Monday, March 14, 2011


This morning I  ran errands. On my way home from the two major errands I remembered I needed bay leaves and chicken stock for tonight's dinner. Oddly enough, the US highway that I was driving along has only one grocery on a five mile stretch, one that used to be Albertsons and is now known as something else, and which is not one I'd shop in given a choice. So I consulted my internal map of the area and decided my two choices were Walmart and Target, which meant traversing acres of parking lot and store to find what I needed, not something I wanted to do for two items. Alas, Walmart and Target have pretty much driven out the smaller stores that were so handy for quick errands.

But wait, I thought to myself, isn't there a Winn-Dixie along the way? I'll go to the Winn-Dixie. At the Winn-Dixie I was able to park a few slots from the door, cruise down one aisle, and find what I needed all in the time it would have taken to find a parking spot at Walmart.

Which left me with time to ponder, why on earth do I call it "the Winn-Dixie"? I don't say "the Target" or "the Walmart", unless I'm saying "the Walmart over on Perkins". We used to have an A&P within walking distance of us that changed its name to Superfresh. I used to shop at "the A&P", but then I shopped at Superfresh, not "the Superfresh". It's closed now, because Walmart opened across the street, a big busy street that no one out of their teens crosses on foot. I miss that store, because you don't run into Walmart for a few quick items. It's more like a forced march.

So some groceries are "the": the Winn-Dixie, the A&P, the Piggly Wiggly, and some are not, and there is no rhyme or reason as far as I can tell. I wonder if maybe those stores started in small towns where they were the only grocery in town, but at the moment there are 10 Winn-Dixies that I know of  in our city and only 2 Targets. I used to wonder why I said "the Home Depot" and not "the Lowe's" until one day I looked at the sign outside the Home Depot and realized that's what it says, "The Home Depot". So there's one accounted for, but the rest? I've heard other people say "the Winn-Dixie", "the A&P", "the Piggly Wiggly" as opposed to "Albertsons", "Walmart" and "Target", so it's not just me.

All this musing got me home, where I realized I had forgotten the crimini mushrooms I also needed. I decided  to replace them with plain old canned mushrooms. I didn't want to run out to Walmart, and by time I got home, I was too far from the Winn-Dixie to go back.

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