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.