Tag Archives: LA

Trader Joe’s Trade-Off

Every time I walk into a Trader Joe’s I want to kill myself.

^That is why.

The two “pro’s” of this grocery store, is that they have healthy food for cheap.  I’m going to focus on the “con’s.”  Lets start with pulling into the parking lot.  When this happens, my mood immediately plummets, and my anxiety immediately escalates.  At all times, there are at least 600 people (it seems) in a Los Angeles Trader Joe’s, but they only have four parking spots.  Upon entering, you’re met with seven types of people.

1. The crazy woman with frizzy hair, wearing some sort of capri pant with sneakers.  She is probably standing less than five feet tall, squinting at all of the ingredient labels and quietly talking to herself, unaware that she is in your fucking way.

2.  The twenty-something indie couple.  Enough said.

3.  The celebrity.  Almost every time I’ve gone into a Trader Joe’s I see a B list celebrity.  This does not make the trip worthwhile.  All this means is you think to yourself for a brief moment, “Cool, there’s the girl from that shitty television show that I can’t think of the name of,” then you keep walking.

4.  The hip single Dad who somehow is maintaining a smile and positive vibes.

5.  The college girl who always has a basket, not a cart.  She is generally aware that she is in your way, but pretends to not be by avoiding eye contact.  I like these girls though, they tend to move fast and don’t take up much space.

6.  The middle-aged hippie.  This can be a man or woman, but they’re always wearing hemp clothing, sandals and definitely have their own reusable bags and some sort of very old arm tattoo.

7.  The rich, older woman.  They’re polite and not usually in your way because they’ve got nothing but time, so they’ll wait for a clearing.

I love people, but too many in a small space, on top of being freezing, makes me hate everyone.  Yes, it is always freezing inside Trader Joe’s because the freezers do not have doors.  After twenty-five minutes of “excuse me’s,” and taking detours and fending off mean looks from other people hating their life, and waiting for the crazy woman to step away from the granola, I ask the question, is this worth it?  I appreciate the $15 dollars I just saved, but my day is now a little bit shittier and I still have to make one more stop because while they carry a lot, Trader Joe’s does not carry everything.  If there was a booth at the exit that cost $15 to get one’s memory erased of the experience, I would probably do it.  I suppose that means the trade-off is not worth it in my eyes.

What almost makes it worth it, is how cheap the liquor is.  However, I end up immediately cracking open the bottle when I get home in order to calm my nerves.  The few bucks I saved on the liquor is spent in those couple of drinks that I wouldn’t normally have.  It’s disturbing that I have the same reaction to a Trader Joe’s experience as I do after an awkward run-in with an ex… “I need a drink.”  So the money I saved, I made up for in extra drinking and liver destruction.

Every time I leave, I tell myself that I will never go back, it was really the last time this time.  But then, a month and a half later, I find myself breaking my promise and I return for some obnoxious reason.  Why, in perfect health, I would choose to put myself through such hell, I will never know.  So again I ask, is the trade-off worth it?

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Confessions of a Heedless Sinner – Vol. 4

Girl walks into a bar…

She leaves with the big question, “Was that guy drunk or just socially awkward?”

I occasionally will stop at a random Pub on my way home from an outing.  I don’t think this is strange, but apparently everyone else does.  Each time I decide to do this, I get roughly five minutes with myself and my beer, before some guy or guys decide to strike up a conversation by stating how unusual it is to see a girl at a bar by herself.  How am I supposed to respond to that?  “Oh, cool.”?

Caitlin Rule: Do not attempt to start a conversation with a line that is difficult to respond to.

The strangers that I really love talking to, are the ones that are slightly socially awkward, but not enough to where  you are unable to hold a conversation with him.  I can handle socially awkward men, but for some reason socially awkward women freak me out.  Anyway, I met one of these guys last week.

I had been moderately flirting with the bartender since I arrived.  She was giving me the eyes, and I wasn’t sure if it was genuine, or if it was just the, “bartender way.”  Bartender’s will flirt with her:

if it means getting a good tip.  I usually have pretty good “gaydar,” but the red lights didn’t flash when I saw her.  You never know in Los Angeles though.  As the night progressed, it became very clear that my gaydar was off, and she was into me.

This pale, skinny kid takes a seat next to me.  We exchanged MAYBE four sentences, and then he moves around in his seat and exclaims, “I’m so anxious right now.”

I just started laughing, I couldn’t help it.  Social awkwardness at its best.  I knew I was going to like him.  Obviously, I asked why, and he just said he didn’t know, followed by more fidgeting in his seat.  I made some joke, and he then, making fun of himself, yelled across the bar (way too loud of course) for a paper bag.  We kept talking and he kept sharing too much information, like socially awkward people do, and saying inappropriate things, which socially awkward people do.  I was loving it.  It’s refreshing when compared to typical, humdrum small talk.

It was my time to leave, and the bartender slipped me her card, which I didn’t even ask for… I must have been on my game.  This cute moment was quickly interrupted by socially awkward boy saying, “Wait, are you gay?”

Again, I just started laughing.  Who asks that after only a ten minute conversation?  I love this kid!  “You’re not allowed to ask that until at least conversation number two,” I said joking around.

He then began harassing her, asking if she was gay and making conclusions.  I was still laughing, but she was obviously annoyed.  He apparently is a regular there, so she has to deal with him all the time as a customer, and not as the entertaining kid I got to experience.  I ended up answering him honestly, responding with, “Occasionally.”

To top off his lack of interpersonal skills, he then pulled out his card, right in front of the bartender, and gave it to me.  Did I just get two numbers in four seconds that are now in competition with each other?  What made it all even more perfect, was that his card was a GUCCI card.  He’s a sales associate as GUCCI.  So brilliant.

I called the bartender and we got together a few nights later.  I may have Matthew, the socially awkward Gucci worker, to thank for my steamy (such a Cosmopolitan adjective) night with her, because asking her the question, “So was that kid drunk or just socially awkward,” was the ice breaker that really got the evening going.  I do hope to have Matthew as a drinking buddy again sometime soon though!

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To Whom it May Concern:

You are not cool because you took “the 5,” and not, “the 101.”   I have been in Los Angeles for about ten weeks now, and in a city full of pretentious behavior, the one that so far annoys me the most, is the insipid declarations of how well one knows their way around the city.  Apparently, it is considered “cool” to understand the inner workings of the LA freeway system.  I have been to many places, but only in LA do people attempt to one-up each other with knowledge and reasons as to why they took the route that they did, to get to the destination that we are now all at, only to be subjected to this oh so stimulating conversation.  Of course, it’s mostly women who engage in such embarrassing conduct, but the occasional man is guilty of this “Caitlin fowl.”  Like spilling beer is a party fowl, bragging about how you anticipated the 405’s jam-up, is a Caitlin fowl.

In the rest of the country, we call these roads, “I (insert number here).”  I-95, I-10, I-75, etc.  Well my friends, this is an “LA fowl.”   Don’t you know it’s THE 10, THE 5, THE 405, you idiot?  How dare you say, “I” and not “the.”  Possibly being the last person in LA to not have a smart phone or a GPS,  I have no qualms with admitting to a crowd that I need directions.  When this happens, it looks like something from National Geographic.  Girls flock to me like mammals in heat, and take the opportunity to prove their worth by bantering back and forth about the appropriate route I should be taking to get home.  So I leave you again with this… you are not cool because you took “the 5,” and not, “the 101,” you just sound like a douche bag.

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