17 December 2012
Pete and I took off on Saturday morning to the Trader Joe’s that recently opened up a good 40 minutes away from us. The rumor mill had been swirling about the arrival of TJ’s in the DFW area since we came down to look for a place to live 1.5 years ago, and I can only compare the enthusiasm greeting its arrival to that which met the first local In-N-Out Burger franchises.
We made the drive with an inexplicably miserable baby in tow, and stopped for an emergency bottle of infant ibuprofen once Pete made sense of Theo’s various symptoms: not wanting to eat, not wanting to drink, acute and vocal displeasure with the world, and… oh yeah, the doctor telling us that he’d be cutting a couple more teeth* within a week. Five days ago. (Voilà! Explication!)
At any rate, it turns out that the excitement of a busy store is a perfect distraction for teething pain, at least while you’re waiting for the analgesics to fully kick in. Seriously, I’d put Trader Joe’s somewhere below drugs and frozen waffles but above silicone teethers and frozen washcloths in Theo’s own personal hierarchy of preferred gum relief. And, since it had been a good 16 months since I’d done the household grocery run at a Trader Joe’s, I gleefully loaded the cart with their house-brand Biscoff spread, triple ginger cookies, tomato paste in a tube, candy cane Joe-Joes, jasmine rice, various types of nuts, and — our ostensible impetus for the expedition in the first place — small tankards of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
I guess I was never really enthusiastic about Trader Joe’s until we moved to Massachusetts, where most of our other local grocery stores were surprisingly expensive and equally crowded. It was a weird interstitial year, and I didn’t know very many people or have too many things to do, so I spent a lot of time going for long walks around Fresh Pond while listening to podcasts, often making a pit stop at the Alewife Trader Joe’s to fill my bag with miscellaneous groceries and snacks and have a chat with the cashiers. Then I’d head back around the pond, smiling at whichever passing dogs were irrepressibly happy enough to break through my self-involved, self-reflective haze.
I don’t necessarily wish that I were back there, but I do miss those walks. And now at least I don’t have to miss the pound-plus chocolate bars.
* Postscript: as suspected, Theo gained his first four teeth within a week of this post. Teeth! They eventually happen!