The perfect storm happened just as we arrived back in town from our trip to San Diego. The day prior to our arrival, the lone grocery store in town had shut it's doors for the last time and three days later, would open them up again in a shiny new and much bigger store just a few blocks down the road. So since our refrigerator was bare of essentials that must be replaced every so often, we were out of luck. My wife went off to our apartment in the urban jungle and my daughter and I started the work week by making meals from our pantry and freezer waiting for Tuesday when the store would open.
Tuesday rolled around and as I drove by the new store on my way to work, the parking lot was absolutely packed. Tuesday evening as I drove back the other way, cars were parked across the street in empty lots and people were hoofing it across three lanes of traffic with full shopping bags. It looked like a bee hive in reverse with worker bees headed in empty and hordes heading out loaded down with food. Deciding that I would rather gnaw on a frozen pork chop than deal with hordes of people sure to be gawking and taking their merry time, I kept on driving.
Wednesday was the same, Thursday was the same, and Friday was the same. I was beginning to get tired of looking into my pantry and freezer and having to decide what my next victim was. Plus, I was starting to crave some fresh milk, fruit and veggies. Saturday morning, we were up at the crack of dawn and made a dash to the new grocery store. Big whoop. The aisles were still narrow and though there were a few more of them, there wasn't a much bigger selection of foods. Sure, there were still chicken broth but now there were three brands to choose from instead of two and so it went as we went down the aisles.
After seven years of shopping, I pretty much knew where everything was so I could get in and out in under twenty minutes even when buying a full shopping cart worth of food. We maybe filled up only half a cart and it still took us almost an hour and I had to stop and ask for directions several times to see where they had stocked certain items. It is a nice store, and I suppose there will come a point where I'm glad for another brand to chose from on certain items and yes it was kind of handy having an attached liquor store so I could pick up a bottle of brandy for my famous beef stroganoff but then I could have done all that stuff at the old store.
When it comes to shopping, something I hate, I guess that I'm just against change. Bigger and newer is not always better. Usually it seems like it means just more of the same old cheap crap. Everyone that has been to the new store ahead of me raved about how nice it was but in the same breath said that they thought that the prices were high. Did they expect the new store to pay for the building and 100 additional employees by lowering prices? They are all drooling with the news that our old Walmart here in town is going to be replaced with one of those new Super Walmarts and is slated to open up late this fall. I don't shop at the old Walmart and I certainly won't shop at the new one so this one doesn't affect me. I'm sure the increased competition will bring down the prices at the new grocery store as everyone seems to want and instead of having one store doing relatively well for itself and paying its employees accordingly, we will have two stores in the throes of mediocrity with many hundred people being paid accordingly. Progress!