At last, my love has come along
My lonely days are over
And life is like a song
* * * * *
Etta James said it years ago, and I couldn't have said it better. After nearly five months of grocery store exile, our bright shiny new Kroger reopened today, complete with marching bands, television cameras, and local celebrities.
(Shannon with voice of the Cincinnati Reds, Marty Brennaman)
Ask my family and close friends, they know how much I have been counting down the months, then weeks, then days, and finally hours until today's store opening. I admit it, I've been spoiled by having a grocery store practically at the bottom of the hill for about 15 years now. When the store closed, I was forced to rethink the way I shop and even plan meals and cook. I had to plan more and I had to make sure I had a list in hand when I did venture out for a big grocery-load-up. And in those times where I was in the middle of making something and realized that I was out of something I needed immediately, I found myself either having to drive at least an eight mile round trip, or shopping at Walgreen's for something like butter or eggs.
And frankly (yes, I'll whine just a little bit more here), I didn't like any of the alternative locations that I have been forced to frequent for many reasons, but I'll spare you those. Last week's hissy fit thrown by a deli clerk at one of my alternative stores was the last straw for me. Who knew that asking for the store's weekly brown sugar ham special would be such a BIG FAT HAIRY DEAL. I"m sorry, but unless that chick cut her finger off in the meat slicer, she had no reason to be so sullen and rude. After getting home from there, I swore I was not going to step foot into another grocery store until the grand reopening of my Kroger today. I stuck to it too, with the exception of ducking into the Circle K earlier in the week for a fresh gallon of milk.
The store opened at 7am this morning and I really did consider lining up to be the first in the store. As it turns out, sleep and a lazy cup of coffee won out. By the time I arrived, the party was in full swing. There were food samples everywhere, nobody needed breakfast nor lunch, that's for sure. I don't know how wild I am about sushi at 8:30am, but there are worse choices for breakfast, that's for sure! Television crews were there, Kroger executives were buzzing around in their well tailored suits, little kids were laughing at their baloons and cookies, but mainly it was jam-packed with happy shoppers and happy employers all being reunited after having to go elsewhere to shop and work for months.
You probably think I'm crazy, and maybe I am, but at least I'm not alone. There were a LOT of happy shoppers and employees in that store this morning. Gleeful is the word that comes to mind. I'm sure the novelty will wear off after a few weeks, but in the meantime, I'm going to enjoy getting to know my new home base. It's been a long time coming!