I can’t very well proclaim an establishment as the site of my final resting place and not bestow it with the first-ever Hankie Award, now can I? Even if they are conspiring to keep me unwed and childless. That’s right, United Supermarkets, you know it’s true. Like a baby duckling just learning to waddle, I’ve imprinted. You’ve ruined me for all others, including 99% of the dating pool. And here are the reasons why. { As if you didn’t already know. }

So now I live in L.A….Pasadena to be more specific. 1100 miles away. And yet, every time I come home, you welcome me like the Prodigal Son. Fatted Calf, Aisle 10. And whether I’ve been away six hours or six months, I get the very same reception every time I walk in the door. The Happy-To-See-Me-Face x 20 (21 if the express lane is open). 

Now, I can’t settle for anything less. And even though there’s a well-known 90 Second Relationship Rule – The first 90 seconds you spend with your special someone after they’ve been away more than two hours sets the tone for the whole day – I doubt a lot of couples are waiting by the door with a hug and chicken kitchen timer. I’m going to start greeting my family and friends this way. 90 seconds of nothing but love. Maybe I’ll even throw in a few extra seconds.

Attention anyone and everyone who has ever made the mistake of calling any woman a nag to her face. Or behind her back, for that matter. I think I can safely speak for every woman on the planet when I say I’d take the b-word over the other n-word any day. Do anything but call her this! Make her laugh. Validate her feelings. Wrestle her to the ground. But don’t drop the n-bomb. Calling a woman a nag is like spraying Roundup on her sexy. And guess what you’re getting a plate of every day for the rest of your life? That’s right. A big steaming serving of nag loaf.    

So, thank you, United. Thank you for anticipating my needs and desires so I don’t have to ask twice (apparently the definition of “nagging”). I don’t even have to ask once. On my last visit, as I was sampling the produce section, I thought to myself “A girl could really use a receptacle for all these cherry pits.” {What? I had to test a couple from different bags.} Anyway…the word bubble hadn’t even popped out of my head when I looked down, and there was a trash can. Just for me. And 33 other cherry testers who had the same idea. Genius, United. Genius.

But then you went and did something so bizarre and unheard of, I had to see it to believe it. You installed a friggin’ HITCHING POST outside one of your megastores. Two streets down from some of the most expensive real estate in the city. For a coffee-drinking gentleman and his ex-polo-pony. And anyone else who felt the need to giddyup for groceries. Just because you noticed a man riding his horse through the parking lot on Saturday mornings and thought it was a shame he had to tether it to a tree. Who does that? Why, you do. 

I’ve heard the saying, “You could eat off the floor” but I’ve never seen anyone do it. In your case, I’m proposing we have an annual spaghetti dinner on your high-gloss concrete. I’ll fly in just for the occasion. What man is this clean? Unless he was on last night’s A&E episode of Obsessed? Right after the lady who eats sofas.

I actually worked for United a hundred years ago when I was in high school. Ok, 20 years ago. But there was one one part of my training I’ll never forget. I was trained to never ever…ever…start checking someone out until you’d finished with the person in front of you and they were on their way to the car. I see that you haven’t changed, darlings. You don’t cheat on your customers with other customers. And you make everyone feel like they are the only one.   

Let’s face it. Humans, by nature, want to receive the maximum benefit for the least amount of exertion. I’m no different. Ask any Starbuck’s barista who gets to hear me rant about how there are no drive-thru Starbuck’s in California. Only, I’m usually so perturbed I had to walk 40 feet to retrieve my beverage, I might have said “this miserable state” on more than one occasion. I can’t remember. Let’s just say, thank God they have to make the coffee right in front of you or I would be taking home a lot of venti spituccinos.

But you, United…you give me everything you’ve got. Your whole heart. When I can’t find some obscure item and run, panicked and disoriented, to the stocker teetering on the edge of a step ladder restocking Le Sueur peas, they always stop, climb down, and walk me to its exact location. And when I round the corner of the last aisle in the store, some friendly checker meets me halfway and walks me into the home stretch, unloading my entire cart for me at the finish line. And then a sacker walks me to my car. They obviously want to spend every second with me that they can. I don’t blame them. And I feel the same way.

So, United Supermarkets, you are the distinguished recipient of the very first Service-So-Good-It-Made-Me-Cry Hankie Award. Uff da!  

{ 1 comment... read it below or add one }

  1. Ruby Jones

    That’s amazing that you are so attached to that store. I have never felt that way about a store and probably never will. In fact, I hate HEB so much that I will never put a foot in one again.

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