My mom swears up and down everyone who works at Trader Joe's is in a Hawaiian-print, glassy-eyed, sandal-wearing cult.
Every time you go in you know you can chat with the check-out person about at least ONE item that they LOVE that you purchased.
You are prepared for this.
I walk into Trader Joe's constantly ready to over-share. To chat about pita chips and my huge food-crush on their cheese selection.
I perused the items. I bought some food, limiting myself to one basket full of treats for the after-work meals and weekend delights to look forward to.
After waiting in a line that lent itself to DMV-worthy groans, the check-out fellow asked me if I found everything OK.
I said "yes, for an impulse trip, I seem to have found a lot".
And that's when he started giggling.
A long, drawn-out, airy giggle. He then said "what's this (hee hee) here impulse (wheeze wheeze) trip?" in such a nonchalant way that I cocked my head and leaned in as a response.
What do you mean, check out guy? I came here on impulse. I realized that I had plans the rest of the week and should maybe buy that carnitas pork that your fine newsletter told me was so delicious. Maybe I need to pay you $2.99 for the luxury of purchasing a kit so I can make my own guacamole when the time is right. Maybe I need some wine with an "apricot" aftertaste (apricot, as I am learning, is just Chilean for "cheap").
Suddenly snapped back from squinting at him and thinking of the items I had just purchased, I immediately zeroed in on the issue at hand.
Just potentially, how high he might be.
He had a stamp of Trader Joe's address and phone number (in reverse, of course) on his forehead. His airy laughter belied him. He asked me to describe to him my "impulse trip" and gave me a wide grin like we were secret members of an awesome club.
"Well, you know," I said, "I found myself walking past the metro station and decided I should buy some food. For fun."
That was met with the aftermath of the initial wheezy laughter.
I shifted in my sandals and continued.
"Um, well, you know when you, do things on impulse?" and he draws out "yeah yeah yeah. Cool. TELL ME ABOUT YOUR TRIP".
So I said, "Uh, well, I was at work... Time passed... Now I'm here."
Wheezy liked that. He wheezed some more and said "that's alright, that's alright. Good trip."
I said, "Something like that, you could say. Thank you for taking my $50 and good day".
Wheezy continued to grin.
I then notice an impatient, all-business kind of clerk, standing to his left waiting to take over Wheezy's register with a tray of cash. He just looks at Wheezy, in disbelief of the conversation that he was engaged in.
Wheezy had not spoken for a full minute.
The conversation had ceased.
Wheezy was enchanted with some place to the left of the top of my head. I'm guessing it was a non-verbal compliment to the at-home dye-job brought to you by Feria that occurred last weekend.
I ask Wheezy for my receipt, which has been waiting patiently to be collected since my initial squinting.
He says "yeah.... yeah" and hands it to me absentmindedly. No-nonsense clerk moves in as soon as humanly possible to take over the register.
I walk away with my bags (managing not to fall down and feel sorry for myself this time) and chuckled at that fellow.
Drinking the kool-aid at TJ's?