Rearranged, deranged grocery stores

By Marla Boone - Contributing Columnist

Does McDonald’s deliver? Because we are in danger of starving to death due to lack of food. Groceries, specifically. Food in the form of groceries.

We have been going to the same grocery store for 35 years. We chose this store mainly because we could get to it without going through a single traffic light. We, and by we I mean me, do not like wasting all that time sitting at uncooperative traffic lights. In an effort to avoid wasting all this time, I have memorized the pattern of every traffic light in Miami and Shelby counties. In an effort to avoid being painted by the “she’s crazy” brush, Steve has memorized the following line: “No. I have no idea who that deranged woman shaking her fist at the red light is.” The grocery store under discussion has rudely, without even asking me, moved about one-half city block to the east. This unconscionable move has introduced the hardship of placing a single traffic light between me and the store. We still patronize it but I am having a tough time with the whole forgiveness thing.

Forgiveness is getting a little harder. About three years ago, this grocery store, apparently in the throes of insanity, completely rearranged where they had been putting food items since the day the store opened. I have mentioned this before, citing their clearly disturbing decision to place the snack chips right by the bathroom supplies. If that doesn’t send a message, what does? Within nine months, just as all us loyal shoppers were getting used to picking up Doritos and Charmin without moving a step, the store moved all the food around again.

As you might surmise from the second paragraph, I am a person who has been known to drive a circuitous route to avoid a particularly pesky traffic light. Even given that, the thought of pushing my shopping cart around a circuitous route just to buy bread did not sit well. I asked one of the store people who was busily hiding the bags of sugar in a distant aisle why the store was moving stuff again. She explained slow-selling items such as bread and milk had to be relocated because the store was making room for liquor sales.

I have nothing against liquor or liquor sales. I had a strong feeling that after an hour or two of looking for all-purpose flour I was going to need a stiff drink myself. But I am not a big fan of unnecessary change. Don’t get me started on how the city of Piqua replaced a traffic light that I had timed down to the nano-second with a four-way stop that has utterly destroyed my driving feng shui.

As a small protest, we started occasionally going to a different grocery store. This grocery is arranged by the scientific system of putting “olives” under the heading of “pickles” and GatorAde in the aisle marked “Juice” not in the aisle marked “Sports drinks.” I didn’t say it was a good system. But after a couple of trips to this store, I became semi-comfortable about my ability to find kidney beans (oddly enough, in the aisle marked “Beans”).

Just last week I went to the new store. You know when you are watching a scary movie and something really really bad is going to happen? You know how they play that “Da-da-DA” music? That music should have been playing at this store. Most of the shelves were empty. The GatorAde wasn’t in the aisle marked “Juice” or “Sports drinks” or even “Pickles.” The croutons, both bags of them, were not in the salad dressing aisle, they were in the coffee aisle. There was no, I repeat no, sugar-free pudding, a condition which constitutes a disaster at our house.

It was déjà vu all over again. And again, I stopped a very harried-looking store worker with “mgr” on her name tag and asked her where the GatorAde had gotten to. I figured if anyone would know, a “mgr” would. Not only didn’t she know where it was currently, she was unaware of where it used to be. “Not in sports drinks?” she asked me. She told me, as though this would be a big surprise and in contrast to the way the customers would feel, that the store employees were frustrated because all the food was being moved around. To her enormous credit, she spent a great deal of time tracking down the last — the very last — bottle of GatorAde in the store and brought it to me. I just didn’t have the heart to say “Ugh. Grape.”

Sticking to the script, I asked her why the store was being all rearranged. It seems they are expanding their liquor sales and have to make room for that. Save those grapes for the wine. We’re gonna need it.

By Marla Boone

Contributing Columnist

Marla Boone resides in Covington and writes for the Sidney Daily News, Troy Daily News and Piqua Daily Call.

Marla Boone resides in Covington and writes for the Sidney Daily News, Troy Daily News and Piqua Daily Call.