Amongst other suburban chores, grocery shopping isn't my thing. I'm not good at it. Even when shopping online, I forget crucial elements like toilet paper, butter, soy sauce or some other deal-breaker item. Just mention grocery shopping to my husband and he will happily tell you that I suck at it.
What's worse is that when faced with the prospect of perusing real-life aisles for necessities on my list, I wind up hauling home a few hundred dollars worth of wine, cheese, magazines, greeting cards semi-sweet chocolate and other pricey must-haves. I am an absolute MORON in the grocery store.
My first trip to Sunset Foods, the self-described gourmet grocer in Highland Park, was nothing short of a disaster. Please don't misunderstand, this store has all the fancy everything I could ever want (organic, prepared foods, awesome bakery/deli, European etc.) and some of the no-frills stuff too. It's just the whole experience that throws me over the edge.
Here's the deal: I ran in looking for a few specific items early one morning - milk, Yo Toddler!, cheese, white vinegar and tea to be exact. After forty-five seconds I realized that I was in serious breach of the dress code. The mom squad was showered, hair blown out, in full makeup and expertly decked out in full Yoga regalia. I was sure I'd wandered into a Lulu Lemon by mistake. Alas no, I have come to accept this as Sunset dress code. I was fresh from bed, hungry and improperly groomed for my Sunset debut. Boo, Jen.
I scooped up my items, minus the cheese because NONE of it was organic (gasp) and headed for the checkout. I was a few steps away from freedom when a random woman at the foot of the register aisle grabbed my cart. I jerked it back once and she didn't let go. Finally, I figured it out and let her do what she wanted - unload my groceries onto the belt for checkout. But not before throwing in a Martha Stewart Living and a Twix just to make it appear as though I wasn't finished with my cart until ... okay now.
I paid and was about to leave when the bagger asked me if I "wanted a number." Confused, I said "What? No." and scurried away. I later learned that they give you a number so you can drive up and have your groceries loaded for you. Convenient and strange in my opinion. I see the utility in not having to load several bags of groceries into your car, but who's gonna unload them when you get home? HELL-O? DE-LIV-ERY.
The whole ordeal turned me off to say the least. Still, a lack of this and a shortage of that around the house forced my hand and I begrudgingly made several more trips to Sunset over the next few weeks.
I am pleased to report experiencing a pivotal moment in my relationship with the grocery store this week. I walked in, found the organic cheese for Lei (in the organic section dumb-ass), stealthily and efficiently made my way through the store checking the remaining items off my list. I let the unloader, checker and bagger do their jobs without assault, took a number, pulled up the Jeep to be loaded and was on my way. I felt like such a know-it-all big shot. It was actually kind of fun.
I even wore my favorite yoga pants.