I shop at the Trader Joe's on De la Vina in Santa Barbara, partly because it's on my way to the Cancer Center, so I drive by almost every time I'm in town, never mind that it has every thing I need to a real one-stop shop for all of my "Let food be thy medicine" needs.
Little-Known Girlbert Factoid: I like to play a game when I'm shopping in which I offer everyone I come upon a big, happy grin. It feels great to get a smile back, and I always hope I can brighten a fellow shopper's day, but it's still gets me a giggle when they look at me as if thinking, "What the heck is that goon so happy about?" You never know who really needs a smile, and they're so easy to give away! I don't count smiles vs. funny looks, but I like to think that everybody wins.
Now that I've been playing the Smile Game at Trader Joe's for a few years now, I've made friends with many of the employees (some of whom read this blog!), and several of them know that I use food (from their aisles!) and happiness as "medicine" to overcome cancer and stay healthy. Most of them have asked me why I'm so happy, and I tell them, "I'm shopping for yummy food at my favorite store - everyone here is so happy, and there's free coffee and snacks!"
So now that I'm a regular, many of the employees are friends I look forward to seeing, and my weekly grocery errand is more of a social event than a drudgerous task.
So when I went to grab a week's worth of sustenance at my favorite grocery store on Saturday, I got to see all of my friends, and when they asked me how I was, I got to tell them, "I only have TWO days of chemo left!" Several hugs, high-fives, and thumbs-up later, I was on a big fluffy cloud of happy. By the time I got through check-out with my cart full of yummies, my smile threatening to burst from my face, my friend Loren met me at the door with a bouquet of flowers! Who knew a smile could bring so much love, or that there would be flowers at the end?
Five stars, Trader Joe's! The proof is in your people!