trader joes

trader joes, particularly the one near my house.

i know you are not expecting to hear back from me, but you should. and while i could keep these thoughts to myself, i know i'm not alone in my sentiments and like any good ole mother, processing-out-loud is good for the mind.

so i'm writing to tell you good job. and thank you. though you are a small store and your aisles have capacity for half my family, you welcome us anyway. there are moments totaling all of 4 seconds when we form a complete line, kind of like a train, and other shoppers can get around us. but again, that's only 4 seconds of our 44 minutes in the store. on this particular day, the gentleman in scrubs waited for us to reform our "train" so he could go around. the black haired lady must have kids of her own because she gave me that 'i know the feeling, sister,' look.

but the best was the samples guy. and i use that description in the most adoring way. my kids love you. it's typically hit or miss with the appetites of my children. they don't like tofu or seaweed and turn their noses up to anything soupy. i, on the other hand, consider your food sample and communion size coffee cup a blessed treat. today was a win all the way around. pretzel bagels with cookie butter cream cheese. i know i just lost most of you there. because you are already grabbing the keys and headed to you nearby trader joes. and you should. my post will be here when you get back.

so this sample was amazing. and we clogged the entire area. because we are 4 kids and a mom and a shopping cart.

and it takes time to set out 5 samples. so we wait. and i don't drink black coffee so i spend extra time sprucing mine up a bit. and i let my 11 year old try some coffee because he thinks he's old and this communion size cup shouldn't make him addicted. and i get mom points for that. we get our samples and attempt to step aside to let others in on this treat, but then we're hogging the avocado area. we shift to block the milk and cream and butter area. it's basically ping pong.

and my 7 year old can eat and play ping pong and talk to the samples guy all at the same time. i can't do that.

"these bagels are good, but the cream cheese is really good on waffles," said the samples guy.

asher's totally listening to him now. his eyebrows raise.

"what? i love waffles!" asher says sort of loud.

"yeah, dude. blueberry waffles especially." said the samples guy, equally as loud.

"booh-yah!" asher shouts with muscle arm motions. "my favorite!"

"bomb-digitty, man!" said the samples guy while preparing more samples for other customers who were clearly in tune to the conversation.

the produce section from the butternut squash to the organic tomatoes sees the clog we have created and traffic is at a standstill. it's time to move on. with satisfied tummies and laughter, no doubt.

it's inevitable at this point. i will do my best to get what we need and clear the store so that more can come in, but this just takes time people. and it's 3 in the afternoon, so i was at least considerate of those who have had a hard day at work, and came early.

we gather around the indian frozen meals and we're not in the way here, so my daughter takes her time in thinking about her 3 food selections. these are stored like emergency foods in our home freezer for when the blain american meal doesn't look appealing to her. she's already planning them for the next 3 nights. hmmm...

i must confess that i tend to stock up on certain items. my thought is that i should get it while i'm here because it will be weeks before i am back. {this is where i am sorry. i shop at another store most of the time. it's just easier for me. but take heart. i've never written them a letter.} so i buy cans of your spaghetti sauce and bags of kettle corn and stashes of chocolate treats and jars of sauces and frozen bags here and there. i've basically just grabbed stuff that looks tasty, all with this delusional thought that i can never come back. but let's be real. it would be me and 4 kids and a shopping cart again and we all need some recovery time. so with 5 items on my shopping list and 19 items in my cart, we finally make it to the finish line. almost taking down a wine display and probably a few toes.

your folks in their hawaiian shirts always know where everything is. except okra. you don't carry okra. they never seem bothered that i brought everybody. they are always out with the people restocking and so happy. everyone i can recall seem to love their job at trader joes. that's something to be proud of. {i'll revisit this in a minute}

and then at the finish line, there's a wee wooden block. it would hold my 5 items, but not my 19. that's okay. i've got kids who love to discuss who's holding what items that don't fit on wee wooden block. i'm pretty sure i paid for everything though my children handed the clerk items from both sides of register.

my daughter, who's only been with us for 5 weeks, thinks every grocery store hands out stickers. or at least they should. she's always so happy when we are truly at the "store that hands out stickers." and while stickers are being handed out to all four kids, there's a discussion about wanting to work at trader joe's when they are of age. {see, they notice how happy every employee is!}

"sure you can work at trader joe's," i chime in. this means if i'm listening to the kids, i just missed what the clerk said to me.

"i can?" i think it was a 9 year old.

"yes!" and i think said 9 year old said it loud enough for samples guy to hear at the other end of the store.

see you real soon. my chocolate stash is already running low.

mom of 4 kids with a shopping cart