One Grocery Shopping Trip, Three Unexpected Observations

When they ask you, my gentle readers, when did you first notice that Ally Bean was beginning to fray around the edges, please point them to this.

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OBSERVATION #1 {inside the grocery store}

Our store is having what I’ll call a re-shelving extravaganza in the middle of the store.  I don’t know why they’re re-setting the store, but many items that were somewhere on a shelf, are now somewhere else, often many aisles away.

I couldn’t find the crystalized ginger which was part of the healthy food department, so I asked an employee where it might be now.

Without a hint of irony the employee said: “It’s in aisle 7, under the sign that says Meat Snacks.”

And so there it was, by the beef jerky. 🤨

OBSERVATION #2 {in the grocery store parking lot}

Leaving the store walking to my car, I noticed a bumper sticker on a newish SUV with a license plate that said it was from this county.  The vehicle appeared to have kid stuff in the back seat.

I mention the possible kid angle because the bumper sticker was, to my way of thinking, a bit coarse for a family vehicle around here in this God-fearing politically conservative community.  I wasn’t clutching my pearls because of it, but I was surprised.

In large letters visible from far away the bumper sticker said: BERNIE F*ck This Sh!t.  [I’ve modified the message because this is still a PG-13 blog, but you get the gist of what it said.]

And so there it was, on a vehicle parked next to the cart corral for all to see. 🙁

Observation #3 {driving home from the grocery store}

Driving home, slowing down to make a righthand turn at the light, I noticed that on the large community calendar electronic sign in front of the fire station there were three words that seemed out-of-place.

While we live in an upscale subdivision, most of this township and county are less well-off and rural;  hence the conservative MAGA political nature of things around here.  Thus when I saw what I saw I was bemused, but slightly baffled.

Not because of anything rude, but because I cannot fathom why the community calendar electronic sign in front of the fire station said: “Et tu, Miami?”

And so there it was, a classic Latin phrase made famous by Shakespeare + a reference to the North American Indian Algonquian people. 🤔

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So, things making sense where you are? Or are things slightly off-kilter everywhere you look?

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Usually.

89 thoughts on “One Grocery Shopping Trip, Three Unexpected Observations”

  1. They say that children whose parents curse around them are more intelligent, well-adjusted, or other such nonsense, at least that’s what keeps appearing on my facebook feed.

    I am solidly on your side in annoyance about the grocery story shelving change though. I hate it when they do that! All I want to do is get in and get out. If I was looking for a scavenger hunt, I’d have gone to a kid’s birthday party.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Allie, I didn’t know that about the alledged intelligence/parental cursing connection. If that’s true then this bumper sticker is helping all the children who see it become more well-adjusted little brainiacs. 🙄

      Scavenger hunt is exactly what’s going on in that store. I don’t know why our grocery store mixes up everything every few years, but it does tend to make me cranky.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Interesting article. There’s a truth to it, in that taking the risk of saying something outright [cursing] does tend to create bonds with your peers. My rule of thumb about swearing is: bad words for good reasons. But I don’t know if that applies to kids or not. Thanks for the link. Food for thought.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I get so irritated when the stores I shop at do those re-set things! My cart is programmed to know exactly where to go. It too takes exception to new routes and silly placement of items.
    This little community is fairly conservative, not diverse and lives mostly for it’s high school band program and senior dog walking. They are also pretty polite so the signs and car stickers stay hidden. I have actually never seen anything remotely controversial or worse around here. It wouldn’t bother me at all, and it actually might add to the dullness.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Deb, I don’t get the need to re-set grocery stores either. I get used to one shopping pattern, then *boom* everything is in the wrong place and I’m in the store muttering about everything. There’s no upside when you’re a customer.

    There’s political controversy around here all. the. time. It’s stupid, but people want everyone else to know their political views so there are bumper stickers and t-shirts and ball caps. I just roll my eyes and walk on by, however the bumper sticker I mentioned was the first time I’ve seen anything that blatant/vulgar near kids. I don’t care, to be honest. But I found it noteworthy.


