Credit- Whole Foods, Discredit- Decision to go there at 3pm

Here’s the deal. I secretly love going to Whole Foods… and it’s a good thing too. For almost a year I went on weekly runs there because we needed lemongrass, personal pumpkins or seven tons of beet greens… well that, and I happened not to have a crippling fear of grocery stores. But luckily for all involved, former roommates included, my bark is worse than my bite…and as it turns out my bark was more for show than anything else. I’ll go on record, right here and right now, and say that I love going to Whole Foods. I will be my loved ones’ personal whole foods goer any day of the week!

There’s something about its incredibly confusing and illogical layout that makes the veteran Whole Food shoppers relish the ease with which we turn down an aisle that would appear to contain only canned goods to find the tea leaves, pasta and rice. We also secretly cherish the forlorn and perplexed looks on the less seasoned shoppers’ faces. Why would they put cereal so far away from the other grains and breads? Welcome to the next dimension, you’re in our world now!

But I will say this: I will never return to Whole foods between the hours of 3pm and 8pm. 

The 5-8pm timeframe makes sense. It’s hectic and busy, people are off work and they are stopping in for things on the way home…. but 3-5pm? I’m not sure how to say this in a nice way, but it’s when all hell breaks loose with the elderly customers. I won’t pretend to understand why they’ve chosen this timeframe as their witching hour, but, mark my words, they’re lurking.

I drove over to Whole Foods to pick up fresh thyme and gruyère… I actually stopped at the Dominick’s on the corner of Fullerton and Sheffield, thinking: “What grocery store wouldn’t carry a commonly used herb and some pretty ordinary cheese?” Well, I’ll tell you who doesn’t. It’s Dominick’s on the corner of Fullerton and Sheffield. You know, I don’t know why I bother… I went there for lentils once and was disappointed then too.

But back to Whole Foods and the perils of shopping there between 3 and 5pm. I was waiting patiently for some lady in a minivan to pull out of her space. She was taking her sweet time unloading her cart. During this process, an older woman walked by with a bag which she loaded into the car parked directly besides where I was waiting. She made eye contact with me after shutting her trunk. The minivan’s break lights came on as it prepared to emerge from its space. Just as Minivan starts backing out, I am startled by a new pair of break lights to my right. I think: she knows I’m here… though I secretly scan my surroundings. I can’t pull up as Minivan is backing out. I can’t reverse as someone else is right behind me. So I allow myself to trust that this fine elderly lady does indeed a) remember seeing my car as she walked right by me to hers b)remembers making eye contact with me as she shut her trunk and c) FREAKING SEE ME IN HER REARVIEW MIRROR.

None of the above turned out to be safe assumptions. She comes backing out of her space right into my car. Fortunately, I and two other people waiting for spaces honked in time for her to stop, but seriously. Who on EARTH renewed her driver’s license? I want his or her name. I have an angry letter to write.

I’ve survived to tell the harrowing tale, so it’s time to make my gougères using a ziplock bag as a pastry bag (sweet!) Update soon on those.

Enjoy the thunder storm, Chicago. I know I will.

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