Saturday, November 19, 2016

Meijer and the TMI scale

if you recall, I nearly Southern-Belle swooned upon seeing the new digital produce scales with accompanying sleek and silent label makers. #verklempt

being a Meijer customer since 1996 (yep, that's the year we moved to Michigan, 20 years! wait, where's my anniversary cake?!), I knew that "coming soon" in Meijer speak translated to, "eh, check back in about 3 weeks."

"coming soon" just couldn't come soon enough for me, and yet... it did!

5 weeks later...



isn't it beautiful? those are my apples, wrapped in noisy cellophane, sitting on a super high-tech stainless steel scale, with a legible label and upc code that the u-scan wouldn't dare reject and or give me computer-voice attitude.

I stood with hand over happy-thumping heart and reveled in the glory of the digital-scale. #herbivoreomnivorevictory 

go ahead, zoom in on the pic, look at that color screen giving the exact weight and subsequent price-- even the tares! no idea what a "tare" is or why I should care, but if someday I took the time to google it, I'm sure I would (maybe) learn to care. 

scan over to the right side of the screen, see the "Nutrition Facts" table? you thought that table was only for containers of yogurt, or jars of pickled beets, or bags of Doritos, but no(!) clearly, fruit and vegetables have nutritional information too! who knew? 

for instance, good news, a medium apple (1 serving) has no:
fat
cholesterol
sodium
or... protein 

hmm. hang on... 

but it does have: 
22 g of carbs 
16 g of sugar(?!) 

*Atkins gulp*

suddenly, I find myself questioning my abiding love for the Honeycrisp. my eyes leave the so-called "Nutrition Facts," hoping to unsee the troubling truth. 

my optic orbs search for refuge, or at least a distraction, at the "Description" title-- alas, more "information": 

apples are members of the rose family?! that's as earth shattering as the day I found out bananas went extinct in 1950 and now we eat cloned bananas! if that doesn't knock your yellow socks off, here's another fun banana fact--technically they're also herbs

there are 7000 apple varieties? I only can list off six, maybe seven varieties--has my life up to this point been an apple mockery? will I ever experience the other 6,993 apples?

apples float because 25% of their volume is air? math, and liquid displacement, isn't necessarily a pet interest of mine, so I let this one pass with a, "huh." #movingon

what really rocked my world was the bold "Storage" title. not ever have I refrigerated an apple. and that's the apple that broke my factoid back.

"TMI." I whisper.

I snatch my labeled bag of Honeycrisps (aka 66 g of carbs & 48 g of sugar roses) off the scale. a tinge of unease that the Scale of Too Much Information has tainted my go-to lunch bag fruit. 

and yet, even in that moment... I couldn't wait to see what the TMI scale had to say about brussels sprouts. #blechh

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Meijer and the favorite flaw

so, I've mentioned to you that I have many flaws. all 77 of The Meijer Chronicles pretty much support that I...

*am disrespectful to supposed authority
*am impatient with incompetence
*have overt eye roll tendencies
*refuse to suffer fools gladly
*often rely on thinly-veiled sarcasm

and my favorite flaw (I can have a favorite, right? or is that a flaw?)

*ignore the Meijer customer rulebook

over the years, I have religiously developed this flaw, or as I prefer to call it, axiom (first time to use that word!). a recent visit to Meijer reaffirmed my inability to shed my carefully crafted/tested axiom (just like saying it! ax-iom, axi-om, ax-i-om)...

before I said goodbye to the wacky world of fishing aisle, a nagging thought struck me, "what if barrel swivels are important?" having no idea what I was looking for (or why), I grabbed one of the smaller than the palm of my hand bag of barrel swivels. see pic below.

mid-way through my unlimited u-scan check-out experience, the computer screen yelled at me to, "please place item on belt."

the itemized on-screen list indicated that the last item I scanned and placed on the belt was the baggie of barrel swivels. my eyes darted to the belt, not there, and nowhere to be seen.

my heart sunk, my palms sweated, I desperately searched for the barely-a-gram-in-weight baggie before... 

too late. my heretofore happy-green lane light snuffed out, replaced with the dreaded red blinking light. 

