Draeger's, my sweet Draeger's, you roped me in with your fresh, lovely salad bar and bakery that is to die to for. Your wine selection is unbeatable, you even have a tiny tasting room almost hidden among the wine section that nearly takes up half the store. You are killing me with the upstairs specialty store. I can get any cookie cutter shape imaginable, a springform pan or even adorable birthday party supplies along with my groceries. The men behind the meat counter always cut my chicken breasts into stir fry pieces for me, flirting with me the whole time and telling me my kids are the cutest you've seen all day. You have every random ingredient I could ever imagine and some I don't even know what to do with. Best of all, you are so close to my house and my kids (OK, me too) love the free produce samples.
Whole Foods... I adore you. Walking into your well stocked and inviting produce section nearly sends me over the edge. Then you go and let my kids choose a healthy snack like an apple, a fruit roll or some bunny crackers to eat for free while we shop. Your selection of cheeses sets my heart on fire. Then you have to go and add all those pre-packaged, healthy salads, sandwiches and all kinds of other stuff. Your staff is friendly and helpful and always point me to the yogurt which for some reason is not where one would logically assume yogurt would be. My addiction to you only worsened when you built a brand new, gorgeous store right next to a Peet's Coffee shop.
Trader Joe's, you need no love song. Every mother knows the value you have added to our lives with your inexpensive, yummy foods. My kids are addicted to your frozen french toast and I have developed my own little problem with your Kettle Korn and real brewed ice-tea.
While Draeger's does sell Diet Pepsi and plain old French's mustard, the prices are outrageous. So once in a while, I will slum it and make a trip to Safeway for some basics. I used to do all my shopping exclusively at Safeway until I was enlightened. Alas, I am trying to turn over a new leaf and save some money rather than indulge my grocery shopping whims. So today, Gloppy and I hit the local Safeway.
Damn you Safeway. You had me with the "cart of my dreams." My kids always want to get the cart with the little car in front. You know the one. The one that is impossible to maneuver so that you give your kids whiplash every time you try to turn a corner and whack into something or someone. The one where other shoppers see you coming and run the other way. I used to work up a sweat pushing that damn thing with little Lolly and Frostine in the car and Gloppy strapped to my chest in a Baby Bjorn. I hated that cart with it's slimy seatbelts and flimsy door.
But Safeway, now you go and bust out the big guns. "The cart of my dreams." Gloppy and I walked into the store and he immediately spotted a small row of blue carts with Barney on the door. We walked over to check it out. He got in one while I noticed the small kiosk nearby. The kiosk asked me which TV show I would like my son to watch. What? OK, I'll play along. He chose Thomas the Train and as soon as I pushed the button it started playing on the little screen in the front section of the new car cart. Oh, this cart was much, much easier to steer through the aisles and the doors lock from outside so Gloppy couldn't make a break for it. There was even a cup holder for me and a little screen that seemed to know where in the store I located. It would flash ads for popsicles in the frozen food aisle or pasta in the pasta aisle. I didn't mind the ads, they were easy to ignore.
This was the best shot I could get of the of "the cart of my dreams" since Gloppy kept telling me "no pictures in Safeway mama." He has strict rules about when I can take his picture and when I can't. Apparently grocery shopping in Safeway is not on his list of OK photo ops.
He barely made a peep while I cruised the store and he doesn't even like Thomas that much. He never once tried to sneak something in the cart or asked me to buy Lucky Charms. When we reached the checkout, your friendly little voice told Gloppy his show was almost over and you had a fun time with shopping with him.
So damn you Safeway, I may be back sooner rather than later. It wasn't your $7.00 roast chicken that made me fall in love. Draeger's amazing roast chicken is $13.00. It wasn't your 4 boxes of pasta for $5.00 or your sale on Diet Pepsi. Heck, even my favorite feminine hygiene products were dirt cheap. No Safeway, it wasn't even the in store Starbucks than won me over. It was the oh, so very lovely "cart of my dreams."