Love it or hate it: Grocery stores

by David Holub

Love itIn rhetoric, or the art of persuasion, the past is used to talk about blame or settling scores. The present is used for bonding, coming together or falling apart. The future is about choice. The same applies to food. And if the bathroom is about food in the past and a restaurant about food in the present, a grocery store is about food in the future.

This is why I love the grocery store. For anyone who loves to cook, grocery shopping is not only where you get your art supplies, it’s a place of endless inspiration. It’s a place representative of the greatest in human achievement, where sustenance meets gluttony meets choice. It doesn’t even matter if you’re a good cook or if the meals you’ll ultimately make come out even decent. In your mind in the grocery store, everything you will make and ultimately eat is amazing.

The grocery store is also the place of the best kind of impulse buys. Sure, you may ultimately regret tossing the Red Velvet Little Debbie snack cakes into your cart because why not, but in that moment, and every moment of every bite, they make life worth living. Thanks grocery store.

— David HolubHate itLet’s talk about all the ways in which grocery shopping is an absolute crap-in-a-can experience. We can start with the fact that I, like everyone, can be a garbage human being. My trash-ass 14-year-old comes out when thinking about the grocery store. Like, no ma’am, I do not want to meal-plan. I don’t want to carve out time to think about a week’s worth of budget-friendly, healthy dinners that make good leftovers. I also don’t like confronting that all my jackass self wants to eat is posh cheese, salt-n-vinegar chips, and sour cream doughnut holes. Thank you, grocery store, for antagonizing my (very American) relationship with food.

Next up, grocery store: I hate your lighting. Your fluorescent pallor makes the food look corpse-y. When you aren’t morgue-ish, you are a freaky warm glow that makes me feel like you’re lulling me into a trap. Which you are. You’re set up in a way that 90 percent of the food inside you wants to kill me. Everything in the damn middle of the store, rather than on your fruity-veggie perimeter, will make me fat, sick, and eventually dead.

Say I get my grown-up pants on, I can only go to you in the middle of the night because I loathe being in grocery aisles that feel cattle-packed. And, really, do you have to play the saddest effing Adele song every time I am there? Like every time? Are you trying to make me buy the big container of doughnuts? You are. Thanks, for that. Jerk-store.

Patty Templeton

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