I was now at the mercy of the Podium of Power. 

a nanosecond of hope dashed when I realized the current Steward of the Podium of Power was the third-string player in Meijer's world of cashiers. *gulp and overt eyeroll*

he glanced at his Podium's screen, looked my way...

in my desperateness (always playing beat the clock), I waved with a smile, even a little "oops" chuckle as I pointed to my glaring red blinker above my lane.

SotPoP tapped his screen acknowledging that he was on his way to help...
my smile widened, I even let my eyes sparkle. that's called: sin-cer-i-ty 

he walked from the PoP...
I whispered, "good, good. that's right, over here..."

then he ducked into a different blinking red light lane.

DOOMED! 

and no, I'm not being dramatic. that other Meijer customer's dilemma was that she wanted to void out an item and argue about whether it was or was not on sale! 

Meijer newspaper ads were searched, phone calls to the department were made, and subsequent 'can you hold?' minutes were burned-- do you have any idea how many years I was now sentenced to wait?! 

and that's the exact moment my Meijer axiom kicked in. 

ignore the Meijer customer rulebook

in the past, whenever there's been a problem that only a Meijer associate could solve (and there were, of course, no associates to be found), I went to the closest in-house phone and started dialing numbers; certain that someone would pick up, or the Watchers via security camera would alert an associate that a customer dared to pick up a phone. #alwaysworks

but my tried-and-true solution couldn't save me here. while Sid and Nancy argued, my desperateness level ratcheted up several notches. I turned to my Sherlock Holmes skills to analyze the Mystery of the Missing Bag of Barrel Swivels.

"the belt swallowed them." (7 seconds, a new PR for my brain)

I lifted the first section of conveyer belt. nothing. right about the moment I hefted the longer/heavier second conveyer belt section, Sid went silent and began the process of extricating himself from Nancy, suddenly interested in my red light. ;)

and there it was, the precious little bag of something that helped fishing somehow, and miraculously ended my suffering.

I am always loathe to promote bumper sticker triteness, but I do recall this one: 
"we all have flaws. the end."

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Meijer and the survival kit

years ago, when I first started this blog, I had an epiphany that there were sections of Meijer that I had never wandered into.

recently, I visited one of those sections. my son needed some items for a wilderness survival kit that was required for his survival camping trip. apparently, the most important items needed in a wilderness survival kit are:

*fire-making stuff
*not-getting-lost stuff
*first-aid stuff
*warm/dry clothing stuff

and...

*fishing... stuff.

yep, there's an aisle for that. at Meijer, the supersized superstore.

the funny thing at Meijer is, as soon as you leave the grocery section, the aisles are no longer numbered. so, you need to stare up and across the massive superstore to find a giant sign that applies to your search, in this instance I looked for "outdoors" or "sporting." 

then, when the giant sign is directly overhead, you peer down each aisle to find the next sub-section sign that meets your needs. I got lucky, I looked for a "fishing" sign and two aisles later... bingo. 

I'm convinced that the truly successful Meijer shoppers are all pre-internet folk that had to use the archaic library card catalogs for a portion of their lives. the pansy google natives are the ones that drive Meijer associates crazy--always asking where something is, no perseverance skills, no search-'til-you-find-it grit.

the survival kit required a "hook and line," I recalled the hand drawn picture of a hook attached to a coil of fishing line, so that's what I was going to get, "hook and line."

the first wall display in the aisle was lures (colorful plastic fish with giant painted fisheyes attached to a massive hook). they were strangely fascinating in a macabre kind of way, but I had to move on, certain that the local Michigan streams/rivers couldn't support the type of fish those lures would... lure. 

I moved on, confident that the display of coiled line with a hook attached would soon appear. after the four foot real estate of lures came rods, then reels, then bobbers, then about a gazillion little baggies of things called barrel swivels (*shrugs*) and FINALLY I find the hooks. and below the wall grid of 36 different types of hooks, a shelf of dozens of various fishing line.

ummm... the survival kit clearly stated "hook and line." the b&w artist's rendition showed that they were a thing, a thing that was packaged together-- like Kim and Kanye. not separate like Brangelina. #ouch #toosoon? 

"why are they separate?" I asked aloud.

my daughter--who had been inspecting the various portable mace options, out loud--"why are all of the mace canisters pink? mace is sexist?!"--came to help me out. 

