If you live in New York or — heck — the EAST COAST, even, you might have gotten buried under a shit-ton of snow yesterday???
Yeah, I noticed. It snowed! I was a snow-skeptic, though, RIGHT up until the last minute. Which is why I decided it was a GREAT IDEA to go grocery shopping on Wednesday evening, aka, The Night Before The Bombest Bomb Cyclone Big-Ass Snow Storm Of The Year was supposed to hit.
So sweet lil’ old me is all, “I’m going to leave work at 5, ride the train into Manhattan, and go to Trader Joe’s!” I need taquitos. I need frozen dinners. I’m thinking about making that egg salad my friend taught me how to make over Thanksgiving (hi, friend! You should BLOG that recipe! It’s DIVINE!!!). So I get to Trader Joe’s and….
Well, I don’t exactly GET THERE. I get within a BLOCK of Trader Joe’s and there’s a LINE TO GET INTO THE STORE.
I have recently become a person who stands in line outside of stores. As a favor to my cousin, I stood in line outside the Supreme store on three separate occasions to buy Christmas presents for her son. Standing in line outside of stores is a New York institution, and I will stand by it. Well. Depending on what it is, I will “stand” in line to “buy” it. And if it’s to make a child’s Christmas, or to stuff my drunk face with taquitos, I WILL STAND IN THAT LINE.
So I’m standing in the line. It’s cold, but I’m dressed for the weather because …it’s winter? And I’m an adult? And I’ve got headphones because that’s just what you do, you have headphones. And I’m making pleasant small talk with the people in line around me. Talkin’ ’bout our favorite TJ’s locations in Manhattan, our favorite products. It’s a GOOD TIME. The manager, Garrett, is walking down the line, passing out chocolate peanut butter cups.
“Does anyone want some chocolate while they’re waiting?” he calls.
“Garrett,” I begin smoothly, “I hate to be ‘That Guy,’ but are those gluten free?”
Garrett turns the container and begins reading the ingredients. The line moves forward. Passerbys continue to snicker and take potshots at us for standing in line for a grocery store. Fuck them, they don’t know the joy of coming home tipsy to microwaveable taquitos, hot and ready in seconds!
“It says ‘may contain traces of wheat,'” Garrett informs me. He seems really sorry. “I’m really sorry.”
The line moves forward again. I’m not that upset, but I put on a wink and the ol’ charm.
“GAAARRETTTT!” I wail, clutching my chest. “You’re breaking my heaaaart!”
The line moves forward, I’m right outside the door.
“I’ll find you a gluten-free treat, I promise!” Garrett is all sincerity and apology. But I’m one foot in the door, and it’s not that big a deal, so…
“It’s not that big a deal!” I call back to him. “Seriously, don’t worry about it. Thanks for the offer!”
Whew! Inside the store. I take my cart and head back to the hard-boiled eggs. It’s crowded in here, but I’m out of the wind, and I’m mere footsteps away from taquitos. I grab my eggs (two bags! I’m going to try to make enough egg salad that I won’t eat it all in one day, but I make no promises) and
They’re out of taquitos. Ohhhhh shit. I’m digging but I just don’t see any of the black bean and cheese ones? Only chicken ones? Well, damn! I’m about to shrug this off and pick up my frozen dinners but when I turn around ——
“I told you I would find you something…gluten free, right?” he tears open a bag of Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Ginger Chunk Cookies. He pulls out a sleeve of cookies, like, TEN cookies. He considers it for a minute…. then hands it to me.
“If anyone gives you any trouble, just tell ’em Garrett gave you these.”
I am agog, I am aghast! I think I start frothing at the mouth with gratitude, stuff like “Oh you didn’t have to do this! Oh this is so kind!” but Garrett is off! He has a store to manage, and more lives to improve with his kindness.
And that’s the story of why I ate TEN COOKIES for dinner the other night. Look, do I expect to be given free cookies wherever I go? Hmm, maybe? NO! Of course not. And I’ve long been a fan of Trader Joe’s for just that reason. They are SO NICE. I’ll definitely be back.
Cuz I still need taquitos.
image via Amazon