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 BeyoncĂ© 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.