Just give me crutches and call me LAME

Every so often, life hands you a moment where you see yourself from the outside and realize, “Holy cow, is that lame or what?”

And then, of course, you blog about it.

Last week, I should just have gotten out the ankle to hip cast and begun limping around, that’s how lame I was. Because my revelation…? Centered around the grocery store.

I know “you are what you eat.” I didn’t realize “you are where you shop.”

Angelborough has its own grocery store with a cute name. We’ll call it Costlies. At Costlies, you can pick up a gallon of milk for four bucks, a loaf of bread for three, and if you want the meat, they’ll open a credit card account for you. So I don’t shop at Costlies.

Instead, when I asked around, everyone told me that they shop at Market Basket. 

Market Basket is (wait for it) ten miles away, in another city. So now I have to drive twenty minutes each way to shop at a store I despise. I despised the Market Baskets in Angeltown, and now I hate the Market Basket here too.

Why? Well, for starters, Angeltown had three Market Baskets, and at all of them, the produce was awful. The employees were surly. And if you ever met anyone from Angeltown, all you had to do was say, “The Market Basket Of The Damned” and they’d groan, “Oh, exit seven…I’ll never shop there again.”

Exit Seven housed a Market Basket which almost never had other customers. You could come in, wander the silent aisles with your squeaky half-size cart, blow the dust off the cereals to find one that hadn’t expired yet, and then push your cart to the front where a woman checked you out wearing big hair that would have looked big even in 1987, and fingernails that would make Godzilla say, “Ooh!”

Angelborough’s Market Basket is slightly different. It’s crowded. If I went there at three in the morning, I’m sure it’s crowded then too. The parking lot is designed to cause permanent gridlock (Satan moonlighted designing it after he left Angelborough’s town planning commission) and the cart corrals are located in one cluster at one end of the parking lot; if you parked elsewhere, tough noogies.

Plus, you have to buy the Market Basket brand of generics. Which is….eh. 

So to recap: I now have to drive twenty minutes to shop in a place I hate with 5982740972 other people in order to purchase food I dislike.

Every week, I’d go there with clenched teeth, missing my old Angeltown grocery store and wishing they had a franchise here.

Last week, I discovered, they did.

And I went shopping. I didn’t have to, but I went shopping anyhow.

My house is full of familiar food. I could have sung praises in the aisles. I danced for joy in front of my fridge.

I’m lame. I know I’m lame. But boy, am I happy.


  1. Cricket

    I hear you!

    After we moved two years ago, I rejoiced with trepidation that we were closer to the Big Store. This store has fresh sushi and a snack bar, and same chain so same brands. It’s the one I used to consider a treat. It has housewares and clothes and a pharmacy. Higher prices, too.

    Yes, I stopped hiding anything I could buy at the grocery store under the grocery budget. Twice as much walking. More stretching. They move stuff constantly. Their rice is all in small bags. All the moms say they avoid it like the plague.

    The moms here like Cheap Store. Fewer impulse buys. Better ethnic food — large bags of different rices, more international labels, interesting veggies. Same store brands. Shorter lines. I went religiously for two months, and then compared prices line by line. About even, except for fresh stuff — that varies 300% week by week within a single store, so it’s hard to compare. (I buy in bulk, so it’s hard to compare monthly spending.) But there’s no deli or bakery.

    You need a quarter for the cart . You have to guess the number of bags and pay for them. (I put bagless groceries in my trunk more often than I remember to put the reusables in the car.) I go when the list allows — i.e., they have everything on that week’s list.

    About twice a year I’m in the neighbourhood of “Old Favourite”. Same chain as Big Store. Smaller store. Things are _still_ where I remember them, even the seasonal rotations — which are done for space reasons, not marketting. Hot dogs are more popular in summer, so they’re on the big shelf beside their winter home. Even with the drive, it’s faster. It’s like using Daytimer. My heart rate goes down as I go in the door.

    So, no, you’re not lame.

  2. spots

    Aww HUGS.

    Where I grew up, it was 30m one way to the nearest city, but at least they had 2 or 3 places to choose from for groceries.

    I’m glad you found the one you are used to!

  3. ivyreisner

    Darling, you don’t come close to lame. A yarn store has called me to tell me the new Zephyr is in stock. I have hugged the store owner for having just the perfect shade of red and she has totally understood that reaction. So unless you’re hugging the cashier, you’re fine.

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  5. ladyknight

    I totally understand. When we moved (all of 5 miles away, but it’s all freeway), we discovered there wasn’t a branch of my favorite grocery store open in this area. I have to drive back up to where we used to live to shop there (which is fine, since that’s where the library is too). There’s another grocery store close by, like 3 minutes away, that I used to say I would never shop at. I went there last weekend, just because it was close. I will never shop there again. I spent an hour wandering around, being confused because I don’t know where things are. I actually save time by driving to my favorite store.

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