March 19, 2003

Grocery Slumming Because I'm trying

Grocery Slumming

Because I'm trying to wean myself (unsuccessfully, thus far) off of clicking all over my blogroll every 6 seconds and obsessively scanning every news site on the planet, I've decided to take a step back, breathe, and focus on the mundane.

So Lileks and Instapundit had some sort of bizarre "grocery-off" via their blogs this morning, with Insta musing over a margarine wrapper and Lileks doing the grocery shopping full monty. This made me think that I'm missing out on the whole grocery experience. See, I live outside of Raleigh, in what used to be a pretty rural area. Until recently, we had only one grocery store: Food Lion. I hate Food Lion with large chunks of bitter hate, because it is the antithesis of everything I look for in a shopping experience; namely, The Shiny. Food Lion has no Shiny. Food Lion doesn't even have a muted glow. Food Lion is dull and unpolished, and it sucks the life right out of me every time I go there. And I go there a lot, because the next most "convenient" store is about 10 miles away.

The clientele at the local FL all look as though they'd rather be ANYWHERE else, shuffling dispiritedly through the badly lit, kiosk-obstructed aisles, loading their tarnished, squeaky carts and wrestling them to the checkout, then toting their drab plastic bags to the exit. I can see their shoulders straighten and the faint blush of life returning to their cheeks as the automatic doors open and allow the fresh, fresh air of freedom to caress their careworn faces. Okay, so that's over the top. I still hate Food Lion.

Not even the food looks happy to be there. The produce is sad and listless, despite the best efforts of the water-misting system to keep it perky. The bananas all huddle together on one side of their display for comfort, and the meat department frankly forces me to avert my eyes. Even mass-produced canned goods manage to seem as though they've been recently discovered in a cold war era bunker and yanked from their underground lair for our consumption. And this is AFTER a 6 month renovation to the store. I can't even remember what it looked like before the "improvements"--I think I'm suffering from a post-traumatic memory loss.

So imagine my delight when I discovered that a new grocery store would be coming to our area. I waited impatiently for the ground to be cleared and construction to begin, visualizing a shopping area with cheese that didn't all come from Kraft, and a bakery that didn't consist of 6 shelves of Merita's Sweet Sixteen powdered doughnuts. Finally one day as I drove past the site, I saw the long-awaited sign announcing the arrival of the new store. In large letters, it read: Coming Soon! Food Lion! My tears were bitter indeed.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at March 19, 2003 11:03 AM