When people think about the happiest place on Earth, most conjure images of a large eared mouse towering over small children. While I do enjoy the pantheon of Disney parks and properties, my location in the middle of the country sort of precludes those from being in my “pick me up” category. Everyone should have a place where they can go when they’re feeling down – somewhere where, no matter their mood, they can leave happy.
I think that’s something only a fatty would say. But hold on, before you bail on me – this is no ordinary grocery store. If it were simply a grocery store, full of canned goods and processed junk, it wouldn’t cause such elation. No, my grocery store is Valhalla, Heaven, and the Grey Shores all rolled into one. And, unfortunately for any future plans I may have, it’s only available in Texas.
For the 10 of you that read this blog regularly, you don’t have to worry about me turning into a shill – at least, until I figure out how to effectively turn this thing into a cash cow. After that, I’ll be a corporate whore of the highest regard. Put some red lipstick on me and let me tell you how awesome whatever it is, because I’ll sell it like a mad man.
I’m not going to go point-by-point about why I love a grocery store; that’s pretty boring. Let’s just say that it’s like a Whole Foods sans the prices and Trader Joe’s sans the whimsy. Plus, they have a bulk food selection that would put most bazaars to shame? How about 1 tsp of marjoram for a few nickles as opposed to a giant jar that will cost you $10? Perfect. How about a small bag of candied walnuts for a salad topping as opposed to a large bag for $15? Awesome. There’s something to be said about getting just what you want – and while you can’t always get what you want, [insert obvious joke here].
The single best reason to go to this place is their sliced meats. Lovely Wife has opined (read: bitched) at length about how when/if she gets pregnant, she’ll have to stop eating their deli meats. See, they make their own roast beef. Rare. And from Kobe-style beef. Holy hell – if you’ve only ever had grey, boring, dry roast beef, this is a complete eyeopener. She’s so enthralled with it that I may be able to convince her to let me have a industrial grade meat slicer so I can make it for her.
Only if I take care to not slice a finger off, she reminds me.
Going into an academic career, I realize that we’ll end up moving wherever my job search might take me. This is, very likely, to be somewhere outside of the range of Central Market. I can’t begin to describe how distraught Lovely Wife is when she thinks about this idea. I think it’s on par with beating a puppy in her mind – something so cruel, so mindless, that she can barely fathom it.
This is the happiest place on Earth, because no matter what mood I’m in when I go in, I’m happy when I leave. While this is probably creating a very unhealthy connection between happiness and food, I figure that going to a supermarket is slightly better than eating my feelings. When I get down in the dumps, Lovely Wife always thinks of this as the first place to go. If there existed a season pass to the grocery store, I’d buy it. If they asked me to join a cult, I’d buy the organic, naturally sweetened Kool-Aid.
When I’m depressed, I may not need a bison rib-eye and fresh arugula, but damnit, it helps.