I walk in and am greeted by flowers. There are flowers to my left and right, the room is lit with warm goldish lights, and I see wine bottles dancing all around the room. I immediately feel calm and think to myself, “Is this what a spiritual awakening feels like?”
I’ve come for sushi and a bottle of wine (~fancy~), but on my way to find these things, I walk to the tea aisle. “This store probably has great tea,” I think to myself as my body moves towards the aisle on autopilot.
I look at the teas and feel inspired. When has someone ever felt inspired by tea? I do not know, but somehow I feel this way. They have so many options. Wow.
I weave out of this aisle and take a glance at the frozen section. A few small refrigerators filled with Annie’s mac and cheese and healthy frozen pizza. Of course.
I make my way to the center of the store and feel as if I’m floating. I circle around the middle area that has salads, sandwiches, and pasta salad in healthy portions for you to grab and go. “Wow, they really know their stuff,” I think to myself. “That is so convenient and healthy.” My eyes dart around the store and I feel calm and warm. Why and how, I’m not sure. The warm lights and hardwood floors and chalkboard aisle signs makes me think this store is important.
I find my way to the sushi, grab some, then walk over to the wine. There are beautiful baskets filled with wine on display all around the store. I take in my surroundings and all I can think is how much I need to buy some granola. I walk past the “bulk” section and immediately think I should grind my own almond butter even though I’ve never had almond butter before in my life, nor do I want to. But they have a cute section where you just turn a knob and some almond butter grinds for you, and there is a chalkboard sign explaining it all.
I make my way to the wine and pick out the cheap wine I usually buy from CVS. This is Fresh Market- their cheap wine is probably a few bucks more than at CVS, but the wine is chilled and this store feels important and there’s granola and pre-made salads and tea everywhere so I don’t care!!!
I stand in line to check out and immediately think, “Maybe I should work here!” I already have two jobs and have never in my life had the desire to work at a grocery store, but Fresh Market makes me think this would be a great idea. I think of that episode of Bob’s Burgers where Linda works at a grocery store like this. It all started out great, but in the end Linda was happier working at the restaurant, I think to myself. I look to my left and see the flowers again.
I feel an urgent need to buy some. I contemplate getting out of line to go grab some flowers. “You deserve some,” I tell myself. “Treat yourself, it will brighten up your apartment.” I already have a slowly dying plant on my window-sill, I don’t need any flowers. But Fresh Market makes me think I need some!!! WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?!
I look at the “all natural” gum on the stand next to me. I think it’s weird, but it seems fancy and important and like Fresh Market really knows what they’re doing.
It’s my turn to check out. The woman ringing me up is wearing the sort of shoes you can imagine someone working at Fresh Market would wear. Beige slip ons. Her manager stands nearby, a 30ish year old man with a ponytail and beard. Everything here is exactly the way you could joke stores like this are, but I don’t care. I just want to buy all of the dehydrated fruit and organic granola in sight!!!
I buy only two things but somehow spend almost twenty dollars. When the cashier tells me my total I’m a little surprised, but I pay her anyway. On my way out I see a chalkboard sign advertising another product I think I need, but then realize I in fact do not.
I walk past those lovely flowers again and smell how sweet they are. I walk past a cute wicker basket filled with bags of chocolate drizzled popcorn and think, “Even the entryway before you come into the store looks nice. Wow.”
I walk to my car feeling calm and rejuvenated. How did they do that? Is there something in the air in that place? Was it really just those wood floors and warm lights? All I know is I spent too much money on wine and grocery store sushi, but I don’t even care. The Fresh Market was a beautiful, magical place.