Sunday, August 7, 2011

Morning at the Grocery Store

     One way you know you're getting on in years? When the highlight of your day is a trip to the grocery store.

     Or supermarket. Does anyone know why some people call it the grocery store, and others the supermarket? My ex-wife was from Cleveland, and she maintained only people from the Northeast say grocery store. According to her, people from Ohio say supermarket.

     Of course, my ex-wife also maintained that Ohio is not in the Midwest. According to her, Cleveland is less than 200 miles from Buffalo, NY -- so how could it be the Midwest? The Midwest is Iowa and Nebraska.

     Maybe she's right. I'm no expert on the Midwest. Or grocery stores. I just think grocery store is an old-fashioned word for supermarket.

     Anyway, I found myself driving to the grocery store this morning ... and really looking forward to it. I knew it would be the highlight of my day!

     I'll admit it, I love going to the supermarket. My favorite is Stop & Shop. I also like Shoprite. I do not like the A&P -- it's dark and dingy and I never get the feeling that the food is fresh. Never been to a Whole Foods. I'm just not the type. I do like Publix, but not Winn-Dixie, when I'm down south.

     Anyway, I know a guy who works the checkout at Stop & Shop in the mornings, so I always make a point of saying "hi," and catching up on his life. There's a Starbucks at my grocery store, too, and I'll often get a cafe latte or cappuccino. I'm not really a big Starbucks fan (the coffee's too strong and bitter for my taste, not to mention too expensive), but B doesn't like me to drink more than two cups of coffee in the morning, so this way I can have two at home, and then hit up Starbucks for my third. Don't worry, I usually get a Tall or Grande, not the Venti or supersized Trenta.

     Yesterday, I was going mostly because B was having a friend over for breakfast and I wanted to get out of the house. But I needed to get some shaving cream from the Health and Beauty aisle, and I thought I might need a new toothbrush, and B wanted me to pick up a 5 lb. bag of potatoes so she could make potato salad. No problem. I'll do anything for potato salad.

     But I love to wander around (while I drink my Grande) and get an eyeful of all the wonderful wares around the store. I headed for the produce section, found the five-pound bag of white potatoes. And then ... oh, the red potatoes are on sale. I love red potatoes. So I put a bag in my cart. Saved 50 cents.

    I went over to the fish counter, just to see what they were preparing for the day. Didn't buy anything. Then I recalled that we'd had fish for dinner the night before, and B said we were out of tartar sauce. So I found the condiment aisle, spotted the tartar sauce, and then also picked up some horseradish sauce as well. I knew we were out, and I love horseradish sauce on my sandwiches.

     Well, I won't bore you with my entire Stop & Shop experience. Let's just say I entertained myself for a good half hour, or 45 minutes. Got a gallon of milk, because B's son who lives with us glugs milk day and night. And ... well, the ice cream was on sale, so I just had to pick up some ice cream. Three half-gallons for $8. I wasn't sure if the sale counted if you buy less than three. No problem. I bought three.

     But the moment I realized that the grocery store would be the highlight of my day came when I arrived at the Health and Beauty aisle. I was assaying all the different toothbrush choices when I suddenly noticed the music. I like the music they pipe in at the grocery store -- and by the way, this is how you know you're getting on in years, if you like the music they pipe in at the grocery store. There's a lot of 50s and 60s music, but some more modern choices as well -- light rock, pop songs, or alternative music.

     So you get plenty of pleasant background music at the grocery store, some of it original, some more obviously piped in reinterpretations. But here's the song that stopped me in the Health and Beauty aisle. I stood there, listening to the song, thinking to myself:  How lame is this? I don't just like the music; here I am stopping what I'm doing and really listening to it!

     But then again ... this is a good song, one of Coldplay's first hits (altho' kind of a disturbing video). So if you want, you can share in my grocery store experience. Just take a listen.


Mac n' Janet said...

And I hate going grocery shopping, each of us is different I guess. My husband is retired military so we use the commissary for our big shopping and either Publix or Kroger for in between.
Seems like the stores are always full of ill behaved children or people on cell phones.

Linda Myers said...

My husband loves going to the grocery store. He's a coupon clipper and ad watcher, so he finds a reason to shop nearly every day in stores all over our area.

I, on the other hand, go to the closest store for what I might need.

Kay Dennison said...

I'm from Toledo and I call it the grocery store!!! Here in Canton, most people call it 'the store' -- in fact, there's also a 'mom and pop' place that's called The Store.

