I'm stuck in a loop, like an un-sexy version of Westworld
And yet I'm there at least twice a month, risking bruised shins and bent fenders, navigating aisles of disappointing pre-made curry and mystery sauces, and jutting through seas of aloof old ladies and hipster dads like the world's most milquetoast linebacker.
"But guy writing on the internet," you say while simultaneously composing 140 threatening characters to me on Twitter. "If you don't like it, don't go. Also, kill yourself. TTYL #eatadick."
And you know what? You're right. If I don't like eating theses terrible knockoff snacks, I can march my ass down the street to get my junk food. If I don't want to endure crowds of people who have convinced themselves that a microwave burrito is magically healthy because TJ's shipped it in from a warehouse of mysterious origins, I don't need to be there. Maybe I should eat a dick! (Side note: Do they make off-brand dicks for me to eat at TJ's?)
But I will return. I will remain in my loop and eat those bony-ass nuggets and house the poorly dusted Doritos substitutes. I will buy the stupid plastic-wrapped tomatoes and the rocket-shaped fake Goldfish. And, let's be honest, I will basically snort cookie butter.
Because my daughter loves it. She houses the fish nuggets with a vigor that most toddlers reserve for boogers and Play-Doh. She loves the knockoff crackers. She's milk sensitive and will only drink TJ's-brand soy milk before a nap. When we roll in there, there's a little baby cart that she loves to push (into other people's ankles). She's a TJ's cult member before age 2, and I'm too worn out and lazy to just go to two stores like an adult.
If it makes her happy, then I'll slap that smile on my face and endure the bells. I'll revisit my personal hell as often as we need soy milk and wheat pretzels and 19-cent bananas. I'll take my bruises and keep getting disappointed by dips that taste like socks and tortellini that tastes like it was bought in an alley beyond an Olive Garden once it expired. I'll just keep getting new and different things until I finally find a shopping list of stuff that doesn't just taste like a slight approximation of what I love.
Eventually, I'll learn to love it. I'll find the perfect cart of groceries and finally realize, hey, there's great stuff here!
And at that point, my daughter will very likely turn on all things Trader Joe's. She'll become infatuated with some other store's in-house brand. Probably fucking Costco stuff… the next logical circle of this Dantean grocery store eternity.
Do they wear Kirkland jeans in hell?