Saturday, March 1, 2014

Better Than Nothing

I think we have all had that relationship that isn't the best. Maybe it is ho-hum, or comfortable, or steady but a little cranky. Not quite the right fit. But we keep going, putting off the break-up, because it's better than nothing. Yeah. That.

I keep trying with the Oakland Mills Food Lion. I really do. I want to support our Village grocery store because I remember what it was like after the Metro closed and we didn't have one at all. And I see how folks in Wilde Lake feel at the loss of theirs, and the protracted grocery debacle in Long Reach makes me squirm. Nobody deserves that.

I want that darn Food Lion to succeed. But it just keeps letting me down. Someone this week said that it is nothing more than a convenience store. I can't agree, perhaps because a convenience store to me is 7-Eleven or Royal Farms. The Food Lion is clearly more than that.

But that is just about all you can say for it. More variety than a 7-Eleven, and better than nothing. My question is: can this store survive only as a store for those who have no choice? Is that a viable business model?

The other night I happened to be in Owen Brown, so I stopped in at the Giant to pick up a few things to surprise my husband with a steak dinner. I hadn't been there in a while. Walking in through the doors that lead to the produce section, I had something akin to a religious experience. It was like a cathedral of produce. So much variety, plenty of choices, an overall feeling of freshness, orderly displays. I wanted everything.

And this was just the Giant, mind you, not Wegman's or Harris Teeter or Trader Joe's. I had a little moment. By the baking potatoes.

I've been selling myself short. My life could be so much more. We just can't keep going on like this, Food Lion. I've really tried to make it work, but you're just not meeting my needs. You know I care about you. I just wish you cared enough about yourself to wake up and turn your life around.

It's okay if I keep my customer rewards card, isn't it? You know, just in case it's really going to snow and I need bread, milk and toilet paper?

Sigh. Breaking up is hard to do.

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