"I guess you have to attach the hook to the line, then put it in the survival kit."

oh. right, easy peasy. I grab a bag of hooks and a roll of line that look strong enough to catch a fish to help my son survive in the wilderness, when my daughter asks this question,

"does he even know how to fish?"

that old adage flashed into my mind:
feed a 21st century pre-teen a fish stick and he snacks for a day.
teach a 21st century pre-teen to fish before sending him out on a wilderness survival campout and he... survives.

"attention Meijer associates. there's a mom face palm in aisle: fishing."

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Meijer and the scales of equality

if I had to label, or classify myself, I'd say I'm your typical omnivore.

I like plants.
I like meat.

I even tolerate them both on the same plate. 
it's about equality, people. E-qual-i-ty.

and just to be clear, I respect the other 2 -vores; the herbivores and carnivores. heaven knows I've had a few close calls with them when they morphed into angry-vores. more than once, under the superstore's roof, I've been just i n c h e s away from certain death(!)-- if it wasn't for my sharp mind, and the brussels sprouts distraction... *shutters* that herbivore would've gutted me. #smalltalkgonewrong

so yeah, respect.

but let's be honest. there is a bias toward the carnivores at Meijer. the biggest, glaring example that comes to mind is this...

versus this...
(full disclosure, the 2 pics above are google images. thanks, google!)

meat is weighed via super exact, digital-displayed science, wrapped (sometimes pre-wrapped!) and the smooth (never folded) UPC code label is affixed; with nice large type. ta-da! your brain-cell killing time at the cashier and/or u-scan just shaved off 2 minutes! lucky you, carnivore. lucky you. 

whereas, the herbivore and omnivore suckers are still dealing with the Machiavellian world of spring scales. and don't even get me started on the minuscule, always crumpled produce "labels." 

or the phenomena of me choosing all the beauty Honey Crisp apples to discover at the u-scan that none of my choices have a PLU label! sucks for you herbivore and omnivore, you get 4+ minutes added to your brain-cell killing check-out experience. #podiumofpowerpolitics

yep, the Meijer herbivores and omnivores have been dealing with these inequality shenanigans for decades, with only a brief respite when we stumble into a Wegman's, or some other type of unknown store, that cares for the struggling plant-eater.

so imagine my SHOCK when I approached the beloved Honey Crisp apple display...
(full disclosure, that's my pic. you can tell because it's a little blurry--my hands were shaking with excitement)

*silent rejoicing*

*clutches heart moment*

*remaining brain-cells squeal with delight*

equality, "coming soon."


Monday, September 26, 2016

Meijer and the earbud debacle

for years now, my excursions to Meijer have been solo. without toddlers, grocery shopping is now less harried (except on Saturdays). so I've tried to use/transform this alone time into something more... not "Zen-like" exactly, and not meaningful, but something... chill. yes, that's it, a more "you-do-you and I'll-do-me" experience.

here's the thing, I really like music, especially when I'm doing something as mind-numbing chill as grocery shopping. #myspotifyplaylistsarelit! 

for too long I relied on Meijer's Muzak speakers to provide me with my chill grocery soundtrack. their playlist is a hit-or-miss collection ranging from the 50's to 80's. once, I found out the hard way that the pharmacy's 65+ elderly clique have claimed exclusive dibs on Frank Sinatra. give a girl a break-- everyone knows You Make Me Feel So Young (from the movie ELF, duh!) #shunned #suddensoloact  

clearly, in no way is this Chronicler a genre-snob (I claim that knowing full well I have no playlists titled "Country-Western"). my general policy is if it moves me or the lyrics are clever and/or pierce me to my core--and by "core" I mean my heart, not abs--chances are I'll like it, and may even risk public humiliation. *eye squints at collective elderly who threw shade at me and my Frank sing-a-long* 

earbuds are now my answer to chill achievement. not only can I listen to whatever I want--without "real" Frank Sinatra fans rudely turning down their hearing aids--I can dodge unwanted uber-crazy's interactions, Meijer credit card pushers and on occasion, I will let the rhythm move me. yeah, this guy + me = soulmates. 
I've never been caught on video (much too sly), but I have been caught. *gulping blush* 

it was very late at night, and a favorite song by Beyoncé came on, Yonce. I looked left, then right; I was completely alone. I turned the volume waaaaay up, and started my jam. 

