The New Normal


With the lake effect snow we had last weekend, I had to pull out my snow boots and heavy coat and get used to the “snow” drill again. On Sunday, I put on my boots and bundled up for a trip to Sawyer for some coffee and biscotti. It took forever to get out the door. I forgot my mittens. Then I remembered I needed my computer. Oh yeah, then I had to shovel snow to get the car out of the driveway. Finally I was off!

I spent some time reading and drinking coffee and then decided I should do my grocery shopping. I’ve been trying to save a bit of money, so I thought I would try shopping at Meijer, a Michigan-based Walmart-type store. I hate that store, but it is cheaper. This week it would be good to save some money.

Bundling up for the early morning routine…



As I said in my Yummly blog, Yummly is changing my life. I got out my shopping list and began checking off items. Meijer’s produce is wildly disorganized, and I couldn’t find any rhyme or reason to the setup. I even asked an employee how it was organized, and she couldn’t tell me either. All she could do is point out the items when I’d read them off my list. “I hate this store,” I mumbled under my breath. “Breathe… you are saving money,” my saner brain countered. I continued my shopping which seemed to take approximately 3 hours because I couldn’t figure out where anything was. The lotion was completely across the store. It was a mile and half walk through molasses to get it and then walk back to the dairy and frozen foods. “I’m never doing this again,” I said. “Relax,” my saner self said. “It’s almost over.”

It’s 5 AM. Go shovel!


I finally got in the line, and it was like being in a slow motion movie. The woman in front of me had purchased food for the entire state of Michigan, and the cashier was in no hurry to get finished. I tried breathing. I attempted meditating. When it came to the point where I wanted to scream and leave my basket in the lane, I had to talk myself down off the ledge. “You don’t ever have to come back here again,” I bargained. “It’s worth $100 to shop somewhere else.”

Yep… gotta shovel…


I walked out to the car, loaded my groceries in and left. I had to go the local bookstore to pick up some Christmas gifts, and I realized that I didn’t have my phone. I had it when I was checking off my list in Meijer. I drove back over to see if someone had turned it in. I trudged through the parking lot looking close to where I parked to see if I dropped it. Snow and slush and water covered the area, and I knew that phone could be covered up under that or run over by a car. The customer service desk (and I use that term loosely) had no better news, and I drove back home empty-handed.

To make a long story short, I ended up having to cut off my phone and get a new one. But the whole saga took about 4 hours and $300 off my Sunday. Going to Meijers did NOT save me any money, thank you very much. I will never go there again.

It’s been one frustration after another this week. I get up, check the driveway to see if I need to shovel. Shovel if necessary. When I get ready to go to work, I have to get boots, pack a pair of shoes for work, pack my lunch and bring mittens along with my purse and phone. I inevitably forget something. Once I’ve been outside in my boots, I can’t wear them inside because they are wet. So I have to take the boots off and go back inside to get what I forgot. If I forget something in the car, I have to put my boots on to go outside … and my coat … and my mittens. Everything just takes so long!!!!

My friend Ann and I went downtown to look at the Christmas lights. We bundled up, bundled up Ashok and headed down Main Street. When we turned on the street toward the Christmas lights, the cold north wind off Lake Michigan roared right through us. It took my breath away. We walked about 10 steps, and Ann said, “I don’t think I can do this.” “Maybe we could drive by the Christmas lights”, I said … and we did.



5 Comments on “The New Normal

  1. I hated Meijer when I first experienced them years ago, but it’s now my usual shopping destination. I go to the Stevensville location. Maybe I’ve just become adjusted to them. Their pricing is better than most and I feel their produce is pretty decent and they carry most things I’m looking for. I guess it’s not the best organized, but after a few trips you can figure it out. I buy Gevalia coffee and almost $3 cheaper than other local stores and they have most flavors. The options available and pricing makes it worth the trip. Tuesday’s are a slower day. You’re right that it does take some patience to shop there, so don’t do it if it makes you crazy.

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Well I was in the Benton Harbor store. I’ve gotten used to Martins, and there are some things there that I can’t find in Martins. I love the Nature’s Blessed frozen fruit, and they don’t carry it in Meijer. I’ve heard Aldi is good, and I do shop every now and then at Apple Valley. Thanks for the tips!

  2. We have a new Wegmans in our town.
    It is nice but the checkout people are unbelievably slow and their checkouts are not set up for re-usable bags! It’s like they’ve never seen them.
    Merry Christmas!

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