Thought Catalog

What Goes Through My Mind Every Time I Go to Trader Joe’s

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OK…Trader Joe’s, here I am. For like the fifth time this week. How does this always happen? I say I’ll remember what I need, then I forget, then I say I’ll make a grocery list so I don’t forget, then I forget that too. Mom was right about me. Sigh. Aaaaand…look at that, there’s no parking. Is Trader Joe a real guy? Because if so, he’s terrible at designing parking lots. I think there’s a zoning law in Los Angeles stating that a Trader Joe’s may only open on lots with just three parking spaces, and they must be aligned to all back directly into each other. It’s like a chinese checker board out here. OH — there’s half a spot next to the dumpster! Eat it, Prius!

And here we are. Basket or cart, basket or cart? How about basket, then run back and get a cart when it overflows? Might as well stick with the classics. Wait. They moved the seltzer water. Why are they always moving the seltzer water?! Do they not respect the needs of me and my Jewish grandpa brethren?! I guess I’ll have to ask a “crew member.” Why does it seem like I’m always interrupting a high school makeout party with these people? Yeah, I know that you and the girl stocking the gluten-free wraps are gonna hook up later, but I still need to know where to find the ginger beer. We get it, you’re young, reckless about body hair, and the minute we leave, you’re gonna lock the doors and have the most cheerful orgy ever. It sounds lovely. But could you tone down the flirting like 10%? Also, unless you’re an animatronic bear playing in a Disney World jug band, you probably shouldn’t be wearing overalls. God, I’m an asshole. These are like the nicest people in the world. Mom WAS right about me!! Well, I’ve been here for two minutes, time to hit the free sample bar…

No two bites of food have ever tasted as good as the ones I scoop greedily out of the tiny paper cups at the Trader Joe’s sample bar. OH MY GOD IT’S ICE CREAM. It is everything I can do right now to stop myself from starting a riot. FREE ICE CREAM! Last week it was stupid edamame rice crackers, and today it’s ice cream with hot fudge. I think this is what miracles feel like. I mean, I’d eat the rice crackers, because they’re free, but it’s so much more dignified to guzzle something I actually enjoy tasting. Should I text everyone I know and tell them to get down here immediately? No. They’ll think I’m crazy. Plus, more ice cream for me. Oh man, look at that old lady, just camped out in front of the sample tray like it’s a free buffet. How embarrassing. She just picked up two cups. TWO CUPS. Have some self-respect, Madame. Do what the rest of us do: eat a sample, then walk away a few steps and wait until the sample chick isn’t looking and sneak in and grab a second cup. But two samples at once? Have you no decency?…

Alright, we gotta do some actual shopping here. Hmmm, which kind of trail mix do I want? The kind that’s 50% candy, 75% candy, or…screw it. Let’s just buy some candy…

Look at these frozen foods. I don’t understand how they can all be so delicious and still cost like $2! It makes no sense! Vegetarian Thai Curry, better than I can get in a restaurant, and costs $3.25. How is that possible?! Why isn’t every grocery store like this? The frozen pizza at Ralph’s costs $8.99, and I’m pretty sure it contains actual Ralph. Trader Joe, why can’t you sell other things? Like blue jeans, or stylish yet understated home furnishings, or maybe…medical insurance? I could really use the medical insurance equivalent of $1.99 chili mangoes slices that taste like heaven. Honestly, this store is so good, I’m willing to give it all the responsibility it can handle. Wanna take a shot at gun control? How about filibuster reform? You’d be a better Speaker than Boehner, right?…

Everyone in here is wearing natural deodorant, aren’t they? Oh well, can’t have it all. Wait, was deodorant on my list? Fuck. I really need to write this shit down!

Uh oh, that guy over there is talking to himself. That’s the problem with the low prices, sooner or later the crazies start rolling in. First they came for the public library, then they came for the Walmart, now it’s Trader Joe’s. I mean, sure, he probably has a serious mental illness, but he’s blocking the watermelon spears! Can’t you mumble in front of the edamame rice crackers? Plenty of room over there. Even bust open a bag and start eating a few. No one’s gonna miss ‘em…

Come on, Joe. Every time you make a trade for bananas, you’re getting killed. Absolutely murdered. The whole produce section is like a graveyard waiting to happen. Do you bake the fruit in some sort of oven, assuring its shelf life is half as long as normal? I swear to God, the bananas contain a chemical that senses when they’ve left the store and immediately start turning brown. I really think you need to start swapping with someone else, produce-wise, Joe. Try Trader Martha. Or Trader Phil. You’re getting embarrassed right now, I can tell you that…

I know for a fact that I don’t need wine, but I’m buying some anyway. Every time I drink Two Buck Chuck I get a headache. I gotta invest more in my alcohol. I’m a grown up. That’s a thing that sophisticated Grown Up People do. Hey look, Cabernet for only $3.49! And it has a cat on the label! Giddy up!…

And would you look at that…here I am back at the sample counter! How did that happen? Well, maybe it tastes different this time. Better check and see! TC mark

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