Today I realized two things: I take something as simple as a grocery store for granted and, it would seem, I am somewhat high-maintenance. Call me crazy but this entry is dedicated to today's grocery shopping experience. My mom is out of town for a bit, so it was decided that I would go grocery shopping. I do this quite often but today was different. My father insisted that I go to Fry's, instead of the usual store down the street, since it was "cheaper". Mmk.

So I arrive at Fry's, instantly missing the usual Bashas. I always find a lovely parking spot at Bashas since the parking lot is never overly packed. I automatically know which side of the store I want to park on because the majority of the items I need can be found on said side. But I knew from the moment I drove into the Fry's parking lot that my shopping experience was going to be difficult. For one, it took me a good five minutes to find a spot and second, I think every snowbird in the state was shopping at Fry's that day. Although I'm sure whoever wasn't was at Costco instead, as most snowbirds usually are.

Now a parking lot is usually a good indicator of how busy the store will be inside. I discovered that snowbirds who drive carts as well as they drive their automobiles, combined with narrow aisles, do not mix. Now usually it takes me a maximum twenty minutes to grocery shop. I could tell you where (almost) everything is in my neighborhood Bashas, including marshmellows. Which, let me tell you, took me three visits to finally remember where they were located! And other than the odd location of marshmellows, Bashas is set up quite nicely. This was not true for Fry's. I wished to be in and out as soon as possible. This was certainly impossible considering I knew where nothing was located and there were numerous traffic jams. I felt like I was in rush hour. Seriously.

Now I have two other complaints. I like shopping in places I feel are clean. As a consumer, I think I can expect that much. The grocery store down the street is nice, bright and shiny. This store was dark, which perhaps explained the expression on everyone's face. No one seemed to be in a happy mood. Maybe it was something in the air. Also, I know the people at Bashas- they are friendly, smile and make conversation. Not there. Not at Fry's. I did not receive a simple "have a good day" from the bagman or cashier. I left the store and, from now on, I will insist that Bashas is just as cheap. If anything else, not having to face that environment again is worth paying a few extra bucks.

Your overly high-maintenance grocery shopper,