things i hate: extravagant grocery

I’m not going after Whole Foods because EVERYONE goes after Whole Foods. Plus, I’m pretty sure that the people who seriously shop at Whole Foods either a) are so rich that paying anything less than $5 for one heirloom double-organic, individually shrink-wrapped potato would be truly unthinkable or b) already know they are terrible and just don’t give a damn (which I for sure respect). Whole Foods knows what it’s about, and it’s not ashamed.

What I’m talking about is the current gentrification phenomenon known under numerous names (around my area) such as Mariano’s, Caputo’s, and the collections of “[differentiating word] Fresh Market.” Fuck. These. Places. My first trip to a Mariano’s taught me that my head was not quite far enough up my own ass to ever feel comfortable there. And you can probably already tell that my head is pretty far up my ass as it is. There’s a sit-down sushi counter and a sit-down BBQ restaurant and a sit-down oyster bar and a person that’s paid to play live elevator music ON A GRAND PIANO. AT THE GROCERY STORE. The worst part about these places though is the carts, which have a special holder for wine glasses. WHAT. And the biggest sin of all was that people were using these wine glass holders U N I R O N I C A L L Y.

I used to live in a town where Jewel was the most upscale grocery store. And my family didn’t shop there, because my mom found the sticker price of name brand, Tollhouse Nesquik Nabisco Kraft Betty Crocker Campbells Jennie-O and Bush’s Baked Beans all to be personally insulting. So my childhood nutritional consumption consisted of various goods from motherfucking Aldi. Old Aldi—pre-non-GMO-healthier-option-competitor Aldi. I’m talking Cheese Club individual string-cheese packs and Casa Mamasita taco night. Moo Toob knockoff Go-Gurt that tasted like strawberry-infused sewage and Marshmallows and Stars cereal which was supposed to contend with Lucky Charms but fell sadly short in terms of magical breakfast fun. No prize awaited me at the bottom of my cereal, just ashy marshmallow dust to remind me of my own eventual expiration. Being the kid with Aldi food gave me social anxiety. It introduced me to the unfairness of capitalist society. I’d show up with my Benton’s Everyday chocolate chip cookies and Baker’s Corner swiss rolls and plain bologna sandwiches while the Jewel kids happily ate their Chips Ahoy and Hostess Ho-Ho’s and Lunchables. So many Catholic grade school lunches spent hiding my Clancy’s “Nacho Cheese Flavor Tortilla Chips” behind my non-insulated lunchbox while classmates flaunted their Dorrito’s in flavors like Cool Ranch, Caviar, and Rock Lobster. For all the other things we couldn’t purchase at Aldi, we went to Westbrook Market and Ultra Foods, where we scoured their clearance meat bin and found some god damn DEALS on good shit like chicken and pork chops that maybe weren’t the freshest but also not expired and I didn’t even get really sick off any of it once. Simple.

Anyways, these name brand assholes decided they needed to spend even more for their bullshit while ALSO shopping in an environment that’s akin to something that seems vaguely European. I guess. So they closed the Ultras and Westbrook Markets and even some of the Jewels and erected these monsters, breeding grounds for Vineyard Vines logos and beige Michael Kors purses that are beacons of the battle cry “I’m completely fine with everyone knowing there is absolutely nothing unique about me.” Every middle-age mom-type person in those stores has some family dinner kale-involved recipe pulled up on their phones while they fill their cart with Milano’s and Wonder bread and fresh butter pie an actual vat of pure high fructose corn syrup and maybe just one bag of dried cherries, because they’re watching their weight and Parmela at Curves said these were just so great for when you feel those pesky urges to snack!!

I hate Mariano’s and its inbred grocery cousins. I stopped shopping at Aldi when I became an adult because I thought I was better than it. But now I can’t afford to shop at these extravagant places and maintain my dignity all at once, because yeah I’d love another sample of that feta & spinach filo cup but I also can’t spend $23 on the frozen bag of 5 even though I seriously considered it. Maybe I hate those stores so much because they do a great job of exposing my crippling habit to impulse buy stupid shit. Deli ham for $25/Ib? Sure. 30 random olives from the assorted olive bar? Yes. An entire cake decorated like an art-nouveau painting that only looks good aesthetically? Absolutely. Brie cheese? Every time I’ve tried it I’ve fucking hated it but the packaging is edgy artistic so why not give it another chance for $18?? I can’t be doing that BUT I CAN’T STOP.

