Lost Loves Chronicles; Ode to Trader Joe’s

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Photo Credit: Paloma Vazquez http://bit.ly/cgAd9F

When I said my final farewell to the West to head back toward where I came from, the Southeast, I bid goodbye to my favorite place to shop for groceries—Trader Joe’s. Granted, when I lost my primary supplier of gourmet hippie foodstuffs, I gained back my Krystal burgers and the ever popular, genteel yet snide “Bless Your Heart”. Life is about tradeoffs, I guess. When I become nostalgic for my life in the West, I miss not the beautiful Monterey Bay where I lived for three years, or even the infamous Lake Tahoe that was in my backyard for a time, but my weekly trip to Trader Joe’s, no matter where I happened to be living at the time.

There’s just something about that place, and it’s hard to adequately describe. They have all of these little gourmet food items that no other stores have, and for CHEAP too. I mean, so affordable that I don’t know how they pull it off, other than the fact that a lot of the things they sell are their own Trader Joe’s store brand. But, unlike WalMart store brand items, they look, feel, and taste exclusive and expensive. Like the lavender and lemon handmade soaps I always bought and can’t find here…And flowers—oh the flowers! Every week, I had fresh cut flowers in my living room thanks to the huge, gorgeous bunches of them stocked at the front of Trader Joe’s for around $5 each. I felt like Kate Middleton meets Anais Nin or something…I was cooler when I shopped at my Trader Joe’s on the corner. This guy knows exactly what I mean too:

Trader Joe’s, I’m watching you! I see on your website that you are slowly creeping into the land of magnolias, bass fishing, and 100% humidity.

But, this neck of the woods needs to be alerted to the extent of your yummy coolness and clamor for your presence every 40 miles off the Interstate—like these guys:

Photo Credit: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cracker_Barrel

I know I might sound a little stalkery, but I promise I’m not a bunny boiler, TJ! I just miss you terribly…Maybe you’d like your own Facebook “I Want My Trader Joe’s” Fan Page? Or perhaps a petition signed by 1,000 or so of my fellow Southerners? Maybe a poem…..

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