Is It Wrong to Cry at Trader Joe’s?

by Nancy Wurtzel on November 20, 2012

Trader Joe’s, you’re killing me!  Just when I find something I really, really love and it becomes part of my shopping necessities list, you discontinue it.

It happened with the stuffed mushrooms and my favorite frozen pasta meal.  The bread I loved went away and recently the small orange scones also disappeared.  In their place is new bread and big scones.

Not the same.

This morning, I departed early for my closest Trader Joe’s in order to beat the intense pre-Thanksgiving shopping rush.  The store had a mellow vibe and I didn’t even care that the sample lady was offering hot apple cider instead of coffee.  No, I was feeling generous, cordial, content….until.

Until I tried to find my favorite heart-shaped, crispy, frosted lemon cookies.  Back-and-forth I walked down the frozen food isle that features all of the cookies and goodies above the open freezers.

Back-and-forth.  Back-and-forth.  Huh.

My cookies —  the dainty ones, which I only buy for special occasions since I have no willpower and cannot have sweets in my home — were nowhere to be found.

I hailed a store employee, a very nice young man.  Yes, he knew the cookies I was looking for and cheerfully helped me look for them.

Back-and-forth.  Back-and-forth.  Huh.

He couldn’t find them either, but offered to check the computer.  Nice young man returned just a few minutes later with a big smile.  I was encouraged.

“Sorry, those little lemon heart cookies have been discontinued.  However, we have a really great new lemon cookie!”

The new cookie was vegan and gluten-free.  The new cookie was big, cake-like and came in a clear plastic tray, not the sweet little bag that held the cookies I so wanted.  The new cookie looked vile.

Crestfallen, I wheeled toward the check-out.  In my head I said: “Nancy, keep this in perspective, you have so much to be grateful for this holiday season.”

Indeed, I’m grateful for many, many things this Thanksgiving.  My daughter is flying in today from Boston to spend the long weekend.  We’ll be celebrating with my sister, her husband and my mother.  I have good health and no huge worries.  I live in a very cozy, comfy home.  I have some wonderful friends.  I live free of war and oppression.

Then I realized that my world is pretty damn good.  But really it would be so much better if I just had those cookies.

Happy Turkey Day.

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