nothing too crazy... at first. before I knew it, I was channeling Queen B. strike that, I was Queen B. #yamanainteverseenabootylikethis

it was awesome. 

it was recklessly fun. 

it was horrifyingly hilarious when I backed into a guy patiently waiting to grab a box of poptarts. I silently cursed whomever invented earbuds, blaming them for my irrational need for loud, heart-pounding volumes; clearly not conducive to hearing a fellow Meijer customer's approach. 

my flushed from agonizing-embarrassment cheeks could've started a forest fire, until I realized cool-guy was amused and laughed with me, not at me. 

"don't stop on my account. you just missed my performance in aisle 9."

faith in humanity restored.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Meijer and the supersized recovery

the key ingredient in frog eye salad is acini di pepe pasta, little balls of pasta, that strangely enough, look nothing like frog eyes...

real frog eyes:


acini di pepe pasta aka, fake frog eyes:


amphibian culinary inaccuracies aside, I volunteered to bring frog eye salad to a Last Hurrah of Summer in Michigan picnic. 

(For three months of the year Michiganders get to use words like warmth, Summer, sunshine, and green. Those pretty words disappear mid-September and are replaced with: polar vortex, snow-slammed, school closings, arctic blastand my personal favorite, lake-effect snow.)

I went to a smaller Kroger that was close-ish to my house, collected all the ingredients for salad only to discover, no acini di pepe pasta. of course.

drove over to the larger Kroger about 3 miles away, nope! I sat in the 2nd Kroger parking lot knowing that my only option was to drive down the road to a third store... Meijer. The supersize-in-progress superstore.

I didn't want to go, mostly because I kept reliving how upside down, inside out, higgledy-piggledy and creepy(!) the store is during the "pardon our dust" phase. 

for instance: here's a photo I took 3 weeks ago and the note I typed on my phone afterwards...

"the corner of creepiness." 


"I watched four people (in a row!) willingly/naively follow the hand-drawn "rest room" sign and walk behind the floor-to-ceiling creepy plastic curtains. 
I waited. 
I perused. 
I never saw them again."

finally, I convinced myself that I had to go to Meijer because: 1. I made a promise to bring the quintessential Summer salad/dessert and 2. I'd be safe from horror creepiness since I didn't have to pee.

upon entering the wide open west parking lot, a major surprise; a large sign declaring the pharmacy drive-thru was now open! 

next surprise: the east and west entrances are back!! and unlike the other supersized store that I glimpsed at-- there are benches inside for the elderly! #ElderlyTinderLivesOn

I wandered the supersized superstore's recovery-in-process with a goofy smile on my face: 

*pharmacy no longer a kiosk, back to it's rightful/normal spot; the elderly's phlegm sit-in must've worked. 

*the cashier lane lights are bright white, numbered in dark navy blue. the Meijer associate's faded/stretched red polo shirts/uniform have been replaced with dark navy blue polo shirts--so slimming(!)

*the Starbucks kiosk is gorgeously nestled into the hyper-scented flower/plants section, I'll have to OD on Zyrtec, but it's worth it!

*once again, after exiting the huuuuuuugggggge produce section, the first aisle is labeled #1!! 

I'm so giddy with the improvements that I happily shrug-off and walk around the palettes of blenders, pillows, chips and adult diapers that still need to be stacked in the empty shelved sections, and even decide that Meijer's Helvetica can be forgiven. someday.

I remind myself that I came to Meijer--the supersized superstore--for a box of that elusive pasta, my stomach sank. 

"has the supersized recovery progressed into the pasta section...?"



oh yeaaaaaah. weird pastas galore!

clutching my little box of fake frog eyes, with a massive smile on my face, I head for the newly-chic u-scan lanes, when I hear two 80 year old women lament...

"I want my old store back."

my heart "awwws" for their dilemma, but I know, as I watch former Mr. Obese-Cashier-In-Ill-Fitting-Red-Shirt-That-Can't-Cover-His-Fuzzy-Navel now transformed into Mr. Obese-Looking-Trimmer-In-Dark-Navy-Blue walk toward me, that the supersized superstore won me over, again. 

well, for at least another 10 years.  

