I love grocery shopping. I’m fortunate, I know this. I don’t have to bring my children with me kicking and screaming through the aisles (though, they never really did do that too much). I don’t have to shop on Saturday morning with the masses. I am frugal, but I buy mostly organic when I can, and I am also fortunate to be able to splash out on items if they take my fancy.
I guess that’s partly why I love grocery shopping. Mostly, though, it’s because when I go to the store, I know many of the employees by name, and they know me by name, too.
That feels good. To be known. To be a local. We tend to move around every few years, so for me, it’s important to get routines established early. It helps with settling in. We’ve been in Texas for nearly four years now, though. We have friends here. And we know our way around reasonably well. We’ve traveled locally and can even share personal recommendations with out of towners.
On Monday mornings, I take the kids to school and walk the dog (simultaneously), then get in the car and drive to the store. Once there, I grab my bags and a small cart and make my way to the coffee counter. Joe greets me warmly, and we chat about whatever. Usually about something inconsequential, but there is a narrative that seems to run through our weekly conversations. I thank Joe for my coffee and head over to see Cheryl in the floral department. I don’t often buy flowers, but Cheryl and I will chat for several minutes before I head over to produce. I found out that she’s a Master Gardener, so we talk about plants and her grandkids, and my kids, and just life in general. After I visit with Cheryl, I select my fruits and veggies then head over to the meat counter where Jessie looks up and greets me enthusiastically. He’s got a little grandson that he loves to tell me about, and a while ago I introduced him to my mom, so he always asks after her.
After all that, I wander around and finish my shopping and I’m very nearly always in a great mood. It’s probably partly because the coffee has kicked in, but I think it’s mostly because my inner social butterfly has been satisfied. I feel energized when I get to talk with people as I go about my day.
I know routines can be boring, and grocery shopping can be a chore, but I thrive on routine and personal interactions. I feel thankful that I can have both of those things to start off my week.
What about you? Do you like grocery shopping? Do you prefer anonymity or do you enjoy being a known regular?
Photo taken from Whole Foods Market Katy facebook page.