  4. I don’t know why people put there beliefs on their car bumper. Surely there are better places like at home! A few years back my favorite grocery store added on and rearranged everything. It took a full year and there were “temporary” relocations and then a “permanent” one. It got so bad with bewildered people wandering around that they had to put a few employees in aisles. Their only job was to tell people where things are. That was about 5 years ago and there are still some things that I have no idea where they went to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kate, I hear ‘ya. I don’t get the need to publicize your political beliefs on your vehicle or your clothing or in front of your house. But the people around here do all of it so it must mean something to them. 🤷‍♀️

      The sad thing about this latest store re-set is that we just had one a few years ago that was exactly like what you described. I can barely find things in the newest places, let alone want to try to learn where they are now. Just put the things on the shelves and leave them there for a decade or so…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sigh. The Bernie Contingent.
    I remember when my grocery store completely remodeled. We all walked around looking into each other’s carts and saying, “Where did you find that?” It took an agonizing three weeks or so, leaving us to go on Comestible Scavenging Hunts, finding bread in the pickle aisle, peanut butter in the spaghetti sauce aisle, and butter in a little temporary refrigerator tub in the middle of the checkout area.
    The Latin Miami thing, though? No @#&^ing idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nance, I don’t care about Bernie, never did, but the aggressive sticker makes little sense to me at this late date, nor do I get why it was so vulgar to begin with. Not offended here, just kind of curious.

      Our current grocery store scene is precisely what you described. I’m making lots of fast friends as we chat about where items might now be hiding, learning to snoop in everyone else’s shopping cart on the off chance that they might have what I’m looking for.

      Yep, that Latin/Native American thing is beyond me, too. NO IDEA WHAT IT MEANS.


  6. My take: Grocery stores indulge in “re-shelving extravaganzas” because a shopper will pass by numerous other stuff that may catch your eye and you’ll buy. If they keep the shelving the same, you and I will just aim for the target aisle and miss all this “glorious array,” I say with sarcasm.

    I find this attic maddening, not more-shopping inducing. 😀

    P.S. I don’t believe in bumper stickers. Ha ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marian, I imagine you’re right about why all stores re-set their merchandise. I’ll put up with it more if it has to do with clothing, but with food I want to find it in the same place all the time. It’s complicated enough to decide which kind of bread or cheese or spaghetti sauce I want to eat, let alone have to search for it for 10 minutes. *growl*

      I like your take on bumper stickers. Smart woman. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Our Walmart is constantly moving items around. In a way, I suppose it’s good as it’s probably the only exercise some of the shoppers get. Of course, when they’re eating a bag of potato chips as they go in search of their groceries, it kind of defeats the purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eilene, good point. That might be the reason they’re together now. They also come packaged in the same size packages to they look pretty hanging on the wall together side by side.

      I think that the Latin/Native American message is what put me over the edge into a state of mild confusion about where I live now. I don’t get it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Believe it or not, I too have been shocked by vulgarity in unexpected places. #confessionsofapottymouth
    Close to my old neighbourhood, there is a prominently placed sign in someone’s garage window, visible to everyone that walks or drives by: “Asshole’s Garage”, it says. This house is located on a busy corner and the garage window faces the busiest street. I am baffled as to why someone would want to display this, and so prominently. It must be an inside joke. Or they get off on offending people. Because people, this offends even me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, that’s one of the weirdest signs I’ve heard tell of. Why would anyone want the world to know this? I’m sure you’re right that it’s an inside joke, but it’s super stupid… not just the usual stupid… super, I tell you. I’d find it offensive, too– probably because of it’s placement on the street. Weird.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I can obviously confirm the fire commenter’s claim about children of parents who curse being more intelligent, since I am one of those fortunate children. See what a fine young man it made me out to be!

    And as someone who has worked in retail for two decades now, even I can’t say I fully understand frequent store resets… other than the corporate love of “change for the sake of change” and the revolving door of management all wanting to make their own unique mark on things. That said, there is nothing quite like a full scale remodel though… because then it becomes like one of those sliding number puzzles as counters get moved around to all kinds of temporary places while floors are redone and/or new counters built. At one point, my paper goods area I stocked at the time was literally in three completely different areas of the building. Even the employees had no idea where anything was…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. evil, yes, your parents done good. Just look at how smart you is. Impressive!

      I cannot imagine being responsible for merchandise that is scattered in three places inside Mecca. It sounds like a headache, but I think you’re onto something with your suggestion that each new management team wants to make its mark on the store, so they move stuff around. Or more accurately, you move stuff around for them. Your sliding number puzzle analogy is apt.