Friday, August 12, 2016

Meijer and the MapQuest alternate universe

I'm going to be honest with you, I'm completely thrown by the supersize superstore shenanigans. and I don't get thrown easily. 

I have many gifts/talents (sleeping is my favorite) and one of them is the enviable "Remain Calm" ability. if you were a talent scout looking for Jedi, and had a midichlorian counter, you'd be impressed. seriously.

however, walking through the bat cave entrance today-- I was stripped of all my serenity and even-keeled-ness! as I approached the garden center, I had a mental grocery list, even a mapped out path...
1. enter store walk through outdoor section
2. turn left onto main walkway
3. take a right at home furnishings
4. follow this main walkway through bed and bath on left, shoes on right
5. dead end at frozen foods aka the grocery section.

step 1 no longer exists! it's as if I approached the bat cave entrance using Google maps, but when the bat cave closed behind me, I stepped into a MapQuest alternate universe! 

the pharmacy (complete with the FDA required 6 cranky waiting elderly), was in the exact spot the outdoor section used to occupy! wha--?! no joke, a freestanding, kiosk pharmacy! I felt dizzy, as I side-stepped the hacking-in-his-handkerchief-while-steering-a-grocery-scooter-into-the-Dr. Scholl's-machine gentleman, at least that was familiar. *overt eyeroll*

I regrouped as quickly as I could, my mind grasping at my previous universe's reality: step 2: left at main walkway, step 3: right at home furnishings. I turned left at the first chance I got-- into the junior's active wear section. 

my heart started to race, my fingers tingled with that tingly "something's not right" premonition. I fast-walked through rounds of racer-back tank tops and stupid-short shorts onto an unexpected main walkway. slightly disoriented, instinct took over, I turned right. 

"stick to the plan. step 4, you've made it to step 4. bed and bath left, shoes right..." my frazzled Blair Witch Project-esque mind reassured me. 

it lied. 

baby section and shoes on the left! my head kept turning left, then right, then left, desperately searching for a familiar landmark in this bizarro supersized universe.

"step 5freezer section aaaannny minute now."

no freezer section. instead, a seemingly endless grocery shelf aisle, labeled "1," but I exhaled my relief, I made it to the grocery section! 

I could feel my heart rate normalize, blood coursed back to my fingertips and I'm sure my pupils dilated, or un-dilated(?); I'm sure my pupils looked nearly normal as I moved forward to get--

my mind went blank.

I couldn't recall a single pre-determined grocery necessity. I closed my eyes, grabbed my forehead (either to stave off an impending headache or to squeeze the info to the front of my mind, not sure at this point), and released a long frustrated exhale.

my hand dropped when I heard my exhale's echo

huh?

I walked to the end of the aisle, turned the corner and nearly bumped into a woman, grasping her forehead, peering around from the other side. 

"do you have any idea where the pharmacy is?" she pleaded.

I smiled. "step 1..."

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Meijer and the supersized glimpses

there's this place in Arizona called, "The Grand Canyon." ever heard of it? ;) it's on my list of places to see before I die. (speaking of dying... we've become so close over the years, consider yourself invited to my funeral--at some unknown future date. it should be a doozy. see, before marriage, my initials were T.N.T. when I die I have given strict instructions that I am to be cremated, packed into fireworks and blown into the night sky as a fiery-glittering blossom so that once more I can be TNT.)

but I digress. 

I am told that The Grand Canyon is so awesome, so massive, soooo.... well, grand, that photographs cannot possibly do it justice--one must experience the absolute enormity of it allI just hope and pray it lives up to its hype, because it sounds a lot like an experience I had recently; inside a Meijer, one of the newly completed supersized superstores...

once again, I was in an unfamiliar portion of Michigan when I saw the familiar blue and red, lower-case Helvetica Meijer signage. I recall thinking, "I could really use a couple cans of mandarin oranges and a USB cable." naturally, I pulled over.

little did I know how deeply I would be affected by the supersized glimpses I experienced that day: 

1. even the airlock is supersized. seriously, this thing is so long it could double as NASA's rocket exhaust plume tunnel. and I'm 99.9% sure, when my Old Meijer becomes fully supersized, this particular change will cause an Elderly Uprising. see, at Old Meijer, the airlocks on the west and east ends functioned as the Elderly's Tinder app. no joke, digits were exchanged and love connections made as the Men Elderly sat on the bench and reviewed Lady Elderly as they came in (swipe left) and then followed them out (swipe right) to the SMART bus home. not at New Meijer; the new airlock's only function is to house the carts, no benches. this is not even remotely conducive to the indelicate art of hooking up. 

