grocery shopping is a sprint, not a marathon

Hello, Blog World.  I hope that those of you who had Columbus Day off, as I did, enjoyed a three-day weekend blessed with fabulous weather and store-wide sales.  If you did not have today free, I hope your day of work was full of smart decision making and painless metro rides.

Today was an administrative day for me.  All this means is that I actually had to tackle my to-do list instead of stare at it from the comfort of my bed and wish it would erase itself.  The number one thing on my list was GROCERY SHOP.  I actually enjoy grocery shopping, especially when you have just eaten breakfast and do not have the desire to buy every single thing in the store (this is the worst at Costco.  I once left Costco with an 7237402750275 piece jumbo pack of bacon.  Ew.) .  The one thing I have had trouble adjusting to here in DC is that none of the grocery stores sell alcohol.  Like, ZERO alcohol.  I had gotten used to Charlottesville, where you had to buy liquor at a separate, uncreatively-named, Liquor Store, but the big grocery stores here don’t even offer beer and wine!  I always forget this, and head to the store with every intention of buying a six-pack of beer or a nice Merlot with which to relax for the evening.  So I have been without alcohol in my apartment for about a week now, and it’s been ROUGH.

Thus, my mission for today was to completely stock my apartment with alcoholic beverages.  The first place that popped into my mind was Trader Joe’s.  TJ’s has, of course, their infamous Two Buck Chuck.




I was determined to fill my wine rack, and at what better price than 2 dollars??  It was the perfect plan.  So I drove down to Foggy Bottom, and turned into the TJ’s parking lot under the store.  After waiting 10+ minutes to snag a parking spot, I went upstairs to shop.  I walked straight into CHAOS.

Apparently none of Washington DC had done any of their shopping on Saturday or Sunday, and were all crammed into Trader Joe’s at 2pm on Columbus Day.  Every single one of them.  It was complete and utter madness.  I had poached a shopping cart from an unwitting old lady (don’t judge- I needed my groceries.), but I couldn’t even maneuver it down the aisles.  At one point I reached for the last avocado in the avocado bin at the same time as another lady, and the look she gave me made me want to die for even thinking I had a right to that avocado.  I promptly put it down and ran away…to the wine aisle.  I had given up on getting any groceries from TJ’s, but I had no other options for wine.  So I abandoned my cart and grabbed as many bottles as I could hold in my arms– and promptly went to the back of the massive check-out line.  I waited and waited and debating using my wine bottles as free weights and pumping out some bicep reps when I was finally called up to pay.

When I got back down to my car, my time at TJ’s only got better.  The car behind me had been backing out when its battery died, leaving it stranded in the middle of the row like a beached whale.  But where beached whales are usually miles away without any impact on my life, this one was blocking me in.  And, to make matters worse, it was a diplomat car, and Mr. Diplomat spoke little to no English.  After a speed lesson in sign language, we finally found someone who had cables and could jump start the diplomats car.  I tried to run away, but Mr. Diplomat continued to try and talk to me– for what reason I am unsure, as we were clearly not understanding each other.  Half an hour later, covered in this guys spit (why do people always YELL when they’re trying to make themselves understood?!), I crawled into my car, exhausted and still grocery-less.  Reward for my struggles: 5 bottles of wine, a six-pack of Stella, and a new basil plant.  Jury is still out on whether my trip was worth it.

As soon as I pulled out of the garage, I headed straight to the Safeway up Connecticut.  Safeway is my home grocery store– did you know that it is headquartered in good ole’ Pleasanton, California??  Bet you didn’t.


Whattup, Safeway?!


The Safeways here are much less fancy than the ones back home, but at least I know where everything is and how much it all costs.  I OF COURSE got lost trying to find my way back up north, and wound up somewhere down in Arlington (VIRGINIA!!) before finally turning around and getting my bearings.  After a marathon shopping trip at Safeway, I finally made it back to my apartment.  Holy moly.

Lesson Learned: DO NOT go to the Foggy Bottom Trader Joe’s.  Or if you do, go in the dead of the night when absolutely no one will be there.  That place is crazy.


Because of my marathon shopping trip, the rest of my to-do list was ignored.  So clothes, I hope you iron yourselves.  Apartment, I think you can be messy for one more day.  Lisa, I’ll mail your cd tomorrow.  And job paperwork, you’re not THAT important.  I’ll fill you out…later.  It’s time for some Two Buck Chuck.


One Response

  1. In New York, two buck chuck is three dollars. Three-buck chuck is more expensive and is not as catchy a rhyme. I am going to have to make the switch to rubbing alcohol or prison-wine.

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