Tag Archives: Trader Joe’s

Men just don’t get it.

18 Dec

Trader Joe's Wine

Yesterday I was in line at Trader Joe’s. If you live in a large city, you know that the line of TJ’s is always long enough that you should bring another task to complete while waiting. (Ideas: Christmas cards, knitting projects, expense report prep, etc.)

Whoever conceived of TJs’ store layout is brilliant, because the final stage of the line functions sort of like the “finishing chute” from the Tour de France. But instead of simply corralling riders (or in this case, shoppers) into a neat sequence for the finish line, at TJ’s, this line snakes right past all the wine and beer displays.

By that point, even if you’re not a drinker, a bottle of SOMETHING seems like it’s not a terrible idea.

As a result, you often see people momentarily abandon their carts to wander over and grab a bottle of the shelf. Yesterday was no exception. The couple in line behind me did a quick run-down of the list of items they’d needed to procure for their dinner party that night. Then the wife said, “Go grab two mixed six packs from the shelf over there,” pointing at the beer.

The husband did as requested. The wife said, “Maybe you should grab another cheap six, just to be safe?”

Husband: “Safe for what?”

Wife: “So we don’t run out?”

Husband: “Don’t you think they’ll bring something too?”

Wife: “Probably…”

Husband: “So we’re covered.”

Wife: “Not necessarily. I mean, Janet asked what she could bring and I said, ‘Nothing! We’re good!’ but she’ll probably bring a bottle of wine.”

Husband: “But you told her to bring nothing.”

Wife: “But women know it’s tacky to arrive empty-handed.”

Husband: “But you TOLD HER we were good.”

Wife: “You don’t understand how it works. Just grab an extra six-pack to be safe.”

Then the husband – under his breath, while going to grab the six-pack – said, “Maybe YOU don’t understand how it works…”


I wonder if I’ll ever be this friendly.

18 Jul

"Excuse me. Can I bother you while we wait?"

Standing in line at Trader Joe’s this weekend, I felt a tap on my shoulder. “I don’t have my glasses,” the short older woman behind me said in a Long Island accent. “Can you tell me how much fat and sugar these have in them?” She gestured to a pack of muffins.

I obliged, and she looked horrified when I told her there were 26 grams of sugar in the muffins.

“I guess I’ll have to give them to my husband,” she recovered. I looked at her her plump figure: doubtful.

I would’ve returned to minding my business, but she felt compelled to give me a nutritional lesson. “Anything more than 9 grams of fat or 9 grams of sugar is just off limits. I mean, I think trans fats are bullshit, but otherwise, you just have to stay below nine.”

I nodded, as if I read nutritional labels for kicks, trying to conceal my stack of frozen mini tacos and eggrolls.

She took it in, then looked at me, changing the topic. “Are you going to the pool today?”

As it turns out, I was planning to go to the pool — to Alan’s pool, but still the question threw me. How random? I mean, how many people in DC have a pool to go to?

I said I was, and she responded, “It is pretty tough around 2pm. Just too intense. And the sun damage? Forget about it!”

I told her I wear SPF 70, a hat and sunglasses. She shook her head. “Doesn’t matter. The damage has already been done. I lived on a beach my whole life and if it weren’t for Botox – Thank God – I’d look like a crow.”

A leather satchel or a dried apple would’ve been a more apt comparison, since I don’t think of crows as looking particularly weathered. I’m guessing she meant some sort of “crow’s feet” reference.

Fortunately, before I could respond (presumably  she was fishing for a compliment or commiseration), one of the cashiers gave me a wave. “Next customer!”

Relieved, I turned to the woman and nodded, pleased at my restraint for resisting the urge to whisper, “caw, caw…” in farewell.