2. there are soooo many more items. at first this sounds great--variety! woohoo! until you realize that all this variety is getting in the way of your settled, expected familiar. I found myself jaw-dropped staring at a wall(!) of Snapea Crisps; did you know there are 4 flavors?! not to mention they make Lentil Bean (2 flavors) and Black Bean (2 flavors) and all sorts of differing bag sizes! Snack size, family size, 20 oz size, bulk size... 

not until that moment did I give a second thought of pureed, baked veggies; but there I am, light-headed with crisps possibilities-- no, stymied by multi-flavored visions of posh parties with bowls of caesar flavored crisps, wasabi-ranch late-night snacking and harried morning lightly-salted lunch bag options. my lifelong dreams of dashing in and out of Meijer shattered around me... they also have like 8 different types of dustpans to sweep up all the shattered-ness.

3. vast: an immense spaceyou feel the aloneness in each department in the supersized Meijer. no more kibitzing about avocados, or sharing a tender language-barrier moment over enemas. *more's the pity sigh* someone who is impatient with humanity, such as myself, should be fine with the quiet zen-esque moments, but it occurred to me that a large portion of my observing the ridiculous relies on... people, specifically Meijer crazies. when your closest grocery comrade/crazy is several dozen feet away, it's impossible to overhear engage in witty Captain Kangaroo references about green beans and Mr. Green Jeans. even the staff was few and far between; pretty sure produce guy was also staffing the coveted lobster tank death lottery. #surfandturf

I shuffled over to the u-scan to check-out, bummed to my core by the glimpses into my Old Meijer's supersized future, when a Southern inspirational thought popped into my head...

They say beauty is only skin deep, while ugly is to the bone.
When beauty finally fades away, ugly holds it's own.

let's hope and pray this silver-lining holds true for grocery stores.


Saturday, July 09, 2016

Meijer and the secret identity

maybe you've noticed by now that in a dozen or so of my 70 posts (this is post #71!), I mention using the u-scan. 

"mention" is wrong, more like detail my disdain, frustration and inner grrrr! for the malfunctioning lasers, the dirty glass, the temperamental scales and that grating/nasal computer voice! 

maybe you've asked yourself, "if she despises it, why in the name of all that is non-machine does she keep using the wretched u-scan?"

my life in the grocery store is all about get in, get out, as soon as I possibly can. hence, I generally base my machine cashier vs. human cashier choice on:

1. how short is the line?
2. how much is in my cart?

and that's it, 2 easy qualifiers for years... until sometime around late 2015.  

once upon a time...

I went on a big shopping trip. I had a list, a daily meal plan for the week and a very full cart. my hope and dream was to avoid stepping foot in a grocery store for a week. (haha, isn't that always the elusive dream?) 

I headed for the human. 

this was a cashier I was familiar with, nothing personal (of course), I rarely do personal with the superstore staff. however, I knew she was experienced, non-chatty, and she knew her produce

she did not disappoint, $108 later, shopping cart filled with plastic bagged groceries, I slid my card to pay. nothing happened. tried again, zilch. experienced cashier took my card, wrapped a layer of plastic bag around card and slid it through-- ta-da! the machine read my card. 

and that's when it happened. 

as the cashier unwrapped my card from the plastic, she noticed that instead of a signature on the back of the card, I had written in Sharpie, "CHECK I.D."

She flipped the card over, read my name and middle initial off the card, then said it; out loud.

"traci n..." 

my last name trailed off as her eyes lifted to mine and held me for 4 unnerving seconds. I'm suddenly alert-- was that recognition in her voice? 

softer this time she repeated my first name and middle initial embossed on my card. 

