On Wednesday at around 4:30pm, I made the decision to stop bullshitting and finally take my ass to Trader Joe’s. If you read my last post, you know I attempted to make it there this past weekend but my plans were foiled by the environmentally friendlies, exorbitant parking fees, and lack of patience. So instead of hoppin’ on the A-train uptown and coppin’ a cheesesteak or some beat up lettuce on the way home from Wednesday’s shift at the plantation, I decided to walk a few blocks from work and take the much slower 1-train to 72nd street. And rather than lug my fresh groceries onto the humid subway platform and then carry them 5 blocks in 90 degree weather, I’d take a cab. Shout out to the homie Seattle for the genius, yet practical, idea. Sometimes I fail to think of the most basic sh*t.
Anyway, I made it to TJ’s sans trouble. I probably had about 3-4 orgasms while inside of it. I knew it was about to be a great experience as soon as I went down…an escalator to get to the shopping area. It felt like I was headed to some secret urban oasis that the coloreds had not yet discovered. The nets were still attached to the basketball hoops and bad ass kids were nonexistent. Stereotypes, on the other hand, were and are everywhere…including this post.
I’ve been in New York City for just over a year now. In all of my visits to “grocery stores,” I’ve never had a person greet me with a smile and ask if I needed help finding anything. It was such a weird experience that I literally paused, tilted my head, and said “Umm. I’m just happy to be here.” He was overjoyed as if he owned the place and I had complimented his business. He thanked me for finally making the right decision and was off to help the next person. The hell?
I grabbed a cart and headed straight over to the yogurt — greek yogurt to be specific. There were so many healthy and trendy options that it took me 10 minutes to buy 4 yogurts and 2 parfaits. Just to make sure we’re on the page about the type of parfait I’m talking about here…
Once my cart was filled with yogurty goodness, I went to tackle the meats (Parallel vertical lines to remove the ambiguous gayness). To see a section of steaks, ground beef, and pork chops that weren’t already turnin’ the same shade as my skin was refreshing. Couple that with the fact I found 96% lean beef burger patties. I didn’t even know that was possible. It wasn’t on my list, but I copped. This would become a pattern. I think I left with only 4 out of 10 listed items, but bought like 20 items total.
Next I was off to some international section with sh*t like Tabbouli and Ginger Peanut Noodle Salad. I put both items into the cart. Then I took them out. Then I put them back in. Then I took them out. My cart moaned a little bit, so I put them back in and let them rock for the long haul. Then someone else came over to ask me if I needed any help and
I said “Get your own cart!” told me they were giving away samples of linguini and clam sauce. Nom Nom Nom. I felt so f*ckin privileged that I thought I was white. It was awesome.
Then I see truly fresh produce everywhere. But before I can get to that, I hop on another escalator that takes me downstairs into a completely different section. It was so beautiful that I considered dying right there. I salivated at the assortment of pitas and pre-packaged meals and specialty dishes. “This can’t be life,” I thought. Not after the year I just lived. I even managed to find a beer I hadn’t seen since leaving Boston. I bought it just for the good memories.
I threw more stuff in my cart and realized I was starting to OD so I went back upstairs to check out. The line was extremely brolick. In fact, it was so long (more parallel lines) that they had a person whose sole job was to hold a sign saying “end of line here.” I ain’t never seen that sh*t before.
This turned out to be the fastest moving line I’ve ever been in while shopping. What I expected to take an hour really took like 5 minutes. The cashier actually seemed to enjoy his job too. We had an interesting and lengthy conversation about Harlem and spots to get good deals. Other cashiers were equally as engaging with their customers, but the line kept moving. It made no sense and made me wanna live in a world free of rationale and logic. I happily took my receipt, went outside, and quickly hailed a cab. Ended up getting home in 10-15 minutes. I ran to my bacheloresque fridge and tossed my new delights in there. The feeling of accomplishment made me river dance. There will not be a picture of me river dancing.
All in all, this was the best grocery shopping experience I’ve had in my life. Trader Joe’s has changed the game for me. If they ever need an assortment of athletic black guys to play on their community basketball team, I’ll be the first one there. Organic alley-oops all muddafuggin day.
Trader Joe Won’t Bring Me On A Boat Though,