Let’s begin at the very beginning of my frustration, it’s called, the grocery store. First, let me just say that grocery stores of my youth were nice little neighborhood stores where everyone knew you and your family. If I went to the store, half of the time people would ask if my sister was going to cheer at the game on Saturday or the butcher would tell me that he ordered the goose for my mother for our usual Christmas dinner. My mother would often order our food over the phone and the groceries would be dropped off at the back door. My mother didn’t have to tell anyone what brand she wanted, the grocer knew and placed it in the order. (I know, we do have Amazon now in our city, and you can order your groceries and they drop them off at your door, but it’s not as personal, it’s just not the same.)
When I shop at my local grocery store it is always packed with people, it doesn’t matter what time I arrive, morning, noon, or night, it is always crowded with pushy, unhappy, people. It is almost impossible to find parking. I live in a place where it often snows 8 or 9 months of the year. This means that there is ice and snow and dirty slush to be waded through from your car to the entrance of the megastore most of the year. While I’m on the subject don’t you hate the people that leave their shopping carts in your parking spot!! I hate these people.
Recently, my local store has made the aisles narrower, and the shelves higher. So when the lady ahead of you stands in front of the pickle section for ten minutes deciding if she wants spears or circles or sweet or garlic, you are standing behind her and it is impossible for you to reach around her and her husband to grab your Zesty Kosher dills!! (No, I’m not Kosher, but they are really good pickles)
Did I mention the height of the shelves?? Not every one of us is over 6 feet tall. I wear flats because the grocery store is miles long, and I have to wear comfortable shoes for the two mile hike. I like to make 3-bean salad. You need yellow wax beans to make a good 3-bean salad. The yellow wax beans are on the top shelf, 7 or 8 feet above the ground. I am 5’2 ½” tall and I don’t have long arms. (I always have to roll my sleeves when buying a long sleeve shirts or sweaters. BTW this makes me mad too) Since, I am not going to climb up shelves to reach the can of my yellow wax beans, therefore, I stand in the aisle with a group of unhappy people waited for me to move my ass. I wait until a tall person comes along. I smile a sweet, helpless, smile and beg some hopefully nice person if they would be kind enough to hand me a can of yellow wax beans. Young people often give me a funny look that says, “Why would anyone want to buy yellow wax beans?” Listen, if you like bean salad, I make a really great bean salad. Just saying …
Now, let’s discuss something that really drives me crazy. HAS ANYONE NOTICED HOW NORMAL SIZED ITEMS HAVE GROWN SMALLER IN THE LAST FEW YEARS? Do they think we don’t notice??? We aren’t all dumb blonds! Full disclosure* I am blond but I do have two college degrees for heavens sake!
A message to the Campbell soup company, Do you think that we haven’t noticed that one can of soup in the 1960’s used to feed a family of four. Now one can of soup makes one small bowl or two small tea cups of soup. Hey, Stouffer’s Frozen Food, My mother often bought your Spinach Soufflé for a side dish for a family of four, accompanying our meatloaf and baked potatoes. Now it might be a side dish for one or a side dish for two infants. Hey, Lay’s, your potato chips used to come in a big bag and the bag was full. Now the large family size is in a small bag and it is half-full. Hey, Nabisco, my 31-year-old son loves the cheese crackers you make. He loved them as a child. I recently bought him a box of his favorite cheese crackers. Today they came in a box that was a little larger than his right hand and when he opened the same bag that was nestled inside of the small box, the bag was half-full. The cheese crackers are now the size of the nail on my index finger. (I might mention that I have small hands as well as being short in stature.)
These companies are not alone. This is a trick that all products are guilty of pushing on what they think of as the ”ignorant public”. Now, guys, on your side of things, let me say that in most cases the quality of your products has stayed the same. Your food is really good and the quality has occasionally improved, however, while I am still angry, the other thing that I have noticed, Hey, Lay’s, your chips are much thinner. Not as good or as crunchy as they used to be … this goes for your Doritos too. Sorry you might be owned by Frito-Lay. Is that the same company? I can’t keep track. At any rate, the chips are thinner and WE HAVE NOTICED THIS FACT. One more thing, pasta companies, we have noticed you aren’t putting as much pasta in your boxes and the boxes are smaller. The price is still pretty good but it has gone up along with all of the above products.
Please grocery stores, hire people to help me pack my groceries. I am terrible at packing my own grocery items. I smash my bread when packing my own groceries, and my ice cream melts onto my steaks and my grapes are crushed under my canned goods. I am nervous to take too long while packing my own groceries. So please have that high school boy help me and he can help me put them in my car too. (Ever try to lift a box of cat litter into your trunk? Not too mention my large wine bottles.) Oh, I like plastic bags too. I know, I know, it isn’t good for our ecology. I have an excuse. I use them to clean the cat’s littler box, everyday. I use them to pack my son’s lunch. I reuse them and I recycle the bags I don’t use. I promise!!!
Okay, now after I have said all that. We are really lucky to live in a country that is chock-full of every kind of food and fruit and vegetable and meat and fish product that you can imagine. We do have really good food items as well as cleaning items and drug store items and school supplies. We are so lucky to have tons of products from which to choose, in our mega-stores. I am grateful and frankly I don’t know how they do it and keep everything really pretty clean and the shelves stocked full.
I let go of most of my anger, by writing this post. I feel better. Just don’t try to sneak into my parking space when I am pulling in and put your damn cart back where it belongs, or I’ll be mad as Hell!!!
Until Next Week…