  10. I agree with everyone else on the moving of grocery items. It took me what felt like forever to find the contact lens cleaning solution the other day. Laxatives were in the old place!
    Why would someone want to ruin their car by putting any bumper sticker on it, let alone one that is so crass?
    And the Latin thing….what the heck?!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beth, that’s funny that the eye product moved, but the medicine that you need when you definitely need it was in the same place. There’s a joke in there you know!

      I don’t get the vulgar bumper sticker either. I swear, but in the moment in response to a specific event, not as a calling card for my political views.

      The Latin thing would have stopped me in my tracks if I could have stopped at that intersection. I’ve been by there again and double-checked what I saw. I have no explanation for it.


  11. I can explain the sign:

    “Miami” is the nickname of the manager at your grocery store who decided to rearrange things (and get customers turned around) by, for example, placing the crystallized ginger next to the beef jerky.

    To add insult to injury, that was Miami’s car you saw in the parking lot with the rather vocal bumper sticker.

    Mystery solved!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Meat snacks just hit me the wrong way for some reason. As for your observances, I can’t say. I’m trying to figure out why two people I read (you and another) have both mentioned the phrase “cart corral” today. A sign from the universe? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?



    1. Tara, the ginger under the meat snacks sign made me chuckle. I don’t care where the store puts my ginger, just keep it somewhere consistently.

      As for multiple mentioned of cart corral in one day, I dunno what to make of that. Time for you to go grocery shopping? Maybe that’s what the universe is saying to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Safeway has an app that I could access to find things in the store but I prefer to go at off times and make the shopping trip more of an adventure. Sometimes I actually find new and exciting things to buy 🙂 We had a huge remodel of the local store a few years ago which took almost a year and I had to do my shopping in other stores. THAT was traumatic. Nowadays political bumper stickers could lead to car damage since some people are so emphatic about their beliefs. I wouldn’t want to take the chance. What’s happing in Miami? I missed that memo. You were very observant on your shopping trip! I’ll have to pay more attention next time I go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet, we don’t have Safeways here, so I’ve not heard about that kind of app. I’m like you in that I like some adventure while food shopping, stumbling onto new foods while finding the food I want without any trouble. But once I have trouble getting what I want, the fun is over.

      I hadn’t thought about how someone might damage your vehicle because of your political bumper sticker, but you are right. That could happen.

      The Miami referred to on the electronic sign isn’t the city in FL, it’s the Native American tribe that used to live in this area. Why this sign was talking about them and speaking Latin at the same time is beyond me…

      Liked by 1 person

  14. First off, I agree with everyone about the frustration of rearranged grocery store items. Just don’t. Second, vulgar bumper stickers don’t get anyone anywhere. They won’t change any minds but will solidify positions (“I knew it: all Bernie supporters are socialists who swear”), and makes the car-owner look crass.

    Now… I, like everyone else, am very puzzled and intrigued by that sign at the fire station. Please do all of your readers a service and call the fire station (or, stop by… firemen are usually quite easy on the eyes) and ask. You owe it to your loyal fans.


    1. Janis, all store re-sets seem to upset all people, shoppers and employees alike. I agree with you, just don’t.

      The bumper sticker is provocative and stupid; I’d say the same thing regardless of which candidate it was supporting. Like you said, it won’t change any minds and it does make the SUV owner look bad.

      I’d guess that the firemen in the fire station don’t know why the county-owned electronic sign says what it says. They have nothing to do with its content. I’ve checked the county’s website and there’s a Shakespeare Night coming up somewhere in this county. I’m guessing that explains the Latin, sort of.


  15. I don’t even like to shop in an unfamiliar grocery store. It takes me forever to find stuff! And when it’s not logically laid out, that would drive me nuts. I’m not sure I understand the Latin phrase with Miami in there. Hmmm.


    1. Margaret, shopping is always a weird burden, so changing stores around is the worst. Especially when the changes seem willy-nilly.

      Seeing Latin on the community calendar electronic sign is peculiar. I keep thinking it’s an inside joke of some sort that I just happened to see. But I can’t explain it really.


