Hi, my name is Closetmom, and I'm addicted to grocery stores.
I love them! I bet I frequent an average of 1.5 stores per day--seriously! I love food; I love to cook; and frankly, I like to shop for pretty much anything.
Furthermore, I could never be someone who plans a week's worth of meals, goes to the store once and has everything he or she needs for the week. First of all, life is too unpredictable, and I would invariably end up with rotten mushrooms, expired meat and overripe bananas. And I hate to waste food. Plus, I can't make up my mind as to what I want to eat that far in advance. There are way too many variable factors--the weather; how much I've exercised; what's on television; my mood; what I've seen someone else eating and now have to have, etc.
So, daily I set off for the store, but not just one store. There's a whole maze of stores I have to visit to get the right stuff. In Seattle, I had it down--between Trader Joe's, PCC, QFC, Whole Foods, Costco, an array of farmers' markets and the occasional trip to Top Foods we were well fed.
Here in Florida, I'm feeling a little lost and trying to piece together a new grocery game plan. There is however, a HUGE, gaping hole here: There is NO Trader Joe's! I'm having a really, really hard time with this. In fact, beyond not selling our house yet, I would argue that this is the single hardest part of our move cross country. I kid you not; I'm having some serious withdrawal. I LOVE TRADER JOE'S! I've written to them at least four times already telling them of my desperation and the severity of my withdrawal, but the best I've gotten is a form e-mail. Blah. The closest one is Atlanta, and I'm afraid soon that I'll have to pack the Volvo up with coolers and make the 7-plus hour trek there.
To further add to my Florida grocery "situation," as I'm calling it, there's only one Whole Foods. It's not even a real Whole Foods. Okay, it's real, but it's sooo small; and I think everyone from the entire state shops there, so you can barely move, and the products are forever out of stock. The big chain here, Publix, carries some organic products, but not enough and they're way overpriced! It's not that we eat only organic, super healthy foods every time (I just had McDonald's today!), but I also refuse to be the mom who buys Skippy peanut butter and Oreos. (okay, ONCE I bought Oreos, but it was only because they were a huge bribe for some awful, awful smelling medicine PB had to take.)
I got really excited today when someone told me about Fresh Market in the area. I drove around this morning and couldn't find it. So we came home, I mapped out the directions online and we headed back out this afternoon after some swimming. It definitely has some potential--not as much as I'd hoped--but it will surely be added to my agenda on occasion. And they were handing out free samples of WINE, which is an upgrade from the typical sample fare of frozen pizzas and deli meat at most groceries.
So there you have it. I know much of the world's population would just be thankful to have food, no matter where it comes from. And I realize my complaints are trite , but for now it's what's on my mind. (Have you noticed yet how I try to anticipate what people are going to critique when they read my writing? You can chalk that up to my working in D.C. political communications for a good portion of my career! Or...just the fact that I don't handle criticism well :) )