Better use your noodle in the new Harris Teeter |

Tracy Lee Curtis is a humorist, writer and speaker. She writes family humor for the Charlotte Observer. Her column appears each Sunday.
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Better use your noodle in the new Harris Teeter

11/29/13 08:07

Whoa nelly, we got a new Harris Teeter. It sort of reminds me of Nordstrom. With cantaloupe. Like if you replaced all the shoes in the shoe department with produce, it’d look exactly the same. Except instead of the grand piano, Teeter has a Willy Wonka glass elevator.

Because this place is a high fashion, high cotton, highfalutin “Oh Hiiii!” social scene.

Which makes grocery shopping way more difficult. From the moment you decide which set of double glass doors you’re going to make your grand entrance through, you instinctively know that the days of buying Manwich and “Star Magazine” are over.

My yoga teacher of all people comes towards me, and I swiftly scoot toward the sushi section and grab something that looks like what we used for bait off the Ocean Isle pier this summer.

She walks beside me, babbling about exercise while bagging pine nuts and cilantro in her reusable shopping bag. I pass six neighbors, five school parents, a gal from book club, and our youth pastor. How am I supposed to shop in here, with everyone taking little pokey peeks into my buggy?

So I follow little-miss-yoga-pants and start shadowing her shopping. I get excited when she reaches for shredded cheese. But then she asks her kid to read the rest of the recipe for the Baked Tofu Spinach Wraps. Gross. Oh, and guess what’s in an Eggless Egg Salad. It ain’t eggs, I can tell you that.

But I got another problem. All the shameful items are on the second floor of this ridiculous Taj Ma Teeter. The pharmacy, toiletries, wine, chips, and magazines, are all up there together and the only way down is the Wonkavator.

Time to layer. In the bottom of my cart go all the pain aids, sleep aids, cabernets and chardonnays, toilet tissue and Cool Ranch Doritos. Then I cover it all up with “Veranda,” “Good Housekeeping” and “Architectural Digest.”

I explain to my two little oompa loompas on the way down that we’re gonna have to eat some fish and veggies until we can get across the state line to a Piggly Wiggly. Because in the checkout line, it’s important that everyone admire your fresh salmon, beautiful squash, and colorful radicchio.

When the checkout girl reaches my “Veranda,” I create a diversion, turning to the folks behind me, “Hey I’ve got this great recipe for Baked Tofu Spinach Wraps, would you all like it?”

Because nobody needs to know that I don’t buy organic milk. Or that I need a hamburger helper. That I love the smell of Irish Spring, buy salad in a bag, and eat Lean Cuisine. I mean GEEZ - if I wanted the whole world to know I use a plastic razor, I might as well put it in the newspaper!

Oh, wait a minute …

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