  16. I will 100% agree that the universe seems off-kilter- I can’t wait for things to correct themselves or at least to get my proper sea legs! Frankly I’m pretty sure it’s crazy wrong that there is a “meat snacks” aisle – ew! Sounds kind of Spammy to me. When our local store did had a reorganization extravaganza they at least had the courtesy to hand out maps with the new aisle configurations. But it was only moderately helpful as for some unknown and unfathomable reason, grocers never seem to agree with my idea of where a particular item might be placed.


    1. Deborah, I’m not a fan of meat snacks to begin with, so putting my tasty healthy ginger near them seems wrong to me. But like you said I’m never in agreement about where items end up in the grocery. It rarely makes sense to me. And now that I know to go to Meat Snacks to find what I want, so be it. I can adapt to the off-kilter world, at least for a while. As long as I have some crystallized ginger to settle my stomach. 😉


  17. I know stores keep rearranging things so you’re forced to wander aimlessly, but it bothers me when they move the stuff I need to a place that doens’t make any sense. The bumper stickers – yeah, I don’t get that, especially given the cost of cars.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dan, I’m not obsessed with efficiency, but I do like to be able to shop in our grocery knowing approximately how long it’s going to take me. With the reset I’m a wandering customer zombie looking for brains, so to speak.

      Good point about the price of cars, I suppose many people don’t think of that when they decorate/deface a vehicle with a bumper sticker. 🤷‍♀️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. nance, I wonder if you’re right. Miami University is a very popular college in these parts, so mentioning it on the community calendar is a possibility. We don’t live in Oxford, but there could be a connection. Good thinking.


    1. Jan, yes, you’re right. I agree about letting kids know that there are issues and people running for office, but to add name-calling and vulgarity into the discussions seems uncivil, right when you’re teaching about civics. Go figure, huh?

      I’m working through my confusion about ginger and meat snacks together under one big sign. But it’s wrong. 😐


    1. Susan, funny you’d mention that… yesterday I went to the mall for the first time in months & about half the stores weren’t where they used to be while the other half of the stores were new. I wandered lonely as a cloud around the place, confused– and didn’t buy a thing.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Betsy, if there’s a new system with this re-set I have yet to understand it.

      I’m not a prude, been known to swear, but I don’t believe that the bumper of a family vehicle is the place for a political opinion, stridently expressed.

      3. Beats me, too. Another mystery of life.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Elen, honestly you’d think that the employee who told me to look under the Meat Snacks sign would have understood the irony, how what he said was funny. But NO! All I got was a serious response. People…

      Liked by 1 person

  18. OMG I LMAO!
    The first made me giggle and the last made me snort!
    This is a marvelous post. Our kids probably said F this S at like, 10, or something, but not in front of us, because they’re smart. In fact, it reminds me of why I gotta have an R rated blog, cause language and you’ve got a PG13 one and yet, do you have any idea what a group of swearers kids are in middle school?!? Heh. A middle school kid tried to sell me weed, and when I told him I was a teacher and walked him to the office he swore a blue streak. And that was on the south side, which is also rather white and maga and pick-up trucks and apparently everyone there still tans in a bed. I dunno.
    Wow, I’m prattling.
    Anyway, great post! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joey, I do realize that kids swear a blue streak and among themselves that seems like a good idea. Bond and be buddies, you know? HOWEVER, I’d prefer for adults to not swear on their vehicles where anyone and everyone can see it; my concern had nothing to do with politics, everything to do with good word choices.

      I swear in real life and do it for emphasis or because I just hurt myself, which makes sense to me. Adults who never swear make me suspicious of their motives and who they really are. [Dolores Umbridge, anyone?] But for reasons I can’t explain I’ve always kept this blog PG-13, not that I care what anyone else does. Say what you want, using whatever words work for you. I’m cool with that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha!
        Well to each her own. I stand firmly beside you on the suspicious of those who don’t swear. I reckon we can stand firmly in front of Ahole’s garage? 😛


  19. What an interesting sequence of events – weird, but ain’t that the world right about now?

    I tend to use – ahem – adjectives in spoken speech, but do try to ensure that I do so only in appropriate company after realising I’d inadvertently caused offence. In writing though … that’s not such a good idea, as it stays out there – forever. And anyway, all smart people know that bumper stickers are pretty darn silly and should only contain pretty darn silly words!

