So when will Trader Joe be beatified, anyway? Ever since St. Joe's, I mean Trader Joe's, came to Media last year--and I hesitate to say this because I'm going to sound like a lobotomized housewife--it has changed my life. I shop there at least two times a week because it's so convenient, I know the entire lovely staff, from the almost sarcastically cheerful 20-year-old man who asks too many questions about what I did last weekend (Can't remember) or what I'm going to do that day (Laundry? Don't know, really) to the red-hat-wearing lady who finds Will's songs about the bottled water charming. I love them all. And the parking situation is nirvanic at 9 AM on a weekday and they have balloons for the children. Plus immaculate wood floors, handwritten happy signage and, of course, low prices. AND healthy food. I mean, what more is there to say? For Pete's sake, what more would it take to convince you? Let me share my newly evolved theology with you.
1) Heathen: people who have never heard of Trader Joe's and don't know what they're missing. I hope they'll be saved nevertheless because it's not their fault. But I don't care that much because most of these people aren't American and probably wear socks with sandals.
2) Seekers: People who have seen the light but do not live within 100 miles of a Trader Joe's and so cannot reasonably be expected to stock up there. Most of these people live with a Trader-Joe-sized hole in their souls. What can I say to these folks? Have hope. Pray, even. I believe they are still expanding. Or, just move.
People who do live within 100 miles of a Trader Joe's and do not shop there: Two subcategories.
3) Ignorant Due to Extenuating Circumstances: If you're institutionalized, or under 3 years old or over 100, then your ignorance is pardoned.
4) Willfully Refusing Trader Joe's Grace: Two sub-categories.
a. Nonbelievers Who Don't Like "Strange" Food. Upon death, off to a Super Wal-Mart with you and no looking back. Never another chance to eat Trader Joe's Red Pepper Spread.
b. Nonbelievers Who Think Whole Foods Must be Better Because it's More Expensive and in a More Exclusive Neighborhood. Jane Cohen, I'm talking about you. Your wickedness is revealed in the blogosphere. As of NOW.
And just in case you think I'm in serious need of deprogramming, I know TJ's is not perfect. Especially the mayonnaise and the pumpkin-filled tortellinis. And sometimes the staff's cheerfulness and enthusiasm for the products is just a tad grating. And no, red-hat lady, when my kids are running around grabbing all the chocolate off the shelves I don't give a rat's ass about trying the Citrus Hand Lotion, thank you.