Liz Childers / Jennifer Bui
Many people all over the country stand in somewhat ridiculous lines just to get a piece of the cultish grocery magic TJ’s been offering since 1967. But did you know that your Trader Joe’s grocery items actually tell so much about you and your hopes and dreams and T-shirts? Well, luckily for you, I did:
Chili Lime Chicken Burgers
You like to go to costume shops and buy kooky, alarmingly expensive costumes and call out “impromptu dress-up party!” as you walk into random bars just to change things up. You’re known as a “one-man party” at work and are always down for “beer o’clock” or “beer-thirty” or “drinking during lunch”. You don’t have a lot of people’s personal cell phone numbers.
Speculoos Cookie Butter
There was a time during the mid-aughts when you jogged everyday. You sometimes look back at that time and think that you wouldn’t even recognize that person, before settling back onto your beanbag to watch another Love It or List It with the Canadian Bachelorette girl while spreading crushed cookie spread on your cookies.
Charles Shaw Wine
You belong to a book club that only reads novels by Jennifer Weiner. You liked In Her Shoes the best, but thought Then Came You and Little Earthquakes were both underrated, though you will always have a soft spot for Good In Bed because you love Candace’s sarcastic voice since it reminds you of how you talk with your girlfriends. You told people you read Certain Girls, but you totally didn’t. It still kind of haunts you.
Sauerkraut with Pickled Persian Cucumbers
You live alone and have for some time.
Triple Ginger Snaps
You are hard to distinguish, mostly because EVERY SINGLE PERSON who shops at Trader Joe’s also purchases these things.
Pumpkin Butter/Pumpkin Coffee/Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Mix/Pumpkin Pecan Instant Oatmeal
You love the Fall! Who doesn’t love the Fall? The sight of leaves changing color, the briskness in the air, the sound of the crowd cheering on your favorite high school football team, even though you actually hated the football players in high school because they used to make fun of your weird walk, and call you “Jangly Leg Jimmy” and once put a mystifyingly accurate drawing of your anatomy on the windshield of every car in the parking lot, and spread rumors about you and a mail-order blow-up doll from Asia. But, um, yeah, the Fall is pretty good. Pumpkins and sh*t.
Trader Joe’s Frozen Key Lime Pie
Your uncle went to jail for a crime he didn’t commit, and, while there, read every single Hemingway book available. Once he was released, he moved down to the Keys and worked for a time as a bartender, mixing up daiquiris Hemingway-style, until a man provoked him by saying Hemingway’s prose was “a bit too sparse”. Now he’s in jail for a crime he did commit.
Cold Pressed Yellow/Green/Red Juice
You’re thinking of investing in a CrossFit gym with one of your buddies from college, but you need to see “the specs” before you put any capital down. You’ve never actually done CrossFit.
Fresh Mozzarella Log
You went to a small liberal arts school in Vermont and own one Patagonia, one Marmot, and one Arc'teryx fleece. You have two dogs, and both of them are chocolate labs. You drive a Jeep Cherokee. Weirdly, you went through a pretty intense emo stage in high school.
Light Vanilla Ice Cream
You’re the type of person that, when people ask what your dream job would be if you could do anything, thinks for a really, really long time, and then says, “I dunno.”
Joe’s Diner Mac & Cheese
You were a good guitar player in high school. Like, really good. Like, you could’ve maybe done something with it if you pursued it. You’re not even bragging, this is just the truth. Ask anyone from Danvers High class of ’97, and they’ll say the same. “Oh, old Andy Kryza? He could’ve been in Pearl Jam,” they’ll say. You would even prove it right now, but you can’t find your guitar. You think you left it in your buddy's car. 11 years ago.
Steak & Ale Pies
You subscribe to the British GQ, because the “voice is edgier”. You like English Premier League soccer, which you call football, and talk incessantly about “City” signing Sagna away from Arsenal. You have a cousin in London, and you like to talk about his “flat” in Notting Hill, which is actually pretty close to where Hugh Grant lived. You drink dry English cider, none of that sugary-sweet American crap. You were born and raised in Ohio.
Mini Pie Medley
When you were 8, you had one of those expensive dollhouses with the furniture that costs almost as much as real IKEA furniture. You wear aprons in the kitchen with pictures of lemon trees or “I love cupcakes” splayed across the front. You make up elaborate backstories for your cat(s).
Tarragon Chicken Salad Wrap
You are my high school guidance counselor, and you said I should only apply to UMass and UNH, and I was maybe 50/50 to get into one of them, and you are gross.
Jumbo Seedless Black Raisins
You’re the type of person who envisions emergency scenarios where someone will come tearing into your apartment, and be all like, “Holy f***, 11 Somali pirates are holding my family hostage and say they’ll kill ‘em all, unless I somehow bake them seven dozen homemade classic oatmeal raisin cookies. Surely there can’t be any way you can help!?!?”
Frozen Organic Pizza Crusts
You are known as a bit of a cook among your friends. You find it alarmingly easy to accept compliments for things you didn’t actually do.
Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacamole with Greek Yogurt
You’re a lapsed Catholic.
Enrich Moisturizing Face Lotion
You have a moderately dry face.
Kenyan Peaberry Medium Roast Coffee
You own glasses that make people ask if you’re an art director, even though you’re in digital consulting. You are over chambray shirts, because the Gap is even selling chambray now. For awhile you were drinking strictly Ethiopian beans, but you’re kind of embarrassed about that. You’ve never read Lucky Peach, but you follow David Chang on Twitter, and you feel like that’s enough.
French Vanilla Coffee
You’re going to put like three sugars in it anyway, you don’t even f***ing care.
Fruit Frenzy Bars II (Grape, Tangerine & Blood Orange)
You take chances. When the masses go right, you swerve left. When the Man says, “Jump,” you don’t say, “How high?” You say, “Why?” You once considered doing Outward Bound, but then got pretty caught up in the N64 version of Zelda.
Dark Chocolate Powerberries
You own a Fitbit and have a personal trainer and just bought all this pretty sick Under Armour compression gear, yet you’ve gained like 8lbs in the last two weeks.
You know that feeling you get when you come home from a hectic day reading 19th-century Austrian erotica in the public library, and walk into your kitchen, and your roommates get all quiet, and you feel like it might be because they were talking about you? THAT’S BECAUSE THEY ARE.
Melodious Blend (Green Garbanzo Beans, Red & Green Lentils, with a touch of tomatoes and olive oil)
You like to point out how you got rid of your TV two years ago, and have gleefully never seen Game of Thrones
. You have two yoga mats, because the one you use for Bikram is totally different than the one you use for Ashtanga. You’ve switched to an organic deodorant, which isn’t as effective on odor, but healthier for your skin. You have a gas problem, and you don’t really know how to deal with it.
Tunisian Organic Extra Virgin Unfiltered Chetoui Olive Oil
Just stop it. Stop it right now. That can’t be a real thing.
Kevin Alexander is the Thrillist's food/drink executive editor, and once ate an entire bag of TJ’s dried cherries while waiting in line to pay. Follow him to stomach issues at @KAlexander03.