If I could design and build my own grocery store, it would be a drive-through establishment. A heavy-duty cart would be magnetized to cling to the side of my vehicle as I drove past Check Point One. A pleasant, handsome, young man would hand me a pole with a hook on the end as I hit Check Point Two. From there on, it would be a breeze. I could roll up and down wide aisles, grabbing items with my hook, and dropping them into my cart. Check Point Three would be at the exit. Another good-looking young man would take my money, pack my purchases, and load them into my trunk.
However, my husband isn’t wealthy, nor does he own a chain of grocery stores. My ideal store is unlikely to appear in the near future. In the real world, I look for the best among a variety of grocery stores in our area. Here are some of the features that attract me.
It must be clean, not only the floors but the walls, shelves, displays, signs and the personnel who work there. It should look as spic and span as I would like my house to be if I had company coming and had lots of employees to help me get ready.
It must feature lots of local produce. Who wants to take a bite out of a black widow spider or some other exotic creature as you eat your salad?
It should have a generous selection of organic products. I feel the same way about chemicals and pesticides as I do about black widow spiders.
It is helpful if the store is open for long hours. When I’m worried or angry, and can’t sleep, I sometimes cook at night. To get half way through a recipe and find I’m out of a vital ingredient, when all the stores are closed, hardly ever improves my mood.
I like stores with large parking lots and no meters. I also refuse to pay anyone for the privilege of shopping in their establishment. Those stores which insist that I pay a fee and then promise to save me bundles of money, are highly suspect, in my opinion.
This isn’t really important, but I like the little kiosks where happy people offer you samples of tasty treats, in the hopes that you’ll buy their product. Sometimes I return two or three times to see if they’ll still smile at me. It adds interest to the trip.
I don’t want anyone to harass me about collecting air miles. Even if they gave me a free trip, I wouldn’t get on a plane right now. I’ve managed to reach this stage of life without encountering any terrorists, and I see no reason to invade the space where they’re likely to be found.
Do I sound like a cranky old woman? Maybe I am. I’d be happier if I could build my own store. The other day, I was telling the manager of the store where I shop now, just how I would arrange things if I were him. Do you know what he said? He wishes I had my own store too.
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