Friday morning I was cranky.
I had promised the munchkins a trip to the grocery store before lunch, but Sarah had Big Bertha (our trusty Suburban). I was expecting her to come home at 11:15 so that I could drop her off at school and head to Macey’s, but she didn’t actually arrive until 12:15. Which meant that I would be taking two hungry munchkins through a food-filled wonderland. I was not pleased. (I know what you’re thinking, by the way. “Why didn’t you just feed the kids first?” It’s because I had no idea that Sarah was going to be late, so I kept expecting her to be home any second, and the lunch that I had planned involved thirty minutes of cooking. I couldn’t bring myself to forgo the yummy lunch and serve peanut butter instead. It wouldn’t have been right. And I couldn’t skip shopping altogether, because Macey’s was having one of their famous two-day sales, and that was the only time that I would be able to make the sale.) (Yes, I can, in fact, hear the world’s smallest violin playing.)
When Sarah finally arrived, harsh words may or may not have been exchanged. (Don’t be too hard on her – she was visiting a friend in the hospital.) (And don’t be too hard on me – I was hungry.) I hastily dropped her off and headed to Macey’s, grumbling all the way.
Now for those of you who don’t live in our quaint little town and have to shop in cold, unfeeling grocery stores, I am sorry. Because Macey’s is seriously the best. store. EVAR!
I pulled into the parking lot, and joy of joys, found a car cart parked right in front of our parking space. Car carts are da bomb! They are practically Bitsy proof. In fact, she has yet to smash a single carton of eggs while sitting in a car cart. She can’t even reach the groceries from her tiny driver’s seat. And speaking of driver’s seats, there are two. Jakob can ride along as well, which means that I don’t have to wait for him to amble along behind me, or worry about running over him when he is in front of the cart. I can take the young’uns shopping with a whole new level of reckless abandon when I have a car cart. Car carts make me happy.
But wait – it gets even better.
As I entered the store, I heard the angelic voices of carolers singing. As in real, live carolers bringing tidings of comfort and joy. I could feel my frown starting to turn upside down.
And then, then I was given a baggie full of candy. CANDY! Just for my eating enjoyment. And we’re not talking about cheap, yucky candy that nobody wants. We’re talking Hershey’s kisses and Krackle bars and Reeses cups. There was even enough to share with the munchkins.
The surprises just kept coming. They were having a special samples day at the store. So while we shopped, we were able to happily munch on pumpkin bread, and ham, and potato chips and dip, and carrots and dip, and chilli, and…wait for it…peppermint ice cream. Oh peppermint ice cream of deliciousness, why have I waited so long to try you? You have made my life complete! You have brought the sparkle back into my drab existence! I once was lost, but now I’m found…
What? Too much? Sorry.
I now have a one month supply of peppermint ice cream sitting in my freezer.
Have I mentioned all of the other happy shoppers yet? Because there were many – smiling at my offspring, offering to help me load unwieldy packages into my cart, and just plain being friendly.
And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I came across…the Crock Pot Meal of the Week. The sheer geniosity of this is breathtaking. All of the supplies for a giant pot of chilli were gathered together in one handy dandy spot. That’s right – I could stand in one place and get everything I needed. Everything! But I didn’t even have to assemble the ingredients – a very friendly store worker gathered them all up for me. And there was a bag, a special Christmas bag, where all of these ingredients could be put, so that I would be able to keep everything together and have it ring up at one fantastically low price. At this point, tears of joy were streaming down my face. (I know what you’re thinking here, too. “But Jennifer, you don’t even like chilli.” Shhh. Don’t ruin my moment.)
It’s not over yet, folks. When I went to check out, I discovered that all of my groceries were being put into the very cute special Christmas shopping bags. (Can you hear the Hallelujah Chorus in your head, too?)
I finished checking out, the kiddos were presented with even more candy (I am sensing a toothbrush sale in the near future), and we were on our way.
I arrived home to see that I had timed our lunch just right – there were ten minutes left on the oven timer. Oh, the serendipity of it all.
We unpacked our groceries, ate lunch, and then the munchkins helped me make:
A double batch of brownies for our neighborhood Christmas party,
Christmas cupcakes for Emma’s birthday party,
Chilli – so that I wouldn’t have to cook during Emma’s birthday party,
And a great big batch of toffee, just because I could.
(Note to self: The above combination of foods will make your house smell really weird. Don’t ever make them all on the same day again.)
In summary, Macey’s is the best place in the whole wide world.
Or maybe I just need to get out more.