I love to go to my grocery at the beginning of the month!! It's like a command performance for elders and one can hardly get through the aisles for the scooters, etc. We chat about the how awful food prices are and how our disabilities/health are going and lately, how hard it is to get by these days. I suspect that, for some, it's the only time they get out which is so very sad. said...

Interesting and Funny post Tom. Who would think the grocery store could be so entertainig. David does some of our shopping too, and all the clerks love him. He must have as much fun as you did. Dianne

Anonymous said...

I call it the 'food store'. And just like you, I like to walk up and down the aisles, look at everything, sometimes find little treasures. But I do it at other stores, other than our own Stop & Shop. We have a Dunkin' Donut, but I have never bought a cup of coffee.

I enjoy carousing at Wal Mart, ShopRite, the post office, the library, the Farmer's Market, the gym and just like you, I like to talk to everybody. Makes the day very enjoyable.

June said...

I called it the grocery store until I realized that the grocery store no longer exists. It used to be a grocery store when there was a vegetable market and a milkman and a meat market. I trained myself to say "supermarket."
But if calling it a supermarket makes me sound as if I'm an Ohioan, maybe I'll revert. Ohio is way too politically rouge for me.

Friko said...

A grocery store - just a grocery over here - and a supermarket are two different things. I like going to the grocery but hate those massive, impersonal, neon-lit, music-piping supermarkets, they give me a headache and I get in and out as fast as I can.

Does that mean I'm not old yet?
Actually, I hate shopping. Is there hope for me?

Kay Dennison said...

June -- I'm am Ohioan born and bred and I say grocery store. And actually Ohio is purple and we've been working to make it bluer every day. We've really done well at it, too. You'll see come election time. How do I know this? Because I've been working on it and we are seeing progress every day.

June said...

Kay: That is Very Good To Hear.

Anonymous said...

Like Kay, I just call it "the store". That covers every venture from shoe shopping to grocery shopping.
In my town, Walmart is about all we have and it is the social hub. It is where we go to meet people we seem to only see over the produce bins.
Arkansas Patti

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

My husband and I are Californians and we say "grocery store" and geezers that we are, we ride down there in our golf cart just about every day. Here in rural Arizona, it really IS one of the big highlights of the day!

Sightings said...

Well, we did find out that Mac n' Janet and Friko and perhaps some others have more exciting lives -- their days do NOT revolve around going to the super ... er, I think I'll stick with grocery store. But I must say, I like the idea of hangin' out at Dunkin' Donuts!

And regards to Ohio, don't you guys have Dennis Kucinich? Can't get any bluer than that!

Kay Dennison said...

Yes, Dennis the Menace (as some call him is still very much with us in the House as is Marcy Kaptur of my hometown of Toledo and Senator Sherrod Brown who is best buds with Bernie Sanders. We need to replace a few teabaggers next election and I'll be helping to get rid of mine. I don't do anything major -- I haven't the energy to go viral anymore but I organize mailings, stuff envelopes, and do data entry -- all needed to make our district blue again. I believe that everyone who loves their country should work on a campaign once. It's really enlightening. I've been involved off and on for since the 1980. And I haven't missed voting since I turned 21 in 1968.

I also believe that if you don't vote, you lose the right to complain and I'm crabby enough to not want to lose that right. No your vote may not change anything but not voting for sure won't change anything.

Ann Harrison said...

At home, I hate supermarket shopping - I order online and have it all delivered. HOWEVER, when I'm in the US, I love it and could easily spend all afternoon in a supermarket or a drug store. I make sure I go into every aisle and look at everything on every shelf. Just let me loose in a Publix or a Walgreens or CVS and I'm in heaven!

Olga said...

Thanks for a stop at my blog. The potato salad is coming soon.

Dick Klade said...

Oh yeah, grocery shopping is an event around here. It's on Wednesday, because one supermarket gives an across-the-board discount on "senior day." They also sell 50-cent coffee (and it's almost as good as Starbuck's). The other market we visit does even better; coffee is free for seniors on Wednesday. I get a caffeine jolt that last for a week!

Knatolee said...

I say "grocery store" but it's not like the word "supermarket" is unheard of in Canada. And I'm with Ann Harrison. I hate grocery shopping but when I go to the US, I always visit the grocery store. I am blown away by the variety you find on US supermarket shelves! Not to mention how cheap your groceries are. :)

And I sure wish my grocery store piped in Coldplay!