When my dear husband asked me to marry him and I moved into his house after our wedding, a tragedy befell me from which I might never recover.
I had to switch grocery stores. And not just from one store to another of its kind farther away... No, I had to switch chains. I know - the horror.
Prior to this wedded bliss, I had the great fortune of living approximately 90 seconds from heaven on earth, AKA Publix. For anyone not living in the southeastern United States where Publix fell from heaven like manna, I apologize to you and will remember you on my knees tonight as I implore our Maker to bless and highly favor you with grocery store blessing. In the meantime, allow me to paint with my words a picture of the heaven that is Publix Super Markets.
First, and not to be taken lightly, it is clean. And we all know that cleanliness is next to Godliness. Never have mine eyes seen stains discoloring its tile or garbage littering the lobby. Ah, but no. Publix sparkles. When those awe-inspiring automatic doors part and the aisles appear, stretching endlessly before you are endcaps glistening like teeth in commercials and air so fresh that Febreze wants to bottle it. My children could roll around on the floor in the bathroom and I would watch with nary a word. Cleanliness wins every time.
Also high on my list is the organization and logic with which items are placed. Where is the syrup? Near the pancake mix, of course. Peanut butter? Look no farther than the bread. It's as if someone thought like a consumer... "I'd like to make spaghetti tonight - so noodles, sauce, and Parmesan cheese should be grouped accordingly." Logic makes my heart pitter-patter. And not to be outdone - the stocking. High school boys in green smocks descend like locusts and ensure that items are not pushed to the backs of the racks, but are blocked, pulled flush with the front so as to be easily accessible to the mother with the toddler on hip and infant screaming in buggy. It's the little things, people.
Customer service is the priority at Publix, and its baggers seem hurt if you tell them you can take your own groceries to the car. Come rain, wind, or snow, they tell you that carry-out is their pleasure. Mine too, dear Publix. Mine too.
My husband makes fun of me to the point that I've developed a complex, but I cannot change my heart. I am just a Publix and Target kind of girl - one that he says is snooty. (Said with nothing but love, I assure you.) Try as I might, I cannot break my heart's will and force it to become an Ingles and Walmart lover. It's not who Jesus created me to be, and I will not change my identity. I will pay ten percent more - gladly - to have a pleasurable shopping experience, and nothing makes me happier than my dear, sweet Publix. Except for maybe my husband. So Publix, I'll be seeing you. But don't forget me. I'll be back.