Blue Ridge Country September/October 2020 - 10

MILL CREEK STORIES

The Grocery Store

One by-product of the emptiness of certain aisles is now stopping our
columnist's canines in their tracks.
By MOLLY DUGGER BRENNAN | Illustration by JOSEPH MACKERETH

I

t's been quite the year. I can't remember a year when
I was surprised so much in just about every way, and
in almost every category of life. For example, I was
stunned that grocery shopping became a competition sport.
Grocery shopping has always been so easy for me.
I memorize the floor plan, write a shopping list that
matches the aisle progression, and get out as efficiently as
possible. I make sure I shop on a full stomach, otherwise
I will buy every box of Little Debbie snack cakes in the
store, and I keep my coupons organized in my official
coupon holder.
I kind of enjoy grocery shopping, because I have done
a ton of market research in the past and I have to try
every new product that hits the market to evaluate it.
Finding a brand new product in my grocery store is like
finding a quarter on the sidewalk. It's a small thing but it
brings me joy.

10

BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

One of my favorite games as a child was playing grocery store. I had a tiny little book shelf that I stocked with
empty boxes of cereal, oatmeal and detergent. I had a
plastic cash register that had a drawer that opened and
everything. I even had a sheet of stickers and I changed
prices on products regularly. I would amuse myself for
hours, doing everything I'd seen in the big grocery store.
I'd rearrange the shelves, I'd count and organize the register drawer, I'd mark stuff on sale, I'd sweep because
I'd noticed there was a lot of sweeping in grocery stores
though I didn't know why. I would place items in a box
or bag after my transaction was completed. Hours of fun
and my mother made sure I had everything I needed to
play grocery store because it was hours of quiet. Win-win
situation right there.
Then my organized, coupons-at-the-ready, findthe-new-product joyful grocery shopping excursions
slammed right into the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. All of


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Blue Ridge Country September/October 2020

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