Posted by: Ingrid | October 19, 2009

All we need is some ice cream and a hug

I never set out to hate Meijer.  Really I didn’t.  It just seems that every time I enter the doors I come out missing California with an intensity that nothing else is able to inspire.  If you’re from the West Coast you might be asking what Meijer is, a question I asked when I moved here eight weeks ago.  It’s sort of like a super Walmart but with a shorter name and a better produce section.  You can get your socks, green onions, and light bulbs all in one store that takes up about five city blocks.  Well, not quite that, but you get my point.  It’s huge one-stop-shopping for your convenience.

Back in September, I finally managed to venture out with a newborn baby and a grocery list a mile long having not done any shopping since we’d moved.  I loaded the sleeping baby into the sling and then proceeded to wander around the enormous store only to discover that the brands weren’t the same, I didn’t know where anything was, and food was more expensive than I’d anticipated.  We finally made it to the check-out line and Isaac began to wake up.  The clerk couldn’t have gone slower if she’d tried and the drunk gentleman behind me, whose wife had left him unattended, kept crossing the grocery lane divider trying to add his snacks and vodka to my grocery pile and then apologizing profusely when I’d put them back on his side.  In the midst of this, the now hungry baby began to fall apart.  I didn’t feel comfortable feeding him in the car in the middle of the parking lot and we both cried the entire ten miles back home.

So I didn’t mean to start hating Meijer but that left a bad impression on me and our relationship from then on has been doomed.

It took me a while to go back, but when I went the other day, it was the same sort of thing.  How do that many people manage to stand in the aisle and park their carts in such a way as to keep anyone else from passing them?  How do people almost run into a woman carrying a baby who is staying on her side of the aisle?  It was like I’d gone on the day when all the shoppers got the memo to walk straight down the aisles pushing two carts, one off to the left and one off to the right in order to occupy maximum space.  HOW IS IT POSSIBLE FOR ONE PERSON TO TAKE UP THE ENTIRE AISLE, PEOPLE?

Then there was the long pharmacy drama and the wait that was so long that the baby woke up and started crying.  He didn’t cry on the way home, thank goodness, but I did.  All I could think about was how much I missed California.  I mean, there are plenty of weird people there, but at least it was a familiar sort of weird.  Meijer people weird just makes me homesick.

I had to go in the following day as well, this time with Clint, to look for some long underwear so we can avoid paying thousands of dollars per month on our heating bill this winter.  The one bright spot in any trip to Meijer is the fact that they have ice cream.  Really good ice cream (no light flavors to be had) at $0.99 for a junior cone which is deceptively named as it is HUGE.  And my philosophy is ice cream can make anything better, even a trip to Meijer.  Oddly enough, I’ve eaten more ice cream lately than I ever have in my life…

So we got our ice cream cones and walked outside into the 30+ degree weather.  As we walked to the car we passed a mother and her little boy.  As soon as we’d walked by I heard him ask, Mommy, why are they eating ice cream when it’s freezing outside?

Apparently they will know we are Californians by our ice cream cones in late October.

And the fact that we have three layers of thermal underwear on to make eating that ice cream possible.



  1. I can’t make the store any better, but you might find this website helpful to bring the prices down. Couponing has a bit of a learning curve but I LOVE it and our grocery budget has gone down by about 15% each month because of it.

  2. I feel you on the homesick part. I moved from Boston to 2 hours NW of Pittsburgh, PA. Every time I go to Walmart (which is often since there’s not much of a choice in shopping experiences here) I get homesick. I miss my old life. My great job, my apartment, the city. But here we are in this teeny redneckish town so that my husband can be a Professor and I can, well go to Walmart and then wish he would’ve moved to Boston and been a stay at home husband. Unfortunately, Walmart doesn’t sell ice cream cones 😦

  3. Oh Ingrid – I hate Meijer too! I understand what you mean about the weird and stupid people that fill the aisles! I hope your trips will improve (or that you can find somewhere else to go)!

  4. I’m so glad they have ice cream cones! I would absolutely be eating one in sub-zero temperatures after a shopping experience like that. Or, after any shopping experience! I can totally relate to crying all the way home. EJ used to scream in the car…hungry or not…when he was a littler man.
    Hang in there!!!

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