"traci n." 

another two seconds, then, 

"ms. traci... may I see some I.D.?"

knew that she knew, I just didn't know what would happen next. I gulped, the jig was up. my secret identity had been revealed. my heretofore "knack for observing the ridiculous" superpower was about to be... exposed to the superstore at the superstore! 

I pulled my license from my wallet, that government issued, betraying license (undeniable, glaring proof!) that revealed my first and full middle name: traci nell.

she read my name, "traci nell." then spoke it again as she looked at me. meanwhile, I'm inwardly screaming, "why didn't I buy that Incredibles mask for Halloween?!" 

I tried to play it cool, but was secretly calculating my own real life math word problem: 

traci has to run 150 ft pushing 80 lbs of groceries in a 50 lb metal cart with only 3 working wheels before the cashier sounds the alarm. how far will she get before she is caught, or before her racing, nervous heart explodes? 

as my brain was coming up with the correct formula (T = rϵwΔ), cashier gives me a meaningful wry smile as she hands off my I.D. and card. 

"I hope you had a good shopping experience today and found everything you needed."

have you ever heard me nervous-laugh? good, it is not pretty. 

I think I mumbled a mixture of three different languages as a reply, since my brain was still processing what just happened and simultaneously giving the order to abort the emergency "projectile vomit" distraction strategy.

and that, boys and girls, is why I voluntarily/grudgingly scan my own groceries and use apple pay at the blankety-blank(!) u-scan. 

oh, and also why I wear sunglasses (instead of a mask) in my profile pic. #secretidentitytricks


Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Meijer and the ultra superstore

2,347.

that's the number of steps I took today inside the superstore while looking for milk, goggles, fish filets, eggs, white-flesh nectarines, green onions and a bag of baby carrots. is it me, or does that seem like excessive stepping for 7 grocery items? especially when 3 of the items are hidden in the same produce area.

somehow, my previously narrow-aisled, cramped from inventory, so everything is an arm's length away superstore has expanded, enlarged and (dare I say?), roomier-ed up. (I dared!)

walking around the new enormity of it all, I flashbacked to a Harry Potter moment at the Quidditch World Cup; Harry steps inside the Weasley's crappy looking tent to discover the inside was a ginormous Restoration Hardware glamping fantasy. (btw, if I were a Weasley, I'd ditch the cramped house and live the tent life 24/7)

that's when it occurred to me. this makeover isn't about applying a fresh layer of Marsha concealer to Jan's hideous blemishes. no, the superstore is transforming.

Meijer is supersizing the superstore! 

"that's impossible!" you indignantly exclaim. 

maybe. 

or maybe not.

maybe the uptick in grocery shopping step-count is due to my unfamiliarity with the new (constantly changing) layout. maybe this sign is part of the problem...

my unwavering trust in all things inkjet pointed me not to MORE GROCERY, but to hard-hat construction workers and several empty, not-working-yet refrigerator systems. (300+ steps shot to he**).

these two didn't bolster my fading faith in the color paper signage...


the grammar curveballs that Meijer throws kill me and my step stats! (hey, batter, batter... sa-wiiing batter!) I took several (100+) unnecessary steps because I couldn't decide if I wanted new meat (to the right), or old meat (to the left). I ended up circling back to the MORE GROCERY THIS WAY sign and stumbled upon a refrigerator of packaged, undisclosed-age, cod fish filets. #ageismstruggles

ALL CAPS signage debacle aside, I'm convinced the real step-count culprit was the goggles search. my cross-country walk across the supersized superstore to the sporting section proved to be futile. the, I-need-a-marathon-water-station jaunt to the outdoor section was also pointless. my zig-zag (in hindsight, I should've zag-zigged) into seasonal, nope. 

the correct answer/aisle?

toys

really?! Speedo's Official Olympic Competition Race goggles hang out with the Finding Dory bath squirt toys? *overt eyeroll*

I'm calling it. my Meijer is being transformed into a supersized superstore. still unsure if this solves the Jan problem, or just bloats it. *cue nausea* 

if nothing else, at the end of this transformation we may end up with the best indoor walking trail in southeast michigan... 

*gasp at sudden thought* 

I can finally/legitimately order this sticker for my car's back window! #supersizeultrabonus