Trader Joe’s is just down the street. There are a lot of people inside. The line for the registers is visible from the doors. An employee stands at the back of it holding a tall flag that says back of the line.
Some people see the line and instantly turn away. We don’t. We go in. Shopping at Trader Joe’s is tough. It’s like the grocery store by our apartment, but worse. The aisles are so thin and there are so many people. The people here are annoying in a different way than the ones at the store by us. The people here are predominately wealthy, and condescending. There are a lot more poor people at the grocery store by us. The people here are stereotypical New Yorkers. Some move fast and are frustrated by almost everything, and some move slow and are unconcerned with anything but themselves.
The concept of Trader Joe’s has always gotten on my nerves. All of the food seems like it’s trying to be one step above the food you find at other grocery stores. It’s like Whole Foods but it doesn’t rely so heavily on health. They both have an air of elitism.
Musette has been wanting to get a cookie butter cheesecake from here for a while. One of her Facebook friends whom we met at the Alpha Institute posted about it. We tried getting it at the Trader Joe’s in Manhattan, but there was a line out the door just to get in. I had never seen a line to get into a grocery store before.
They have the cheesecake here. We get it, as well as some other things like pumpkin muffins with a dollop of cream cheese on them, some chicken fried rice, some steak taquitos, gingerbread granola cereal with cranberries in it, etc.
And then we enter the line to check out. It takes us past a sampler table of bacon wrapped date wontons, and it separates into many forks. We are guided by employees all along the way, to checkstand number two, which is in the very back corner of the store.
The girl behind the register looks like she might be from Pakistan or India. I wonder if she is Muslim. I wonder when the last time she prayed was. She is next to register number one. The girl there has been waving her flag for five minutes. Nobody has seen that she is open because she is so far away from the traffic controller.
Finally a tall blonde woman wearing jogging clothes approaches. She has a blue vest on.
Why don’t you have a number above your register, she asks the girl at number one.
The girl is confused. She looks up and sees that her number is covered by a moon with a silhouette of santa and his reindeers riding by.
I didn’t notice, she says.
Well, I finally found you, says the blonde woman. But it was quite an expedition.