Don't Ever Go To Trader Joe's On A Friday Evening

I had an eye doctor appointment today and decided on my way home I would pop in to Trader Joe's because they have this amazing frozen Tilapia dinner that's worth the 20 minute wait in line. I picked up my 11 items and stood at the back of the "Under 12 Items or Less" line. I couldn't believe how long the line was. It started (or should I say ended?) by the lettuce - a.k.a. front door. I thought, "oh, well, now I'll have this fish to eat when I get home and the people are always friendly along the way." Note, people are always friendly Sunday through Thursday and Saturday. Friday is reserved for crucifixion. Here's why.

So I'm standing in line. I finally make my way to the free food corner where they were offering cheesecake sprinkled with blueberries. It was alright, but I like that Trader Joe's gives out samples of their food, because sometimes they're really tasty. Once I even bought the ice cream with raspberries and blueberries they were giving out because I liked it so much. I finished my bite-sized cheesecake and turned into the isle with the weird organic toothpaste, etc. I finally got to the end of that isle and turned left where to my surprise, the line was going into another isle. I had never seen this before, usually we in the "under 12 items" line just cut that isle off; however, because I was in a line, I naturally followed the person in front of me down the isle. The funny thing is I pondered whether or not to stand there and not let the line go into another lane. In the end, I chose to continue to follow the people ahead of me. Wrong. Very, very wrong. If I had one moment today to take back, that would be it - I would have stayed put and waited for the last person ahead of me to catch up to where I was standing.

Well, sure enough, people started getting confused. A woman that was shopping in that lane decided to just enter in front of me, I saw that she had hardly anything in her cart and decided it wouldn't be that big of a deal. Then an employee came over and said "you all aren't in line" pointing to some people behind me who were cutting in this funky lane that was getting out of control. The employee said "just stay there but no one else can enter behind you." Some guy decided to pause the line at the same point I had thought about doing earlier. He also took the liberty of shewing people away who falsely entered the line. "Whatever," I thought, "I've waited in this line for so long and I can finally see the end 15 feet ahead of me. I'll just get my fish and get out of here. I'm almost done."

Well, the people behind the guy, started getting aggravated that so many people were still in front of them that they started getting antsy and angry. All of a sudden this woman steps out of line from the back and shouts, "that girl cut in line! She wasn't there earlier!" I thought, "Geez, poor girl this woman's going crazy on her." Next came this out of her mouth, "Right over there, that girl in the red coat cut in line! That girl in the red coat! The Red Coat!" I look down at my sleeve and sure enough, I'm wearing a red coat. She kept going on and on. I turned over to her and said I've been standing in line since the lettuce!" The guy in front of me didn't even stand up for me. He was there with me from the very beginning of the line; we walked passed the bread together and on through the cheese. Yet, he didn't say a peep.

The other guy who paused the line said, "it's okay, we'll just let these people go and that's it" - implying I cut, but had approval. I was so mad that these people assumed I cut in line because they didn't see me earlier. I hate it when people think if they don't see something then nothing happened. I had a roommate do that. I would clean the WHOLE apartment, but because she wasn't around when I was sweeping, mopping, and spending 3 hours cleaning the bathroom, it didn't happen because she didn't see me doing it.

I was just disgusted with these people for slapping a scarlet letter (ironically on my red jacket) for something I didn't even do. The dumbest thing, though, is that those people think they're right. They think I cut them off and I didn't. I was waiting in that line longer than they were and somewhere in the blog sphere someone is probably writing a post about a girl in a red coat who cut them off in line at Trader Joe's. Well I didn't!

Moral of the story, don't go to Trader Joe's on a Friday evening. And if you're name is Hester Prynne, I would avoid Trader Joe's like the plague.

Don't get me wrong, I like Trader Joe's. I'm not into that whole organic food fight, but their food does have a lot more flavor for the slightly higher price you pay than at the Associated (a New York chain grocery store where the lettuce looks like it's been through WWIII). I just have issues with that lady in line, or Mrs. Chillingsworth as I'll call her now. Hm, actually Hester is Mrs. Chillingsworth, in the story, huh? Maybe that lady cut in line once in her life a long time ago and is afraid she'll be outed.

So I ended up having a sandwich for dinner instead of Tilapia. I was exhausted.

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Blogger Brigham said...

Ugh. Awful.

I had a similar experience at Disneyland in 1995. Once a big line starts thinking you're a cutter, it's over. You're dead. There's no way to beat them. It ruined my magical day.

November 02, 2007 10:26 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Hm, I think a diagram would've helped for those of us who don't frequent the Trader Joe's in Manhattan . . .

Other than that -- great post. The nerve of that woman! Why I oughtta . . . :)

November 03, 2007 10:37 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

I wish, oh how I wish, that you had thrown your frozen tilapia at the woman's head and ran like the dickens in your red riding hood coat through the streets of Manhattan "Run Lola Run" style.

November 04, 2007 7:37 PM  
Blogger Di said...

lexia. hi. this is my first time visiting your blog. and it has been v. exciting. also, i have a similar "accused of cutting in line even though i didn't" story. but mine was at the airport. awful! did you say anything in response to their outrageous accusations?

November 05, 2007 8:37 AM  
Blogger Lexia said...

Sara, I was going to put up a diagram, but decided it was too time-consuming! Funny.

Di, I didn't really say anything 'cause I knew they wouldn't believe me anyway - they already labeled me a "line cutter." They probably assumed I was also a "liar."

November 05, 2007 1:29 PM  

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