6 Oddly Specific Feelings You'll Only Understand If You've Braved The Carnage Of Trader Joe's On A Weekend
There are two kinds of people on this earth: people who shop at Trader Joe's, and people who shop during the weekend at Trader Joe's. If you belong to the latter group, you're part of a special breed of human who can tolerate insane crowds, slow-moving lines, and punching your way through the skincare section to hopefully grab the last bottle of tea tree oil face wash. We're not all cut out for this. Oh, no. If you shop at Joe's on the weekend, you're part of an exclusive, secret club; and there are things only people like you can truly understand.
To be clear, Joe's is never not busy. That's what you get when you have a store with unbeatable prices, tons of all-natural and organic products, and amazing (read: the best) seasonal products throughout the year. Nowhere else can you find delicious mandarin orange chicken (that's already been cooked and frozen — thanks, Joe!), pizza with gluten-free cauliflower crust, and soft pretzel sticks that are so effing amazing, you can make a meal out of them. Not that you should.
But I have.
Be aware, though, that if you visit Trader Joe's over the weekend, you'll be rolling with a different crowd — one that'll gladly run over your toes with their shopping cart if it means they get the last bag of pumpkin spice caramel corn on the shelf.
You've been warned.
Here are a few things only weekend shoppers will understand.
1. The Sweet Smell Of Victory When You Find A Good Parking Spot
We all have our flaws, and Trader Joe's is no exception. What they make up for in cheap, organic produce, they lack in available and easily accessible parking. Every weekend at TJ's is like Black Friday at the mall. Prepare to spend time looking for a spot, and be willing to steal one from the mom in the minivan with 12 kids. But when you do find that spot — that beautiful, perfect, dreamy parking spot — all the stars align and everything is right in the universe.
2. Fighting For The Last Jar Of Cookie Butter
There's one jar left. You reach for it just as some sweet old grandmother does as well. You look at her. She looks at you. There's no way you're walking out of here without a jar of Speculoos Cookie Butter — not after what you went through trying to get a parking spot. Grandma gives you some lame excuse about how she was going to give the cookie butter to her husband or sick grandchild or something stupid like that. You know better. You snatch it and run, and hope she can't keep up.
3. Missing Out On Free Samples
OK. Yes. True. Trader Joe's will let you sample just about anything in the store. But near the egg cooler, they were handing out tiny cups of freshly made soup, and you had your eye on that last cup. Then, some other hungry person snatched it up and basically ruined your entire day. This is what happens when you shop at Trader Joe's on the weekends. Go there on a Tuesday morning and you can have 20 cups of soup. Next time, you'll know better.
4. The Emotional Trauma Of Long, Winding Lines
When I say "long," I mean "long AF OMG I'm going to die waiting in this line and never get to eat the jar of cookie butter that I stole from that fossil of a woman." It's not Joe's fault — they can't help it that they're so popular. But just know that if you're shopping at Trader Joe's on a weekend, you should be prepared to wait. Get comfortable. Start a new game of Candy Crush. Write to your pen pal. Prepare your taxes... for 2020.
5. All The Amazing Treats Near The Register
There is one reward for waiting in that long line, though: as you near the front, Joe throws you a bone and delivers delicious dark chocolate peanut butter cups, chocolate covered almonds, and other things you definitely shouldn't be eating, but who cares? If it came from Trader Joe's, that means it's healthy and you can eat as much as you want. #FightMe
6. Being Rewarded For Bringing Your Own Bag
When it's almost over, TJ's gives you one last present. They'll enter you into a drawing for a gift card if you bring your own bag and help save the environment. On the weekend, this feels extra special. This is like that first sip of water after walking five miles in the sun to the nearest mechanic after your car breaks down on the expressway. Saving the environment while possibly winning some cash to buy more plantain chips and affordably priced fancy cheese from TJ's? We call that a win.
So, there are at least a couple silver linings to fighting the masses and shoving your way through the produce sections when you shop at Joe's on a Saturday or Sunday.