Page 102 - Cityview Magazine - July/August 2017
P. 102

the bus, causing a lot of damage. Independent grocery men are almost a thing of the past. That’s why Butler & Bailey in Rocky Hill is such a treasure.
Like any dutiful husband and father, over the last 52 years of marriage I have done my share of picking up things at the grocery store on my
cheese lady, but I make up for it by buying tons of cheeses that I know nothing about. Once I tried to catalog the names of cheeses that I liked so I could buy them again, only to find out that they were no longer available on my next trip to the store. I’m afraid that cheese, like wine, is a subject that is too complex and involved
for me to learn. I bet 90% of people buying cheese don’t have any idea what they are buying. They look, and perhaps smell, and then cross their fingers and take something home. When I buy a cheese that is awful and
If the olive bar is the best thing that’s happened in grocery shopping, the worst thing is self-checkout. I once got tricked into checking myself out, and it was a disaster. I felt like a new employee who had started work without any training, and then the machine starting talking to me and telling me to do stuff. At the end,
I felt like asking for an employee discount. I also have a great fear of being rejected in the 15-item express lane. Even though I feel I am buying very little, I do not know how to count. Is a carton of cokes one item
way home from the office. But it
was not until the knee surgery that I ever considered myself a professional grocery shopper and observer. First, it’s important to understand what
I consider to be a grocery store. It must sell food, almost exclusively.
No furniture, no clothing, andnoautomotiveparts
and supplies. If I can buy
a pork roast and have my
oil changed in the same
building, it’s not a grocery
store. I once checked out
of a new Kroger Superstore,
and the cashier asked
me if I found everything
okay; I told her I had a
little trouble finding dog
food but “finally found it
between car batteries and
ladies underwear.” I was
happy to see the Superstore
finally drop home and
office furniture in favor of
clothing and housewares.
Now I just try to avoid that
whole end of the building.
Speaking of cashiers,
what about the ones who
try to guess about your
lifestyle based upon the products you are buying. “Looks like somebody is going to have a party,” or “What are we celebrating?” in response to my bottle of champagne and two ribeye steaks. Once I learned everything
I would ever want to know and
more about rhubarb pie because
the lady in front of me had bought out all the rhubarb and pie filling.
Unlike most shoppers, I try not to get into a hurry at the grocery store.
I take my time and learn about the various products I did not know were available. To me, Whole Foods is like Disney World and costs the same. I spend way too much time with the
or six items? How do you counttwoonionsorapackage containing four rolls of toilet paper? I avoid the express lane for fear of being chastised by the cashier and stared
at by the other customers with only milk and bread.
When Norma could walk again, she went with me on short trips to the market with the hope that it would prove therapeutic. I had discovered Ingles during her convalescence, and I took her there and let her out in front. I parked the car and tried to catch up. For a moment, I thought I had lost her, and then I saw her in the produce department walking away from me pushing a buggy.
As I drew closer, I noticed a
“Tome,WholeFoodsis like Disney World and
costs the same. I spend way too much time
with the cheese lady, but I make up for it by buying tons of cheeses
that I know nothing about.”
everyone agrees, I simply act like I love it and know all about its history.
The best thing to happen in grocery stores in my lifetime is the olive
bar. I can’t resist and always fill
the largest available container with olives stuffed with everything. Green olives, black olives, pickled peppers, pimentos, and mushrooms–I load it up. At home, I will eat a couple of olives while I unpack the groceries, and then a month later Norma will throw the whole thing out. She does a lot of throwing out. She thinks “best if sold by” means to get rid
of it immediately, while I prefer to hold onto things a little longer.
man walking with her. First,
I mistook him for a friend of ours.
He had neat gray hair, but had on
very short and tight shorts like boys wore in the sixties. As she turned to introduce me to her new friend, he had disappeared at the mention of “my husband.” I asked her about her “boyfriend,” and she explained that he had approached seeking help selecting the right type of apples to use in an apple cake he was going to bake. This guy disappeared like Houdini when
I walked up, and I explained to her that “Any guy who can bake an apple cake knows what kind of apples to use.” Apparently, grocery stores can be a good place to meet people.

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