Hello dear reader(s)!
As you are already no doubt aware, my wife has entered into this blogging foray. On my advice. I felt it might help her. Boy, am I an idiot!
“But Josh, isn’t having your wife being able to vent out her feelings and tell her own story on here a good thing?”
As I was typing this morning’s post, something happened to me that I just need to talk about. However, my wife has already laid claim to the topic. So when, and if she gets around to it, she is the one who gets to vent and I am left to talk about the less talk-worthy things. I will talk about the local store.
The Un-dead Store
We have a local store nearby that has been here for years. I remember walking to it when I was little, with my brother and sister to get treats with our allowance. I remember shopping for dinner stuff with my mom. Eventually, they got bought by another company and became somewhat of a local-ish chain of stores (I think they had a few in Northern California once too) and opened a few more locations including an ungodly pink stucco store at (what was then) the South end of the area. They did pretty well for themselves. Decent stores, okay prices. Nothing special. And then, something happened. Their prices started going way too high. You could go into more modern and cleaner stores and pay quite a bit less. Their employees became rude and/or stupid. (Usually both.) Store upkeep became a problem and selection dwindled.
For a few years now they have been shutting down locations left and right. It was clear their business tactics of higher prices, dirtier stores, and shitty service wasn’t attracting customers. Just a couple months ago, they announced the closure of the pink beast (it might have been longer, my timeline is still a bit off). One of the few remaining stores left open was the one that had been within walking distance of my house for some time. I wondered how they have managed to stay open, when the economic crisis hit this area so hard, and many more successful stores closed in this location and moved out to the ticky-tacky developments in the Northern areas.
There is a submarine sandwich shop, which has also been next to that store for as long as I can remember. Their sandwiches are excellent, and it is a great little place. They are likely the anchor of the entire shopping center. I can’t have sliced deli-meat, but I love their sandwiches so much, that my wife and I found a way around the restrictions. We buy packaged lunch meat at the store (which I am able to have) and order a veggie (no sprouts, because I can’t have those either) and then put the meat on their subs when I get home. They are not the same, but they are close.
So Hannah and her friend go to the sandwich shop and decide to run into the local store to get some chips and real sugar soda (because I refuse to drink high fructose corn syrup soda) and then they come back. I prepare my sandwich and grab a handful of chips and she tells me she was unable to purchase the regular sugar soda because they didn’t have it. Okay, whatever, since we have water and maybe even some soda left from the last store trip. Then her and her friend go in the bathroom and start giggling.
I’m thinking, “Um…okay, is this some weird girl thing I don’t understand or don’t want to know about?”
“What are you doing?” I ask.
“Hannah is doing my hair!” her friend shouts in reply, followed by more giggles.
“Okay…” I think to myself, not really believing the explanation but not really caring too much anyway.
Then the door opens and the real giggling begins. And Hannah comes out blushing, her arm covered in fake, lame tattoos. (She has a real tattoo, which I like, so when I say lame tattoos, that is not a slam against tattoos in general.) These were lame, and fake looking. Very fake looking. On her shoulder is a bad cat face, on her arm is a badly drawn flower, with little butterflies in a straight line presumably flying around to pollinate it, and on her inner arm, there is a heart that looks like it is being laced up, like a corset or something. All of them are slightly peeling off.
This store, once a small store to get real groceries, has now become like a 7-11 with less selection. Regularly featuring fake tattoos, and Bud Light Lime, along with items a dollar store wouldn’t even want to sell, it has become a novelty shop. From bad FBI (Female Body Inspector) trucker hats, to the Hispanic Saint Candles, to the cheap swill beer, to the American flags made in China, and the Mexican flags also made in China right next to them, to the switch blade combs and fake tattoos; the store has managed to remain open for the lovers of the most tacky. (I swear they must have a velvet Elvis painting aisle.)
And it is damn expensive too.
It is not a bodega, because there is nothing authentic, it is not a grocery store, because there are probably four things fresh left in it. It is not a convenience store, because there is nothing convenient about going there at all, with the exception they are next to the sandwich shop. They have about 20 times the space of a 7-11, with about 1/4 of the products, at prices that are even higher.
But I guess they are going to stick around, because people like my wife have decided to buy their fake tattoos.