Dr. Beads

Saturday, November 13, 2004

She Stoops to Banter

On my way home from the airport yesterday, I stopped at a Trader Joe's. (If you don't have one of these wonderful markets in your area, I recommend moving to an area that is more enlightened.)

Trader Joe's continues to be, for food, what Crate and Barrel and Lands' End used to be for housewares and clothing, respectively: i.e., a bit out of the ordinary, yet practical, and reasonably priced. (Crate and Barrel has gone into frou-frou mode, apparently in order to compete with the yups who shop at Williams-Sonoma; and Lands' End, now owned by Sears, has moved away from practical clothing that was nevertheless largely appropriate for white-collar workers toward a combination of sweaters-and-longjohns-for-snowy-mornings and holiday-clothing-for-the-Midwestern-holiday-junkie. (Sort of like Sears, but without the hardware or the thin, midriff-exposing polyester "tops.")

At TJ's, I searched diligently through the cheese section before I found what I was looking for, about 6 feet from where it had been just a couple of weeks before.

As I did a little "let's trade places" dance with another shopper, she said, in humorous exasperation, "I've been looking for this [pointing to a cheese] for five minutes! They've moved everything!"

I agreed, holding up the cheese I'd finally found, and said, "This used to be at the other end." She nodded, smiling, and said "Exactly."

I continued, "I think they're trying to make sure that we're alert...and worthy." She smiled. I smiled.

Each of us continued shopping, knowing that we had passed the test.


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