Stopped by Trader Joe’s

I am not sure these people ever left the store. (Photo by Larry Steagall, Kitsap Sun
One of the things Yogi Berra is credited with saying is, “Nobody goes there anymore; it’s too crowded.”

On Saturday while gassing up at Costco I got the fool notion to stop by Trader Joe’s, which is described as the Krispy Kreme of grocery stores or the Wal-Mart for yuppies by its detractors and fans. I had only been to the store a couple of times when I was living in Camas and I didn’t really catch the vision of what so many people seem to appreciate, or idolize, or detest.

We had a few calls last week telling us we hadn’t done enough stories on Trader Joe’s leading up to its opening. Based on the crowd I saw on Saturday we did plenty. I managed to find a good enough parking spot. I had planned to go to Costco to get the meat I’d be barbecuing Sunday for Father’s Day, but thought maybe Trader Joe’s would have what I wanted and that maybe the crowd would be manageable to negotiate.

This is the part of the story where I reveal that I am a little claustrophobic. It’s situational. I especially get it when I’m carting around my kids. Put me alone in a crowd of people exiting Safeco Field and I’m fine. Put me in a grocery store with a 4-year-old boy and I’m fidgety like Robin Williams during a moment of silence. I managed to make it back to the meat and browsed enough to see that the store has a lot of things I would like.

No way, though, was I going to stand in line behind 18 people just to get out of there. I stood in a line that long to get out of Mexico once and I’m not eager to repeat it. That experience was tainted by the fact that I had to pull my car into the border patrol station so officers could search for illegal drugs, fireworks or people. At least I was traveling alone.

I’ll actually have to try some of the Trader Joe’s stuff before I render judgment. I want to try those frozen pizzas with the spinach and tomatoes. The prices really were decent. It looks like a place I would have loved when I was single. I wasn’t hauling around kids then. I was probably more patient.

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