All I’m asking is they bring back the clearance meat bins. Long live clearance meat.

things i hate: blogs

I know you’re probably like “wow fuck this bitch this is literally her first post on her very own blog that she probably paid for.” You’re right—it is, and I did. But I really hate blogs. For the most part, they’re incredibly annoying to hear people talk about and even more annoying to read. Just the word “blog” itself is stupid and it sounds gross.

So I’m your typical self-centered cunt, and there stems most of my issues; the personal opinions of other self-centered strangers on the internet don’t do much for me. I’ve noticed an upward trend lately where a lot of people on my Facebook start and shamelessly promote their own “travel blogs” whenever they study abroad. I don’t think I could possibly give less of a shit about a 1,000 word expose in white text on a black background w/corresponding Instagram filter pictures on how you ate gelato outside of the Colosseum and “found yourself” in the process. Unless you yourself revived gladiator fighting and volunteered to battle a lion, I probably still won’t even read your blog unless it includes a video with a decent amount of real gore.

Inspirational blogs are THE WORST. If taking advice from some cheerful asshole on the internet is what makes you happy, then great. These blogs though, in my opinion, are just a fashionable way of showing off how rich the author is, because, yeah, I could go on a “spiritual retreat” to the Himalayas and eat pure vegan acai berry yogurt and wear feather necklaces and get a tattoo of the infinity sign behind my ear too, but shit’s EXPENSIVE. I’m too poor to inspire anyone, even though the only inspiration I could really provide would be stuff like self-loathing and self-aware (yet still conceited) irony. And anyway, how many more white girls posting 1 billion variants of “live laugh love” in cursive font does the world need??

Okay but DIY blogs can, sometimes, be an exception to my general hatred of blogs since on more than one occasion I have broken through a creative blockage halfway through a project because some kind soul out there took the time to write out their process and include STEP BY STEP PHOTOGRAPHS. But what I don’t appreciate is the 10 paragraph intro that delves into the emotional journey of the project or the personal significance behind it or whatever other irrelevant bullshit. I don’t give a fuck about how this needed to get done before your son Branton’s kindergarten graduation because you have to outshine Cortlyn’s mom who just got the new $4000 embroidery machine, or how Ashley at the salon really convinced you to take a leap of faith and try something new so that’s why you’re rocking a modest bob using a POLYESTER blend instead of your tried and true COUNTRY CLASSICS COTTON FABRIC. It all just irritates me when I have to scroll through it 20 times whenever my screen shuts off because I can’t be bothered to adjust my settings.

Even the actual blogging platforms are annoying. I PAID MONEY for this blog, with the cheapest package, yes, but I STILL CAN’T EVEN CHANGE THE FONT COLOR. Who knew font color and a decent layout were for the rich elite? Or at least for people who are willing to pay more than $30/year?? Or for people who are actually willing to educate themselves on web design and not just sit around and complain about everything??? So that’s why the theme here is trash, because if I can’t have something that looks nice, then I can at least hide behind the vaporwave aesthetic. Right?

EVERYONE has a blog. If Amy-bitch from high school has a blog with 3 posts about her long-distance relationship with her boyfriend Bradley (who won’t go by Brad because his dad’s name is Brad and their family owns a sailboat and they’re taking Amy-bitch out to Santa Monica so she can learn to sail but that was back in 2014 and then the blog went dark and you can’t even see if they’re together anymore because you’ve blocked her on Facebook but now, inexplicably, you really want to know how she’s doing), then you can imagine that blogs are incredibly popular for people who have actual thoughts and the actual ability to write things of substance. It seems like the vast majority of writers maintain some kind of online presence that’s all lumped under the classification of “blog,” and that’s a huge reason why I felt pressured to get one. My experience is that, I say I’m a writer, and usually people are like okay cool so do you have a blog and I say no I think they’re stupid. Who the fuck wants to read about my cynical, uninformed opinions? Maybe you mysterious internet people do, because maybe you’re garbage humans just like me. And that’s okay, because now I’m here to blog about it.

May your dumpster fires burn ever bright.

xoxo –Allegra