A Map of the Food World

We needed food the other day as Matt is no longer a bachelor and has way too many frozen pounds of meat in his basement freezer. I don’t eat a lot of meat so I went in search of a store that wasn’t Wal-Mart to buy food. I ended up at Buy For Less, the same place I’d found last November when I went shopping for cans of cream corn with cowboys – REAL LIVE COWBOYS! In cowboy hats AND cowboy boots!

Why am I surprised by this? I don’t know, but it was awfully fun to see. It’s probably the same as when an inlander visits my neck of the woods in coastal Florida and finds it to be truly fitting to see real surfers at the beachfront Wendy’s carrying their waxed boards and wearing puka shells around their necks.

Anyway, this time at Buy For Less was a bit more special, though. I’m the kind of person who likes to know how to get to places and finding the grocery store after making more than two turns on major city streets was only the beginning. The real grit to this adventure was finding my way around the grocery store.

After I took a few strolls up and down the aisles, a nice employee walked up to me and asked if I was looking for anything in particular. I had a sizable list and no sense of direction inside this place, but the woman told me that she was there to guide me to the correct aisle and help me find anything and everything that was on my list, that that was her job! So I had her all to myself for about 20 minutes.

She was like a personal assistant for food shoppers! Pasta on aisle 7B! Shampoo on 3A! Need a ready-to-bake graham cracker pie crust? Aisle 6B! But wait…where’s the Nellie and Joe’s key lime juice concentrate for when I get homesick for Key Lime Pie? Right next door on 5B, that’s where! She took me everywhere I needed to go and even gave me tips on what brands were less expensive than the others, when they have them in stock.

I was amazed by how much this woman knew until I noticed her looking down at a piece of paper. When I saw what it was, I felt like I’d hit the jackpot. This lady had a map.  A MAP OF THE GROCERY STORE, PEOPLE! So I asked her for one and she gladly handed it over. It is now safely tucked away in my purse for when I make my next trip to the grocery store.


a map of the nearest food world!

As much as I love the idea of having a personal grocery store assistant, I love the idea of knowing my way around even more. My sense of direction relies very much on my ability to visually track a landmark. This goes for grocery stores and cities, central pharmacy kiosks or Route 66 turnoffs. All I need is a map.


About Dena

I'm a New Hampshirite by way of suburban Cleveland, by way of Oklahoma City, by way of North Florida, by way of Southern Maryland, by way of Upper Michigan, by way of Northern Italy, by way of Lower Michigan, by way of Texas. Because of living in so many places, I have something in common with almost everyone I meet. I love reading, writing, and American history (especially reading or writing about American history). I'm interested in culture of home and place, historical trauma, and writing about the kinds of histories most people don't know about.
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6 Responses to A Map of the Food World

  1. there are grocery stores SO big people need a map?? Wow!

    • Dena says:

      It’s not that big, just organized differently. Like all dried pasta is with dried rice and other dried things. The pasta sauce is with the canned veggies. I think it’s weird. which makes the map super handy.

  2. Dena — Canned cream corn? Girl, you have got to try Bird’s Eye’s McKenzie. It’s in the frozen foods section and it’s in a tube — the shape of a corn cob. I think they have both yellow and white but try the white first.

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