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Into everyone’s life the grocery store must come, and it’s usually upon moving into one’s first home away from home.  That first trip to the grocery store is indeed a wondrous event.  Mine was as a young (way too young) bride, and I found buying flour, sugar, toilet paper and paper towels to be an amazing event.

Moving forward to now, at least forty years of grocery shopping later, the bloom is off.  In fact, stepping into a grocery store is climbing the ladder to the gallows.  I could scream.  I could cry.  I want to sweep up and down those stupid aisles, throwing a lifetime of shopping cart fillings onto the floor.

Now I have another problem with grocery stores, a more serious problem than simple dislike.  And that is, after forty years of carrying the very precise brand of whatever I’ve used all these years, grocery stores are discovering hip, and starting to rebel.  They are starting to fall sway to the siren of the younger shopper, the shopper who still has five thousand kids at home, and therefore needs to enter the grocery store at least three times a week and fill her cart sky high with organic Oreo cookies and organic lemonade.  They are catering to her demands, and by that I mean they have started to move on from my old tried and trues, my favorite brand of dishwasher soap or refried beans, for instance, and delete them, without so much as a word to me.  They have started installing on those loathsome shelves new brands, wet behind the ears brands, organic and green brands, stupid brands, okay?

At first I coped by hunting down my product in a different chain of grocery store.  Luckily I live in the land of multiple breeds of grocery stores, so at first this tack worked.  But soon, every item I needed that the powers-that-be had decided I could live without, couldn’t be found anywhere, not even three towns over.

Pacquins hand cream was the one that finally opened the door.  I couldn’t find Pacquins hand cream.  I needed Pacquins hand cream.  It was the only one that would do.  I’m sure you understand.  One day a beautiful stranger, catching sight of my tragedy stricken face slumped in despair in front of the hand creams at Pavilion, my hands by now sandpaper, whispered to me “Have you tried the Internet?”

Omigod!  A blaze of brilliant light burst forth and I saw the road to Nirvana.  I ran to the Internet, and there it was.  Pacquin’s handcream.  Boatloads if I wanted.  There was Handiwipes.  There was the Cascade that still had in it the (evil) stuff that actually cleans the dishes.

I’ve slept like I’m on a cruise ship ever since!  No more fear of the Grocery Store dictating which shade of green I should buy.  And the angst?  Although not gone, it has has weakened, because now there is the threat of total desertion to the Internet hanging over Grocery Store’s head…and so?  Just last week, out of nowhere, handiwipes suddenly showed up again.

Yes, Sebastian, there really is a God.

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