Adventures in a Suburban Grocery Store

I took three steps into the Giant in Reston and stopped and stared. As I clutched my wrinkled post-it note with 4 items written on it, I could barely see where the isles ended to the right. I looked to the left and there were just as many isles in that direction. The isles gleamed under the florescent lighting. The store even had baskets on wheels that you pulled behind you. How cool is that? It was nothing like the dingy Arlington Safeway that I have gotten used to. I almost turned around to leave, knowing I didn’t belong here and thinking it might take me hours to find my measly 4 items.

But then, something caught my eye. Apple sauces in pouches and packed up in a school bus shaped box! I totally need one of those! Then I spotted the Mexican food isle. Wraps! One item down. Next was the Asian food isle. Soy sauce, check! I was doing great, but it didn’t take me long to get sidetracked: Giant container of sesame seeds? Sure why not. Sriracha sauce? Ok. Mung bean noodles? I LOVE those! Fly swatter? I think my husband wanted one. Insulated lunch box? Better than bags from my crummy Safeway. And so it continued.

As I wandered through the store, I wondered how it was even possible for a grocery store to have so many isles. I swear there must have been 50. No wonder America is fat, I thought. How can you not want every kind of packaged processed food on these sparkling super market shelves? Who cares what is in it, it is on sale and it is SO COLORFUL!

I never even saw the produce department. I assume there was one, but based on the size of the rest of the store, it wasn’t nearly as large as it should be. If  50% of our diet is supposed to be fruits and vegetables, doesn’t it make sense that 50% of a grocery store is also fruits and vegetables? Yeah, but we hate vegetables don’t we? We love food in boxes! Put a vegetable in a microwaveable box, cover it with fake cheese, then sell it. Then put a label on the box saying “full serving of vegetables!” and “made with whole wheat,” and my favorite of all time: “Natural.” I don’t buy foods that say “Natural” on them, because I feel that if they need to specify that my FOOD is NATURAL then I must be in the wrong place all together.

Despite my distractions, I was successful in finding my 4 items, as well as a few other essentials for my race this weekend. For example, I almost forgot coke and potato chips, which are essential after a 100 mile mountain bike ride. Possibly even more essential than beer, although I hate to admit it. The insulated lunch box I picked up was actually for my drop bag to keep my sandwiches from, and I am really looking forward to those school bus apple sauces mid-race. They were a seriously good find.

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