I recently had a major move in my life that brought me to our national’s
filthy beautiful capital, Washington, DC and one of the first things my roommate (aka fiancee) and I did when we got here was look for a place to grocery shop. We found that there was a Trader Joe’s not too far from our new digs so on Sunday, we took a quick drive over there to grab some grub for the week.
Now, I had never been to a Trader Joe’s before but I had heard good things so I went in with an open mind. We had our list ready and I was prepared to tear through this place, grabbing all of my wonderful name-brand items that I have come to know and love.
There’s like nothing in this place that is a normal ass brand. It’s all either Trader Joe’s brand or some random indie company no one has heard of like The Millennial Farmhand or some shit. Getting fruits and veggies was no problem since I’m not really tied to any brands there. But it really hit me when I went to go look for something to have for my daily mid-day snack. I was thinking the little Quaker mini rice cakes — they come in single serving and have like 100 calories (important because I’m watching my figure — see the fiancee reference from earlier). Imagine my surprise when I hit the snack aisle and there is no creepy Puritan guy staring at me from any of the packaging!
Instead, I had to sift through all of these random snacks with ingredients I’d never really heard of before and decide if I wanted to try this stuff out. Luckily, they had veggie chips, which are always a reliable choice. Side note: what a farce these people perpetuate — CHIPS that are also VEGETABLES?! I guess I can eat a billion!
But fine, I resigned myself to the fact that I would just have to find new brands that I liked and rely on that. I kept going along my route, hoping to find a deli that I could get some turkey at.
Once again, disappointed by Trader Joe’s! All they have is a section with pre-packed cold cuts which I’m not, in principle, against but they were so small! I picked one of them up for the week and by the third day of my work week (I took Monday off, no big deal), I’m nearly out of turkey! I have to ration it out like I’m in a WWI trench or something. Big mad that they don’t have a deli that I can tell an uninterested teenager how much fake meat I would like and they can give it to me on the spot.
But okay, it’s fine. “Just keep going and get through this, you can just buy two packs a week I guess” I tell myself. And then the coup de grace — my yogurt. I’m a hardcore Chobani guy. I love the stuff. In fact, Ketch and I have often bonded over our favorite Chobani flavors and inform each other when a new one comes out. Surely, Trader Joe’s must have something comparable!
Yeah so not flat out no but not yes either. They have a Greek style yogurt that has been fine but what I really like to do is a get a Chobani flip or two for the week. It’s a nice pick me up for that Tuesday-Wednesday hump or a nice celebration on a Friday like “yay we made it to the weekend again without dying!” Nothing even close to a Chobani Flip as far as the eye can see. Tragic.
After that, I felt like a defeated man. I picked up the rest of my shit, tucked my tail between my legs, and shuffled to the checkout where I was charged 5 cents for each paper bag (the guy double bagged so ended up using 4 and I wanted to tell him he owed by 10 cents because I didn’t ask him to double bag). I should have known better from a place whose parent company is fucking Aldi’s.
It’s been four days and I’m not overly disappointed with my new indie brands but it just isn’t the same. And that’s kind of my whole point here — I don’t hate Trader Joe’s, I’m sure they do a fine business and have a whole bunch of granola heads who frequent there multiple times a week. But not me, couldn’t be me. I need my name brands and my routine, man. In a world full of chaos, is that too much to ask?
I’ve found a Harris Teeter nearby and the roommate tells me these places are great so we’re going to try that this week. I’m not saying I have high hopes, but if they don’t have Chobani Flips, I’m going to jump off a bridge.