Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Meijer and the rabid shopper

it's pretty safe to say I'm not into sensationalism. yep, pretty safe...to say. I'm not into urban legends, not into e-mails demanding boycotts and I don't propigate the earth spinning out of control theory. nope, just a low-key, even-keeled kinda gal. can you feel the "but" moment about to happen? oh yeah, it's out there...

but, several months ago, here and there, I started getting unsolicited advice from my fellow Meijer grocery customers that began to gnaw at me. typically, I like to ignore grocery store banter, but the "what if" game started to take hold of my common sense. for instance, what if the granola-ish lady who nearly climbs into the dairy refrigerator searching for a container of cottage cheese with a "best if used by" date at least two weeks away, is right? and just down a few cooler doors, what if the elderly woman rifling through large, extra large and jumbo eggs looking for the perfect dozen without any "stress marks," is justified? and for that matter, what if the asian man poking the red meat to see if it bounces back, has a point?

gradually, I have become the shopper cleaning the tops of canned goods--gotta check the seals and make sure there is no vermin residue. I'm searching bags of bread checking for vermin gnaw marks (actually that one wasn't advice but experience--cue shivers). I wash cantaloupe in the timed produce spray in case any e coli bacteria is on the rind and then gets transferred to my hands. if you see a woman triple bagging a chicken (well first she's making sure the skin is white not yellow, darn that incandescent lighting!), stop and say hello to me.

without them realizing it, children of Meijer customers have influenced my purchases. after hearing a child screech "there's flies inside the donut display!" I now buy our saturday sleep-over-party-donuts in manufactured sealed containers. the mucas-crusted, coughing, just tall enough child spewing his two weeks worth of virus all over the taster table has forever made me shun such free-love germ fests.

see that's how it happened, that's how I became a rabid shopper. it starts with the little conversations offering advice and/or whisperings of dire warnings. it's fair to say that this evolution has been a life changing experience. you see, before the sensational stories and experiences I was zoomin' through the superstore, tossing a pound of butter into the cart without checking the date, grabbing pre-cut carrots without scrutinizing the "slimy" factor, and loading up on gallons of milk like there's no tomorrow. but not anymore. those carefree days are over. now I'm spending an hour even and hour and a half at the blankety-blank store!

am I justified with all this rabid behavior? I thought so, until I read an article about a medical journal publishing the effects of living a life that is too germ free. it seems that the rise in allergies, resistance to antibiotics and general malaise could all be linked to--you guessed it--the rabid shopper.

free mini-cup of Meijer fruit cocktail anyone?

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