You Won’t Believe The Reason I Can’t Go Back To Trader Joe’s

Flickr / Phillip Pessar
Flickr / Phillip Pessar

I can’t go to Trader Joe’s anymore. No more Cheddar Rocket crackers for me. Do you want to know why?

Because I’m an idiot.

It started on New Year’s Eve. I had just moved to Boulder two days earlier. I went to Trader Joe’s to get some snacks to prepare myself for the uneventful evening I had ahead of me.

The cashier, named Isaac, asked me what my plans were for the night.

“I don’t know,” I said. ” I just moved here and I don’t really know anyone.”

Real Answer: Probably eating a box of cookie ice cream sandwiches and getting sexually harassed on Tinder. Then, going to bed at like, 9.

Anyway, Isaac and I bonded over the fact that we were both from Virginia and next thing you know, we were rock climbing and hiking mountains together. But this story isn’t about Isaac. He did nothing wrong but befriend the new kid in town and continue to be a great friend to me.

This story is about Dan.

This one afternoon, Isaac brought his Trader Joe’s friend, Dan, on a hike with us.

“New friend”, I thought. “Cool.”

Things get pretty incestual at Trader Joe’s. I bet there are a lot of Trader Joe’s romance babies out there, reeking of Cookie Butter and Chunky Guacamole.

Really, though, every party Isaac invited me to—–> 90% Trader Joe’s employees, 9% randoms, 1% me.

Anyways, back to the story.

“Dan was cute,” I thought immediately. Not in a “My god, marry me and have my babies” sort of way, but in a “Wow, I’m pretty sexually frustrated. If he shoved me up against a rock I wouldn’t resist,” sort of way.

He was super interesting. He looked like he was 20 but was really 29. He told me he spent most of his 20s being a surf bum in Cali, and then teaching kids how to snowboard in Vail.

“That’s pretty rad,” I thought. “He’s so unique and different from me.”

A week later, he inboxed me and asked me to come hang out in his hot tub. I said no because it was 9:30 and way past my bedtime. But, he persisted and a couple days later we went hiking together.

We climbed this really steep mountain and had a heart to heart while I wheezed and wiped away the sweat that was dripping from my back down into my shorts.

Next thing you know, he was in my bed. This was completely unplanned. Our relationship was pretty weird and interesting; kind of like the cow bone he wore around his neck. We would hang out on various couches and beds, monkey spooning and feeding each other assorted food items. He was a great cuddler.

Also, I liked that he was ok that I kept candy in my nightstand. One time he even brought over a zip lock baggy full of lollipops (and condoms).

After about a month, we were at this weird place of hooking up, but also talking about deep stuff. He wasn’t my boyfriend; I didn’t want to date him.

I liked him for several reasons:

  1. He was SO calm.
  2. He made great post-sex hash browns.
  3. He didn’t care that I never wore a real bra.
  4. He introduced me to Juice Squeeze (a Trader Joe’s drink).
  5. He had an awesome beanie that he wore a lot and it made me more attracted to him.

But, it never would have worked.

He was one of those guys that was “too chill” about basically everything. Super likable, and probably had a lot of friends because he was “totally nonjudgmental.” Have you ever met one of those people? It’s like they have no opinions. Everything’s always “all good,” or “no worries, man.”

That shit is pretty fucking annoying to me.

We are human beings; we are SUPPOSED to have opinions.

I would share all this personal stuff with him and then he would make me feel like a schizophrenic, like I was crazy for having feelings about some pretty traumatic stuff.

I should have suspected that this would happen. I should have suspected it when I learned after our first encounter about his dislike for underwear and his affinity for Native American dances.

I should have prepared myself for the hippie shutdown.

The night we “broke up,” he came over to stay so that he could take me to the airport early the next morning. We got into a fight after he told me to basically stop fidgeting, talking, requesting back scratches, and basically breathing, so that he could get some sleep.

I don’t blame him for acting like a real prick that night, even though at the time I told him to “Get the fuck out of my house.” I think he just had pent up anger over my constant hot and cold behavior.

He was a penguin and I was a dragon. I knew from the moment I met him that it would never work out in the long term. But I hung out with him anyways. I would say that I learned from him.

I learned that hippies really can get angry.

He still drove me to the airport the next morning. Honestly, I didn’t want to pay 70 dollars for an Uber, and I thought it was the perfect apology for his unwarranted outburst.

The car ride was so silent that you could hear the ripping of the check I wrote him: The $15 in gas money he requested for driving me…apparently the sex wasn’t enough.

This weird love song came on and I laughed at the irony.

“What’s so funny?,” he asked.

“This song,” I said.

“Why?,” he asked.

“I don’t think we should have sex anymore,” I said.

“Okay,” he said.

That’s why I can’t go to Trader Joe’s anymore. At least not for a couple more months. I need to disassociate my favorite snacks from the taste of his mouth, and forget about what he looks like naked next to a carton of Ultra Chocolate Ice Cream.

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