Remember spending a whole day at the mall popping in and out of stores? Dreaming of attending the sort of event that would warrant buying that leopard print wrap dress you eye-humped in the store window before a sales girl shooed you away?
But then you went and had kids. Now that dream is about as attainable as a rump-sculpting cheesecake.
If you’re like me, the closest you come to retail therapy is a weekly grocery run. Hell, my trips to Whole Foods border on religious experiences. I’ll admit it. It hits every item on my checklist. And here are a few more reasons to embrace that extra twenty cents they charge per mushroom (grown in chemical-free baby platypus droppings).
Climate — Am I the only one with a parka in her car even in mid July solely for the purpose of possibly having to brave the arctic tundra of a frozen food aisle? I know not how, but by some non-GMO magic, they’ve managed to create a climactic anomaly inside of my Whole Foods. It’s always warm enough within to luxuriate in the feel of their moisturizers made from the fossilized hooves of free-range pygmy unicorns slathered on your bare arms. Yet it’s always cool enough to warrant a $7 organic goat’s milk chai latte with agave nectar.
Coffee Bar — Speaking of the coffee, they have it right there in the store. Next to the sorbet. And brownies. Because the planners at my favorite grocery store know how much I want to treat myself to a little something after the week I’ve had. On multiple occasions I’ve pretended we were out of milk to dupe the husband into watching our kids so I could escape for thirty minutes to lick warm foam off my upper lip in kind lighting while browsing $50 wedges of cheese or BPA free reusable sandwich boxes.
Kids Club — At the service desk, you can sign your little ones up for their Kids Club. Then every time you visit, your kid can whip out his membership card for a free gift. If the words, “Don’t you want to see what the special surprise snack is today?” makes my kid go limp long enough to clip the safety seat restraints, I’ll take that win.
Story Time — Most stores have a kid’s activity once a week. I perch in the cafe with my double llama’s milk iced whipped cappuccino and watch the kids sit in a circle singing “five little monkeys (are displaced from their homes due to deforestation)” while clapping. Then they do a craft. A free craft. Usually with glitter. THAT I DON’T HAVE TO CLEAN UP. Then they ply them with raw kale chips and coconut milk. My cappuccino practically pays for itself.
Hot Food Bar — The last thing I want to do after a successful trip to the grocery store is have to cook. If I slap a spoonful from every option into those brown take-out boxes of happiness, not only am I encouraging my kids to try new foods, but the odds of them liking at least one of those options are mathematically solid. Even if your little minions defy those odds, the staff of Whole Foods have you covered. The first thing they always carry out and drop into those chrome vats of hot water the moment the clock strikes 10:45? Mac and cheese.
Forget Disney, Whole Foods is the most magical place on Earth. Though Disney is probably more affordable.
— Elly Lonon
When her oncologist suggested learning a new language to help recover from chemo brain, Elly Lonon chose to learn HTML, which led to the creation of her blog, BugginWord.com. Her writing has been featured at Scary Mommy, Club Mid, SexIs, Your Tango, Sammiches And Psych Meds, and a disappointing number of now-defunct sites. Her memoir, Lymphomania, will hopefully find a home with a publisher very soon. She really, really hates writing in the third person.