Meijer and I have a special relationship. We live only a mile apart and have known each other more than 20 years. She’s been a source of sanity for me, whether it was allowing me to kill time with little ones during inclement weather or to roam her aisles in solitude when I just needed to get away from maternal and marital reality. I think that’s why whenever I am with her, I am at my most vulnerable. She makes me feel safe, and for that reason, I let my defenses down.
Take yesterday, for example. My husband Doo was sick with some non-COVID-19, flu-like illness, and since I already had plans to desert him for an overnight in Louisville, I offered to go to Meijer for comfort foods and ginger ale before I left. As I’m standing in the soup section perusing the myriad of chicken noodle offerings, Meijer’s Muzak kicks in with that stupid Maroon 5 song: “Here’s to the ones that we got; cheers to the wish you were here, but you’re not; ‘cause the drinks bring back all the memories.” You know the one. And suddenly, I am thinking about my deceased dad and fighting the tears that are threatening to embarrass me right in front of Hungry Man and Campbell’s.
Meijer! How could you? After all we’ve been through together! The impulse purchases, the late-night milk runs, the disastrous checkouts, the awkward confrontations with ex-neighbors and column haters. How dare you manipulate my feelings when I’m least prepared to suppress my emotions?
But I still love you, Meijer. And our relationship will always be special.