Monday, October 12, 2009

supermarketing and other quirks

Once again, I have put aside a “planned” post on the Duggar family for something more spontaneous.

On this, my day off, I was up and out earlier than usual to get a fasting blood test. I’m not one to put off breakfast any longer than necessary. No surprise there, eh? Afterwards I treated myself to a delicious low carb meal at Word of Mouth Limited, one of my favorite eateries, and headed out to St. Armand’s circle to see me ol’ bud Debby who owns Circle Books. I got there promptly at 9 a.m., only to discover the store doesn’t open until 10.

What to do?

Needing to pick up some groceries for the week, I decided to head out to the Long Boat Key Publix and then back to the store. It’s not my usual Publix, but I enjoy going to various supermarkets and noting how they vary, even in the same chain. At the high tone one on LBK I enjoy watching the women—many quite elderly—as they often dress quite smartly.

I confess. I am a supermarket voyeur. I look for reasons to go into a different market. When I first moved to Sarasota, I went out of my way to visit all the area markets, noting how the one in my lower income area had more Spanish foods, while the one on LBK stocked frozen Empire kosher chickens—for example. One particular Sweetbay market cooks my favorite whole turkey breast, which I buy and slice up for the week.

I like to take my time and walk down all the aisles, rooting out new and interesting items. I am not one to speed down the aisles tossing items into the cart. Recreational food shopping is among my joys. This has nothing to do with searching out the best prices. I am just as likely to stop at high-priced gourmet shop like Morton’s or stroll through Whole Foods. Often I buy little, but something about the abundance comforts me, calms me down.

Is that weird? OK, maybe it is. Get over it. We all have our quirks. Come to think of it, following are a few of the quirks I came across when I moved. I should add here that I took my driver’s test 45 years ago in New York State, when you took the exam on real roads and were given one chance to successfully parallel park in order to pass.

If you come to Florida:

--Forget all that stuff about driving on the right. Stay in the middle lane, otherwise you’ll get stuck in a ubiquitous right-hand only turn lane.

--Get used to “humping” down the road. We have speed humps instead of speed bumps.

--You know how we were taught to move into the intersection and wait for a chance to turn left. Forget about it. Around here, they wait behind the while line and think what we do is dangerous. That may be because the left-turn signal actually stays on for more than a millisecond and you have time to turn. Still, I find myself unable to hang back.

--Those diagonal white lines across roadways are not there as some pop-art to break up the monotony of the black top. They REALLY mean it here when they say you have to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. I know. It’s unbelievable. These people just step into the street without even looking. Who the hell do they think they are?

--And yes, the traffic lights really are long enough for those oldies to hobble all the way from one side of the road to the other. In fact, that’s why there are so many of us down here. We get old waiting for the light to change.

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