Tuesday, March 21, 2006

It's Only a Freakin' Supermarket, People!

From the cars circling for parking outside, you'd thought it was the second coming and Jesus was personally handing out free sushi inside.

But no, it was simply the opening of a new Wegmans -- the first of the chain in this corner of suburbia. Evidently this store is the closest thing to nirvana for the SUV set.

The store opened on Sunday, and on Monday my little family happened to be across the street. The manly husband had been monitoring the progress of the Wegmans throughout its construction and he was itching to check out the interior...to see if it was all it was cracked up to be.

Me? I was a little less enthused about entering, since it meant we would surely be outnumbered by the overprivileged. But enter we did.

Word is that Wegmans has great prepared food. But I can't confirm that, since the prepared food area was as crowded as Disney World during Spring break.

Since the swarming masses in prepared food were starting to make me hyperventilate, we detoured into the regular supermarket area...did a little grocery shopping -- and that part of the store was like combining Whole Foods type fare (at seemingly better prices) with your basic name-brand normal foodstuffs.

So, I was fairly impressed, even as my fight or flight responses kicked in. There I was, muttering, "It's just a supermarket..." under my breath, while what seemed like half the zip code vied for aisle position.

The straw that broke my psyche's back was during checkout, when the lady (and I use that a term loosely) behind me believed she was entitled to push her shopping cart into me (and leave it pressed against me) as I struggled to scribble something vaguely resembling my signature on the credit card machine. I pushed back, by the way -- but she either was oblivious or too much in a hurry to care.

"Must...get...out...now!" I thought to myself. Actually, that's not true -- I was saying it out loud -- along with, "Let's go -- NOW!"

Maybe if I hadn't spent two hours in the dentist's chair earlier that day I would have been in a better mood to deal with the maddening crowd.

And what had my dentist and her assistant been talking about as the drill invaded my mouth? Going to Wegmans, of course.


At March 26, 2006 12:30 AM, Blogger Merujo said...

I didn't know they had Wegmans on the East Coast - I always hear them mentioned in Los Angeles (Wegmans and Ralphs...) It sounds like a Whole Foods grand opening feeding frenzy. I just shop at the 24-hour place near my apartment. They may not have gourmet food, but the lines are short and the food doesn't cost a limb. I am definitely not upscale grocery material!

BTW, this is neither here nor there, but I saw the link on your page to "BLOGTOPSITES." I swear to god, every single time I see that on someone's page, I misread it as "BLOGTOPSIES." I imagine that to be a place where blogs go to die and be dissected... ;-)

At March 27, 2006 11:28 AM, Blogger Cyn said...

We've got a Whole Foods even closer to our house than the new Wegmans. Don't shop there regularly (for obvious monetary reasons) but stopped by on Friday afternoon for a quick milk/yogurt purchase as it is the closest supermarket to our home.

They are not suffering any loss of business at the hand of Wegmans -- the place was quite busy. Evidently there are enough monied (sp?) folk in our area to support two overpriced markets.

At March 27, 2006 11:33 AM, Blogger Cyn said...

A Post-script to my comment -- upon rereading, my use of "overpriced" was an unfair choice of words. Whole Foods stuff is generally high quality. So, I suppose it's logical to charge more for superior product.

And I saw a lot of stuff in Wegman's that was selling at a competitive price. I mean, what I could see through the massive hoard of shoppers.

At March 31, 2006 11:05 AM, Blogger Spencer said...

I get the sense that you and Randy are like Kristen and myself - an uneasy relationship with the suburbs. I find myself hating the people that live in the burbs while liking the convenience. Of course every weekend we end up rubbing shoulders with them at the home depot or target or where ever we go. None of them are nice.

I better stop.

At March 31, 2006 7:53 PM, Blogger radiocynic said...

Oh, heck yeah, Spencer. I've often considered venturing into my own blogging about this nifty paradox, though Cyn usually expresses my opinion just as well as I could.

Nonetheless, I'll consider this an uninvited guest blog.

If anything, I have a bit more of a love/hate relationship with the suburbs that Cindy does. In my perfect world, we'd be immersed in a vibrant and utterly arts-and-cuisine-conscious city, except with clean air and loads of convenient free parking.

Alas, I am indeed an admitted convenience wuss. Actual embarassing fact: one of the biggest determining factors in our settling at my house in the burbs rather than Cyn's former house in Manayunk was that I couldn't make myself deal with not having a garage. Yeah, I'm a goofball.

I also admit to a yuppie-suburbanite-esque actual attachment to upscale and convenient shopping, gourmet food and such, whether I can necessarily afford it or not. I actually find myself looking forward to the subsiding of the madding crowds at this damn Wegmans, so I can sample some groovy pre-prepared salads and sushi and stuff. So I suppose in some ways I belong here. (I won't so so far as to speak for my lovely wife on that one.)

HOWEVER, I continue to DESPISE the pervasive rudeness and snotty/snobby attitude and behavior, the whole competitive "soccer mom and dad" lifestyle, and the fact that, with our careers in radio, we just about afford to, y'know, live here, whilst seemingly everyone around us has plenty of excess discretionary budget for ostentatiousness, over-maintenance and/or uber-landscaping. Don't even get me started on the decks, patios, pools and house additions. Yep, I would actually kind of enjoy being able to afford a deck or patio, but in the meantime we have a little bit of backyard lawn furniture that's on -- please don't tell anyone -- lawn. And btw, it could be the crappiest, least-chemically-treated lawn ever. The weeds are usually mostly greenish, though, and I've also planted several nice trees, albeit not the classy expensive professionally-landscaped kind.

And y'know, I'm really and truly not as anti-social as I bill myself. I often find many folks around the suburban tundra that are perfectly pleasant and with whom I enjoy an extensive friendly-waving-hello relationship, but I'm frankly so busy and sleep-deprived that I literally don't have time to spend hours on meaningless chit-chat with even the pleasant ones when we have so little in common (except maybe discussing taxes, or how inferior my landscaping is.)

Yet, apparently, I do have enough free time for meaningless blog rants with folks with whom I do feel kindred interests, so I guess I'm not all completely hermit-like.

I always thought I would have a hipper "artist's persona" if I could cultivate being more enigmatic. Wow, maybe as I get hopelessly deeper into middle-age, it seems I might be getting a bit closer...

(Okay, I should stop now, too!)

-- Randy


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