    As for people being weird, my colleague was telling me *at great length* as is her wont about how she’s had this bad throat/cough thing for many weeks now. The reason? Well, she believes it’s an allergic reaction to the tomatoes she is growing in her kitchen. So move them or remove them you’d think – yes? No. Apparently she can’t do that because she made the decision to put them there so she just has to suffer. Like the allergy she has to laurel (amongst many, many other things) so she a) bought a house whose boundaries are all laurel hedges and b) did not remove it and c) has been taking increasingly stronger drugs to cope with living in its vicinity for 30+ years. I kid you not … I’m going to stop ranting now 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, I swear in real life. Not too often, but I think I’d go crazy if I didn’t on occasion tell it like it is– uncensored. That seems prudent and real. But as I’ve mentioned before when it comes to this blog I substitute similar words for their more vulgar originals. I dunno why, but for me it seems the right thing to do.

      Your colleague sounds nuts. Why would you not solve your allergy problems by doing the obvious thing? GET RID OF THAT WHICH CAUSES YOU PAIN. How tricky is that? Not very, so the real question is why is this woman determined to be a martyr to her woes? That’s just weirder than weird.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I hate when my grocery store decides to rearrange. At least once a year to my estimation. And it’s rude. I go to that grocery store not because of it’s low prices (it’s by no means the cheapest) or great selection (I usually get my meat and dairy elsewhere) but because I KNOW WHERE STUFF IS!

    As for the world, it’s insane. Just cracked up bonkers. It’s the only way I can make sense of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. katie, I’m the same way. I go to this particular grocery because it’s on my way to home & as such I just want to find the things AND GO HOME. *sigh*

      Just cracked up bonkers is the best description of the world that I’ve read to date. Well said. 👏


  21. I just came home from doing groceries. Thankfully nothing unusual that I noticed. It was 8pm though (evening grocery shopping is great!)

    I would be disappointed if they kept changing their store layout but they currently have meat & deli stuff on one side, and dairy & ice-cream over on the opposite side — all things I want to pick up at the end (so they stay cold longer) but I’ll have to double back every time…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pistachios, I don’t understand the logic behind the layouts of most grocery stores. If there is a logic? Our current floor plan has meat & deli on one side, too. But the dairy is in the middle back and the ice cream is near the front over by the pharmacy, the opposite side of the store from meat & deli. But thank heavens I know where to find the crystallized ginger! 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Where ELSE would you put the crystallized ginger?! Those store rearrangements are the worst, they totally throw off the grocery shopping mojo.

    But I think my favorite was the sign. I’d love to just know, well, why.


  23. The grocery and box stores here are constantly moving things. I know in my head it’s because they keep trying to get us to ‘shop’ for things we don’t need, but all they do is annoy us by wasting our time. I swear, but I don’t in front of those who don’t and certainly wouldn’t put it on my car or on a t-shirt where everyone else has to be subjected to it. NH is mostly white which is pretty obvious by statistics and just looking around. They have recently set up a diversity group to attract others to the state to live and work. This was reported on the local news. As a result of this news coverage, some of the individuals were subjected to rude and crude responses. In 2018? Yes, and it is downright embarrassing. I’m sorry to say I think the world is a little off balance in any direction you look.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Judy, I worked in retail for years and never thought there was much sense to moving items around a store to get customers to buy more. If anything customers buy less and complain more– which I’d suggest is bad business. But *hey* what do I know?

      I agree that the world seems off-balance in every direction. I’m a person who finds herself in the middle on most issues, and in the middle of the country, and in my mid-life, so some days I really do wonder about where we’re headed. Especially when I see swear words on a family vehicle. That’s just not necessary.


  24. If you can’t laugh at the irony of crystallized ginger being categorized as a meat snack, I have no use for you.
    As for swearing, I admit the blue words do leave my lips on occasion…. because there really are times when no other word will do. (apologies to my 9th grade English teacher, but it’s true) Public vulgarity is another issue altogether, and the use of f*ck on bumper stickers just makes me want to throw a thesaurus at the manufacturer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. rivergirl1211, I’m still tickled by that ginger hanging around the meat snacks. I swear, too. But I don’t write it on anything where a kid might see it. It’s not that I believe kids don’t know bad words [they do] it’s just that as adults we need to show kids the best way of communicating– not the worst.


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