Captain Marvel and The Flash Go To Whole Foods

To me, the sign of a true city person is the ability to navigate crowds. Being able to weave in and out of throngs of foot traffic is something that comes very easily to me and this makes my daily treks through life much, much easier. This skill doesn’t just help me out in the cityscape either. Put me in the slow cattle herd that is an Ikea superstore and watch me slide through faster than jello slides off a wall when you try and nail it there. (What was it that McCain said during the second debate? Something about nailing jello to a wall? And being slippery? Or something? I’m just trying to keep up with the hip McCainster slang, people).

Put two people who are expert at navigating crowds together and you’ve got the perfect getaway team. Throw in the fact that those two people have been hanging out together for years on end, able to communicate to each other with a mere nod of the head or a subtle hand signal, their crowd nav skills doubled by two, and you know what you’ve got?

Fastest. Grocery shopping. Ever.

Nordic Boy and I, during a regular market pit-stop, will take our grocery shopping slow. Chatting, moseying up each aisle, leisurely deciding on what items we’re going to choose. But if we’re shopping on a Sunday? When everyone else IN THE WORLD is shopping? We kick it into high gear. ZOOM! We get our list on and tag team it. POW!

We are sometimes a two-store grocery shopping pair. First, we go to our neighborhood local food co-op and get all we can there. Because it’s a small market, sometimes there are a few items that can’t be found at the co-op. On those days, we head over to Whole Foods, which if you have ever been to a Seattle area Whole Foods on a Sunday afternoon, you know that it is not impossible for a person to be crushed by the hordes of humanity that cram themselves in there.

So there we were, game faces on. It’s like Pac Man and Ms Pac Man are playing the same board. “You get grapes, oranges, and apple cider, I’ll get mushrooms, spinach, and avocado!” I say and we’re OFF! Heading away and then back together, away and back together. It’s really quite impressive if I do say so myself.

I never thought Nordic Boy really took note of how ridickerous our grocery shopping really is. Until this weekend.

We were in the noodle aisle, and there was a couple in the middle of the aisle, probably younger than us, most certainly not a tag team shopping pair, and clearly uncomfortable in crowds.

Woman: “Oh!” (Trying to reverse her cart but blocking the flow). “I forgot the eggs!”
Man: “Oh, uh…you want me to go get them?”
Woman: “Um. Ok…well, no…we’ll just get them after. Now why were we in this aisle?”
Man: “Wait, where’s the list?”

Nordic Boy zips through the oh, 72 billion people crunched in this aisle, comes up to me to drop some tomato paste in my basket before taking off to get some olives. As he walks by, he looks at me, laughs and says one word under his breath.


Listen, we don’t scale mountains or run marathons. Getting through a crowded Whole Foods in under 15 minutes is ALL WE’VE GOT.

I’m out,
Librarian Girl


  1. and you know what is key? not taking your shopping cart down every aisle. find a non-obtrustive place to stash it at the end of the aisle. i envy your teamwork. i cannot depend on anyone to speed shop with me. i am the third generation in a family of skilled speed shoppers. my indian grandfather used to whizz through the marks & spencer's at such a dizzying speed that he'd be finished before we arrived at the frozen foods. but i've learned from him and my mother well. however, i still would never enter a whole foods on a sunday. that would be a true test of my anger management skills. you are a brave woman indeed!

  2. I heard something on Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me the other day about sidewalk rage. They were making a joke about it–ha ha, who would every actually get sidewalk rage?–and I was all, ME. I GET SIDEWALK RAGE. Walk or get the eff out of the way, peops. And that goes triple in Whole Foods.

  3. Your method works well EXCEPT for when the dreaded thing happens — you’re in a different neighborhood and thus in an unfamiliar grocery store.Horrors!Seriously, who decided fruit juice, vitamin water, bottled water and soda need to live on FOUR DIFFERENT AISLES? The manager of the Stop and Shop in Newport, Rhode Island, near where I was staying last week, that’s who.I find myself wandering around in a state of increasing agitation. Where the HELL is the soy milk? BTW, no grocery store seems to be able to figure out what to do with soy milk. What’s up with that?

  4. The hubby and I are still working on fine tuning our shopping skills. We found a new shopping stop and have yet to memorize the layout. We are generally left with one or two items on our list we just can’t seem to find.

  5. i have this mental image of NB bobbing and weaving as he zips up the aisle with tomato paste, and in my mind he is all bendy and noodle-y, dodging elbows and carts and the like.the original whole foods is here in austin. it’s like the mothership for all the granola/hackysack/non-ironic cyclist/vegans of the world. also, one of the founders opened a pizza joint down the street from my job, and everything he makes is so good i want to rub it all over my last bit – my verification word is “phiphyph,” and I really wish that were an actual word. because i would totally use it all the time.

  6. They recently changed the layout of my favorite and most convenient Shaw’s/Star Market and it made me so mad, I had to stop shopping there. I had tried to visit during the transition, and it was sheer aggravation and lunacy. Now they have it so you bump into the bakery as soon as you walk in the door, and after you navigate the produce and a few diagonal aisles, you find they’ve moved the soda to the same aisle with laundry detergent, and nothing is remotely intuitive. I hate stores that make such obvious efforts to trap you coming in, and against all reason, force meandering back and forth and up and down to look for things you couldn’t find where they’re supposed to be (not necessarily where they used to be – it would all be ok if it came out making sense). Diagonal, zig-zag layouts are the worst. I’ve found other places to get my groceries that aren’t as difficult to get to as I previously thought. Being able to get out with what you need in a timely fashion is important! Markets so obviously designed to incur lingering and meandering to waste my time and my money lose my business.

  7. I do that too! Not so much in grocery stores (I usually go on off hours and take my time, like you) but in any other store; I HATE shopping. The worst way that I can think of to spend my weekend is at Home Depot and Bed Bath and Beyond. And sidewalk rage!! I get that all the time!

  8. When I “have to” take the kids shopping with me I send them off to find items. This way they don’t bug me about buying more cereal, and more candy and more cookies…. secondly they are too busy to bug the crap out of each other like they always do. I love my husband dearly but he’s of no use in the grocery store!

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