So, my tiny little town has no grocery to speak of. We have a gas station that is better stocked with essentials than most. And a butcher.
The larger town nearest me used to have a Super Wal-Mart and a Kroger store. I didn't hate either one. I mean, they each have their challenges, but whatever, they were fine. If I needed groceries, I went to Kroger. If I needed some groceries and a shower curtain and a pair of bedroom slippers, I went to Wal-Mart. It didn't happen often, but it did happen.
But then, the unthinkable happened. Super Kroger was announced. Super. Kroger. Now see, this I hate. Why? I mean, I don't hate Super Wal-Mart, so why should I hate Super Kroger? I'll tell you why. Because now there is no grocery store in town. Oh sure, there are places to get groceries. But let's say that I just need groceries, now I don't have a place to go and get them in peace.
I am now forced to hike the 20 miles through the store. Also, if I do need a shower curtain, it's going to be roughly twice as much as at the big W.
I avoided it for almost a full week. I wanted to crowd to die down. I wanted to get a good parking space without an hour of cruising. I wanted to wake up and realize that it was all just a horrible dream.
Finally, I had to go shopping for Grandpa. About once a week, Grandpa hands me his list and sends me out to do their shopping. His list is predictable and simple. I can usually get through the store in a little less than a half hour.
So, I started down the line. Bananas - check. Raisins - check. Tissues - check. Pork roast - check. Wait, did I miss the oatmeal? As I wandered helplessly through the store, I picked up most of the items on the list by sheer luck, because in addition to moving EVERYTHING, the aisles don't line up and things make no logical sense. Furthermore - I hate change, get off my lawn and put on a damn coat.
Eventually, I had found everything except peanut butter. Such a simple thing, peanut butter. I had been all the way through the store twice, so when I spotted a manager that I knew, I stopped and asked him where I could find the peanut butter.
"Between aisle 2 and 4." He never even looked up at me. No eye contact, no nothing.
So, off I went. So the even aisles are in the back of the store and the odd aisles in the front of the store. Between aisle 2 and 4 is... um... Is this like a Platform 9 3/4 kind of thing?
In the old store, peanut butter was near the jelly. Here was the jelly, but no peanut butter. Just as I was about to give up, a young man walked by in a vesty thing.
"Hi. Can you tell me where the peanut butter is?"
"Sure. It's up there with the organic stuff."
"I don't want organic peanut butter. Just plain ole peanut butter."
"It's all up there."
So, off to the organic items I wandered. Strangely, although I found organic peanut butter, I found absolutely no normal peanut butter. Now, I was kinda mad.
I stalked over to the bakery and stood in line.
"Can I help you sweetie?"
"I'm looking for peanut butter and I've been sent all over the store and I'm not leaving here without peanut butter. Please."
The woman in the bakery whips out a map!, informs that it's in aisle 14 and then hands me the map. Seriously.
I got the peanut butter, a pretty good workout and plenty of fodder for my first (of many, I'm sure) letters to Kroger.
Not that it matters. That place is hell and I'm never going back.
Except for Thanksgiving, I suppose.