Friday, December 21, 2007


Why I happened to be on the Winn-Dixie website is not worth talking about, but when the website loaded up, I saw the banner above for free milk.

Free is great. I love it. I could be a bazillionaire and I'll still get excited to get something for nothing. Forget the fact that I'm partially lactose intolerant. So what that I have to buy 5 gallons of milk before I get one gallon for free. End result is that I'll get a gallon of free milk! Joy!

Then I read the not-so-prominent-but-not-so-hidden disclaimer that this offer is not valid in Louisiana.

What? Why not? No explanation whatsoever.

Well, whatever. Nathalie and I don't shop at Winn-Dixie anyway. The one branch by our house kind of creeps us out.

That saying about how birds of a feather flock together? So true. On our first (and last) trip to the Winn-Dixie store by our house, Nathalie and I noticed that we did not fit into the demographics of the majority of the shoppers there.

Winn-Dixie may be a good grocery store, and perhaps Nathalie and I visited it on an off day for them, but on that one day we were there, a sampling of their clientele consisted of 2 drunk and stoned men buying more beer, many people in need of a shower, a dozen seemingly feral children running amok, one man that kept cutting in line, lots of loud and obnoxious people freely demonstrating that their IQ was in the double digits, and the coup de grace was one man that was returning a package of meat to customer service:

Man: I didn't have time to cook this meat, and it went bad. I want my money back.

What? Can you even do that? I had no idea you could return food that you bought fresh and then ruined at home. More amazing was that the cashier took the package of green meat and gave the guy money. This just opened up a whole hidden world of possibilities to me. I've got a sack of old potatoes to return.

Nathalie and I ran into another shopper that looked as out of place as we did. As we stood in line to check out, we exchanged sympathetic looks. I left that store annoyed, a little grossed out, and feeling a little bit contaminated, as if I needed to shower when I got home.

We've since stuck with the locally owned grocery store by our house. The prices are a bit higher, but I'd rather pay a few extra dollars and leave the grocery store with a happy feeling, rather than feeling like I've just endured the 6th circle of hell.

That other saying about how you're judged by the company you keep? So true, even when it comes to grocery stores.