Here’s what should really exist in this world: A virtual grocery store, where you can select from a list of products all the things you need, pay online with Paypal (because really, I love not having to even reach for the credit card to pay online, just log into Paypal….thanks for ruining me Amazon and Paypal) and then some person gets all that stuff ready, into bags and either delivers them to your home or puts them in your car for you when you pull up. This would be perfection in my world.
Instead, grocery shopping for me now, includes getting all parties ready, diaper changes, trying to get Annie on the potty, baby bag ready, get in the car, make sure mom has her coffee, run back into the house because we left a toy we wanted to bring, back to the car with the toy, run back into the house for sunglasses…put the car in drive. Phew.
Okay, now we’re at the store, and instead of fighting for a parking spot close to the entrance as I might have in another life, I’m hoping to get one close to the cart return. In addition, it needs to be a cart return with the right kind of carts in it. It can’t be what I call the old people/single people cart (the little half cart thing…man do I love that cart), there cannot be one of those #$%$ CAR carts either, because there’s a chance Annie might see it, and want to ride in it, and I am not taking that chance. So it must have just the regular old cart, so that I can stuff one kid in the baby part and one kid in the cart if she tires of walking (or riding on the lower level, which Annie often does…go ahead judge) So, now we’re parked and into the preferred cart. It’s into the store we go.
First stop is usually the bathroom, as Annie probably didn’t go at home,and I’ve had more than one experience where she’s gone IN the store. Seriously, most embarrassing thing ever, to have to let someone know there’s a cleanup on aisle 5, and the substance in question is your child’s pee. ugh. Anyway, I digress. First stop is usually to the bakery. We’ll be grabbing the free cookie and “free” bagel here. Free in quotations because it’s not actually free, but half the time at the checkout I’m too bogged down with one of a million other things I forget to tell the checker (uh…sorry Weggies)
At this point, I start getting the dagger eyes from childless people, sometimes old women, sometimes young men…whatever the case, clearly people who haven’t had the opportunity to do a weekly shop with two kids in tow, or who have done it and know for certain that they’d do it better. It’s always something. The baby isn’t wearing a hat and it’s cold, the baby is wearing a winter coat and it’s summer, I’m letting them eat in the store before paying (Danny was always like, “we’ll never do that” meanwhile I’m like, “heck yeah, open that box of Bunny Grahams”), I’m letting my kid walk next to me and not hold hands, I’m letting the kid ride in the cart, I let them eat grapes without washing….oh my God, the list could go on for-ev-er.
And then, I have forgotten my list. Fortunately, I only make a list about half the time anyway, and rely on the wonder of the iPhone to be able to refer back to recipes that I’m using for the week. I think, as more and more people have smartphones, other shoppers have begun to realize that I’m not just aimlessly surfing the web in the grocery store, but in fact looking at pertinent information….with the occasional Facebook update, of course. Usually, I stop to gather my thoughts in organic produce. There’s this wonderful produce guy…I call him the potato guy, because he’s always stocking potatoes (probably I should ask him his name) Anyway…he’s always very nice, doesn’t mind me just hanging out in his little section with my thoughts. If he sees me more than once a week, he’s fully aware that I didn’t plan well. He’s okay with that. But that’s the thing about Wegmans…everyone (well, except for the guy who stocks the ricotta, who puts on a good face, but you can tell he’d rather stock his ricotta than answer my question about where is the “xyz”) is totally happy and helpful and fine with me seeming a mess! It’s great.
The glorious thing about Wegmans, however, is that when Annie turned three, she was eligible for being left in WKids!!! A babysitting service for shopping moms. I don’t know if other grocery stores have this service, but it is probably the greatest thing ever. It’s free too. It’s not that I don’t want Annie with me while I’m grocery shopping (okay, I don’t), but I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve had to actually hide things at the bottom of the cart because, for whatever reason, she didn’t think we should get that product. You think, “Oh, whatever, she’s 3…just tell her you’re getting it and move on” Yeah, okay. My three year old can, and will be the loudest person in the whole store, try to jump out of the cart, run away from me, knock things down, maybe even pee in her pants…if we are having a difference of opinion on what to buy. Uh huh.
Whatever the case, Wegmans gets my business week in a week out because the people that work there are amazing. They will stop whatever they’re doing and answer your stupid question. They’ll give you cooking tips. They’ll walk you to your product, heck, they’ll get the product and put it in your cart for you wrapped up with a bow. Okay, no bow. And they do this all, with a cheerful attitude. Yes Wegmans, I love you so dearly, with your staff, and services, and .99 cent marinara. Let’s never ever break up.