I love Meijer. I hate Meijer. Call me conflicted. I’m so conflicted, in fact, I’ll probably give my brain whiplash.
On the one hand, Meijer is great. I particularly like this terrific thing called Flash Food. (I imagine other stores have it, too, but I learned about it through Meijer.) It’s grocery shopping for useless people. There’s an app that lets me survey the food that’s near, but not past, its expiration date. (There are always lots of baked goods available, so I have muffins for breakfast nearly every morning.) I think last year I saved nearly $1000 in food costs, plus the food didn’t go to waste.
(I used to work for a company that occasionally gave cocktail parties at business conventions, and there were always assorted hors d’oeuvres. They were never all eaten, and I worried some about the food waste. I learned, however, that if you signed a release form, the leftovers would be donated to a local shelter. I always liked to think of the homeless people being treated to mini-quiches and tiny beef Wellington amuse-bouches. But I digress.)
Meijer is also located within a mile and a half of our house, which is super-convenient, especially since my husband works there and doesn’t have a long commute. (His is still longer than mine, which consists of commuting from the bedroom upstairs to my study downstairs. It’s a quick trek, and I’ve never needed snow tires. But I digress again.)
I also love that Meijer gives him a regular paycheck, which is necessary to maintain our essential supply of cat food. It’s also handy that he works there, since he can do all the shopping and pick up the Flash Food and I don’t have to ha ha ha ha ha!
On the other hand, Meijer pisses me off. First, I object on principle to stores where you can buy both milk and lawn furniture. It’s simply wrong. The store is too large as well, and they keep rearranging it. I’m afraid that I’ll wander for hours through the freezer section and die of exposure. When Dan and I shop together, we need to use our cell phones to keep track of each other. “I’m in the pet section. Where are you?” “Cheap meat.”
(I do like the cheap meat section. Once when we were shopping, I ran into a mutual friend. I towed him over to where Dan was mulling over the varieties of pudding available. “Look what I found in cheap meat!” I said. But I digress yet again.)
I don’t love Dan’s schedule. He has Sundays and Mondays off, which is okay. He can join me on bank-and-post-office-type errands that have to be done on a weekday. But he has to be at work several days a week at 6:00 a.m. Until my sleep habits went wonky this winter, I couldn’t get up to have tea with Dan in the mornings. But wonky waking means that now I get up at the same (way too early) time Dan does, and I can have my muffins and tea while he eats his hard-boiled eggs and toaster waffles.
All in all, though, I can’t stay mad at Meijer. What we thought would be a short chapter in our lives has turned into a ten-year narrative. What might to some seem like a lowly job as a greeter has meant for Dan an ideal antidote to burnout and a position where he gets to smile and chat with people all day.
And what it means for me is whiplash. I’ll ask Dan to bring me home an icebag. And lemon muffins, while he’s at it.
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