Today, I managed (barely) to get in front of the frenetic Thanksgiving eve shopping tsunami at my local Trader Joe’s in Silver Lake. Arriving a little past 3 PM, Hyperion Ave. was just beginning to back up with a flood of drivers inching their way into the too-small lot. I braced myself as I walked into the store but to my surprise all was calm, the few lines at the cashiers were only two or three deep.
I pounced on the few items the bf forgot on his early morning food gathering trip (berries, butter) and then made my way to the wine aisle. Although the rest of the store was relatively empty and calm, the wine aisle was crammed with people, concerned looks on their faces as they plucked bottles willy-nilly from the shelves and checked items off of lists.
A woman who was staring at shelves loaded with beer called out, “I can’t find the beer!” Her companion rushed to her side, got down on his hands and knees and peered into the lowest shelf at ground level. “Is it there?” she asked. “I think I see one in the back,” he said earnestly.
As they effectively blocked passage, a logjam of shopping carts and baby strollers pinned shoppers into place for a few minutes until they located the elusive six-pak. As things started moving again, I hoisted my basket and squeezed through the maze of flesh and metal, making my way toward the cashiers. The express lines were still short so I joined the one nearest the door. By now people were pouring steadily into the store.
Five minutes later, I was out the door and into a downpour. Driving home on the slick streets, I gave thanks early like only a last minute shopper can.