This past week-end, I went on the youth ladies retreat. We attended The Revolve Tour in Baltimore! The Revolve tour is this really great, empowering and relevant conference for teen girls. The team travels around the country and is put on by the same people who do the “Women of Faith” conferences. At the conference there are speakers and concerts (which were great). One of the keynote speakers this year was Jenna Lucado, who happens to be Max Lucado’s daughter. She has written a book about the relationships that girls have with their earthly father and heavenly Father. Her introduction was that she was ‘weird’ and then proceeded to give a couple of examples to support this statement. (BTW… she is a little weird… haha… but who isn’t???)

So in honor of the Revolve Tour and the awesome girls that I spent some time with…. I AM SO WEIRD!!!

Here is my proof….

So what?????

OK, I LOVE the grocery store (GS). I do love all shopping. But, the GS is in it’s own special catagory!

I have officially visited every  GS brand i can find in a 20 mile radius. So here it means, Giant, Safeway, TraderJoes, WholeFoods, Roots, Harris Teeter, SuperFresh, Shoppers, and the food part of Target. I am sure there are more, but I haven’t been here that long! Each one has its own unique characteristics, for example, the Harris Teeter handles the groceries for you, no conveyor belts needed and Trader Joes is so shoppable and little. But, without a doubt, I love, love, love a good concept! My newest favorite thing is the Giant grocery store “do it yourself” possibilities. As you see in the picture above, you get a scanner and then proceed to scan your groceries as you go, bagging and all!!! When you are done, you don’t have to unload everything and reload a thousand times, it’s all done at once! I think it is great because it gives me more time to peruse the aisles instead of waiting in line to unload my cart. And, to top it all off, you can self check-out too!!!! Very fast, easy, fun, could it get any better??? YES!!! The great thing is, if you do your shopping this way (as it is not required) you get an extra discount and coupons as you shop, love that!

OK, so aside from great marketing techniques, I just love GS shopping in general. After all, it is food! I am not too brand conscious and like to try new things, so it is always a great adventure deciding what to buy. I always try to avoid lists, I mean, they are crazy restricting! I like to go up and down the aisles and look. (I do actually make lists, sometimes, so that I do get what I need.) I like to leave a couple hours for this activity too, usually take 1.5hrs but has been know to take 3! (I know!!!) I try to leave enough time so that I don’t feel like I am in a hurry and can take as much time as I want to check/compare prices, look for new products, and just decided in general! I love the details like: fiber in bread, price per oz., and a million pizza/ice cream choices. In fact, I love GS so much that when I visited some famous European Cities, I took the time to check out the grocery store culture, too!! I grocery shopped in Paris on my way to the TGV, in Nice on my way to the Mediterannean Beaches, and in Rome in between the Vatican and the Piazzza Navona. (That’s 3 times in 10 days, wait, it’s 5 because I went to the GS in Nice 3 times!)

However, there is one key factor for me: proper attire. Yes, I dress for the GS. You see, I tend to be “cold natured” and therefore, GS spells FREEZING!!! So in order to get the most enjoyment out of my trip to the GS, I carefully consider what I will be wearing on my expedition, comfy and warm! (Told you, so…)

Anyway, I call this ‘wierd’ because every time I tell someone that I love the GS he/she looks at me like I am from outer space. I just can’t help it if I find it to be a cleansing and empowering experience to make so many choices for myself!  I mean, how many of us struggle with simple decision making skills?

In the words of Tom Hanks as Joe Fox in You’ve Got Mail: The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, $4.95  get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.”

In the grocery store, I get to choose how much fiber I want in my bread, how little sugar I would like to consume for breakfast, and which ketchup gives me the most condiment for my dollar. In a time where I feel so uncertain about choices and how to manage my time, life and money, the grocery store is a welcome relief.

So, if you ever need a partner to the grocery store, let me know, I’d be more than happy to accompany you! Or go for you, no problem, I don’t have to be there for my own purposes. ( I’ve been know to just visit, without even buying anything!!)

What about Cameron Diaz?

“I can spend hours in a grocery store. I get so excited when I see food, I go crazy. I spend hours arranging my baskets so that everything fits in and nothing gets squashed. ” ~Cameron Diaz

Yep, she gets me.