, cart, or basket. Maybe the lack of a bathroom makes it less appealing for quick stops.
Whatever the significant variables may be, bless them! I can hurry as much as I want and not worry about trampling someone’s precious snowflake. I can round corners quickly and not encounter some sub-shopping-cart-height obstacle careening in the opposite direction of traffic. I’m not keen on the idea of having children, but this doesn’t mean that I take an “it’s them or me” stance. But bopping a child with your cart is seldom worth the trouble it causes.
I can also use whatever swears I want without incurring dirty looks. For example, let’s say that you discover that they have eliminated all the lower priced sandwich meat to make room for high end Columbus brand pastrami – time for a swear! Or, they’ve decided that tart frozen yogurt is a seasonal item and now is not that season – I’ll be damned if I let that go without expressing my feelings.
Thank goodness for the inconvenience of Trader Joe’s. May your aisles always stay cramped; may you never get a luxurious elevator; and may your shelves never ring with the wailing of toppled children.
Kate Reed is Aurora’s friend and sometime blog contributor. She is a Southern transplant living in New England. She graduated from a major university in 2008 and struggled with the rest of her class to find work and purpose in the “real world.” There were some lean times, but she and her boyfriend now have good, full time jobs and are enjoying the luxury of not squeezing the daylights out of every penny and worrying about things other than the rent (like getting back in shape…). The question of purpose is still prominent, but Kate likes the idea of speaking out for fellow-minded women. When she isn’t working or writing, Kate likes to run (as much as New England will let her), bake dog treats, and paint.