My Night At Ralphs

Helaine is past the mid-point of an awful chest cold. For the last few days she’s sounded like geese heading south.

Then the nose part kicked in.

Between sneezing and coughing she pulled a muscle in her back!

I’m trying to be a helpful husband. I brought home dinner–cheesesteaks¹. First, though, a quick trip to Ralphs.

Ralphs is a SoCal supermarket chain. It was founded in the 1870s by George Ralphs. It’s owned by Kroger’s now. It’s as SoCal as Cincinnati allows.

Talk about stranger in a strange land! Here I was, adjacent to 15 aisles of “I’m lost.” Could I have trained for this?

The sign above one aisle promised cookies AND gourmet cookies. Ralphs, you had me at cookies.

It was all coming back to me.

I walked past an end cap display of Oreos. Oreos! Why must we start with the hard stuff?

I remembered why the market was such a dangerous place. The force drawing me toward the Oreos was incredible. I fought back.

Helaine wanted minced garlic. Where?

I walked from produce to deli and back again. Nothing.

Finally I walked to the front and asked a bagger. She didn’t know.

She asked the girl on her register. Zip again.

The women running the next register said she thought it was on the table with the tomatoes.

Uh, no.

My guess is there’s no minced garlic at Ralphs. Or, if there is, it’s with the cards and magazines.

I never did find it. Helaine told me to just pick up a fresh garlic. That’s right. I called her from Ralphs… twice.

Milk, half-and-half, breadcrumbs (plain), an onion. My route followed no pattern. I did not have a qualifying time at Ralphs! Could I be more husbandy?

Usually I do the self checkout. Not tonight. With garlic, onions and some bananas in my basket I needed a pro to scan me through. I gave her my Ralph’s card.

I’m not sure why I have one. I don’t know exactly what it does. No one’s ever shown me my balance and I’ve never asked.

Helaine said Ralphs should hire personal shoppers for when guys like me to come. She wasn’t even there, but she knew.

¹ – Real Philly cheesteaks, with real Amoroso rolls! Sweet.

5 Responses to “My Night At Ralphs”

  1. Carole says:

    Geoff, I can tell by the tone of the message you left here, you don’t spend much time going grocery shopping. LOL I don’t care if you go to Ralphs or Stop/Shop, they are all the same. They like to mix us aisles, so you have to stroll all over the store to find something, that is if you can find it. I have found that I really like ALDI. It is a small store and easy to find things. They don’t have any places in CA.

  2. Josh says:

    I have never been much a fan of supermarkets, but my favorite discovery was the yellow cards hanging at the end of some aisles at Stop & Shop listing common items and their aisles. It’s saved me a ton of time over the years.

  3. 793tango says:

    When I worked at the health food store we could always tell when a guy walking in was a husband sent to pick up something for his wife. They had this dazed and confused look on their faces like they were just dropped off from an alien spaceship. They also typically had a crumpled piece of paper in their hands with writing on it…also in an alien language they had no clue how to speak. It was amusing to watch them wander around aimlessly for a while before deciding to throw them a flotation device. We’d go up to them and ask if they needed help and they invairably said ‘YEA!’ with great relief. “I’m looking for…….alpha….lip…oockic acid…?” “Alpha lipoic acid. Yes, right this way.”. After helping them find some equally tongue twisting things (even easy stuff seems to become difficult for lost husbands), a couple of phone calls home for further instructions, and grumbling about how much it all costs at the register, we sent them on their way. Hopefully to NOT get chewed out at home for their trouble.

  4. Denese says:

    LOL! My husband invariably calls home any time I send him to the grocery store. Maybe it’s in the DNA.

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