Sometimes you come to a cross roads in your life and big changes loom on the horizon. Some of the time those decisions come easily and other times they're really hard and involve a lot of angst. Soul searching decisions are the hardest. They're the things you wish you didn't have to do but know somewhere deep inside that ultimately it's going to make you a lot happier.
For a long time I've been facing one of those type of decisions and have been putting off making it. I kept hoping things would change or get better but on Friday I finally realised that I had two options. I could keep doing what I was doing or I could be the agent of change and move on to a different , and hopefully better, scenario with my life.
So on Saturday, because I am a girl of action (after debating to and fro about this for 6 months) I broke up with my supermarket. I have shopped at a regional chain for about 20 years resisting the lure of the two national supermarkets because I didn't like the idea of their duopoly with regard to market share. But when service and range and quality gradually decline where you're shopping and you have a couple of snippy b*****s who are unreasonably rude on a consistent basis and act like they're doing you a favour by checking out your groceries (when that's what they're paid to do ) and the community feeling of the store changes you have to question your choices. I spend a fortune grocery shopping and I want my hard earned money's worth. Dammit I want to pretend shopping is an adult version of a theme park. I want the total experience.
I don't like change. And for years I've harped on publicly , all holier than thou , about how I wouldn't shop at one of the majors, about how I was doing my bit to keep my dollars in the state and was supporting local business and about how I loved the service I got at the smaller chain. I thought the prices were as reasonable as they would be anywhere else and that the quality was there. I knew where everything was and I could do my entire fortnight shop and be home and unpacking it in under 45 minutes. But when Mr. P starts to complain about the taste of the fruit and veg I'm buying I have to give some credence to the idea that considering a change wouldn't be a bad thing because that man never complains about anything. And usually doesn't chew for long enough to register flavour or texture. So when he told me a peach turned to tasteless dust in his mouth this week the decision was made.
So yesterday armed with my shopping list and an hour a half to do my shopping, I went to the big national grocery chain store down the road. Just to try it once to see if I liked it but mainly to pick it to bits so I could keep shopping where I have shopped since time began. I'm almost ashamed to admit it was good. Really good. And that the staff there didn't have horns growing out of their heads, and that my head didn't explode from shopping somewhere new. In fact, I was like a kid let loose in a candy store. They sell avocado oil. The other store has never even heard of it. And they sell peri peri marinade far cheaper than I can make my own. The range of items just blew my mind. And everything was cheaper. The fruit and veg was so delectable Mr. P moonwalked around the whole department in delight. The deli section is incredible. I would have saved a lot of money if I hadn't been so busy buying things I've never seen before. I feel like I've walked out of the shopping wilderness into a whole new world.
See how the little things in life excite me? I'm sure it's a hallmark of middle age. And the fact I wrote a whole blog post about it makes me even sadder. But I'm going back again next fortnight because it really was a cheap way to get some thrills.