What could say Happy Father’s Day more eloquently than a sleek new barbecue grill?
Today we spent a quiet, but enjoyable afternoon spoiling Brian. We think he is the best Dad going around these parts, and now he has the ball cap emblazoned with “#1 DAD” to prove it. After he opened his presents, he and I took a brief trip to the Big City to shop for a new gas grill. The old one slowly rusted out over the last few years until it finally crumbled away into a useless pile of red dust and broken parts.
Any sort of shopping requires a trip of at least five miles from our rural home base. We have a small dollar store with various sundries, a few quaint downtown shops, and a small country deli/grocer just outside of town, but nothing with a large selection of grills. Additionally, there is no access to a fully stocked grocery store without a trip to one of the larger neighboring towns. Brian wanted to peruse the full range of grill options and then to purchase quality meat to cook upon it, so a trip to Erie was a necessity.
It’s a bit of a trip to Erie, but Brian and I have been married with kids long enough to appreciate the alone time during the drive together. It’s an opportunity to rehash the events of the day, and to complete sentences without anyone wailing “I’m telling!” in the background.
The grill purchase was swift and easy. We chose it, paid for it and loaded it in the van in record time and made a straight path to the grocery store. Oddly enough, it was the food shopping that proved to be the most challenging.
Wegmans Grocery Store is enormous, perhaps 100,000 square feet of shopping madness – madness I say. There were people everywhere. I believe there were more people shopping than live in my town. They were jockeying for position at the deli counter, clogging the lanes by the organic produce, and racing their overflowing carts for prime placement at the checkouts. Hipster dudes were hip checking little old ladies for first choice at the gourmet cheese counter. Young mothers were sending small children darting into the teeming throng on seek and grab missions. This wasn’t shopping. It was strategic food acquisition with offensive tactical maneuvering.
Wegmans is a wonderful place to shop when you want to purchase a varied multitude of items in one location. It’s not such a great choice when you only wish to dash in for a few items and head right back out. It can’t be done. Meat? You must head to the back of the store, leaping over frenzied housewives sorting fistfuls of coupons while they absently coo to fussy babies. Grab the meat and then sprint the length of a football field over to the dairy section for a few slices of cheese. Take care not to get caught up in the traffic jam in frozen foods where they are handing out free samples. Got the cheese? Too bad you forgot the grapes – retrace 10,000 steps to the entrance of the store. On the way you will pass 27 varieties of Triscuits, eleven rows of wheat bread, and a juggling mime.
I might be exaggerating a little bit.
It did seem, however, that the staggering volume of choices was slowing us down. When you must travel past thousands of products on the way to one small item, it can be a tad overwhelming. Maybe I have lived in the sticks too long, but I simply don’t understand the need for 58 brands of olive oil. Pick three brands of varying levels of quality: “excellent,” “average” and “you’re kidding yourself.” That should cover it.
In any event, we survived and quickly made it home to start our Father’s Day feast – except that now the grill needed to be assembled. Brian has been working on it for…a while…but now, he’s done!
Time to get our grill going, folks!
Happy Father’s Day!