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Over Easy: Shopping

Inside Publix – C Bunny

I’m not fond of shopping. Particularly grocery shopping. I find supermarkets to be a bore. Apparently my father had the same view of shopping and supermarkets because he insisted on going only once a month, of course it rarely turned out that way. There were 2 IGA supermarkets and an A&P that we would go to and a smaller “Quicky Mart” type store up here then.

This was mostly for non-perishable items and cereal and such. We got our meat from a packing company and froze it once a year and our vegetables locally from local farmers etc. when we did not grow our own. Fruit was local as well and it was frozen up too. Milk was delivered by our Milkman and sometimes we got fresh butter from some family friends who had cows on their farm.

Shopping for other things was rare. Generally only a few times a year as the closes “Big Box” stores were in towards Cleveland. No Malls at that time, but big shopping centers. Like South Gate Shopping Center located in Maple Heights. At that time it had The May Company, Higbees, Sears and Montgomery Wards. Wards being a low rent version of Sears whose products were cheaper but of significantly lower quality.

It wasn’t until my family moved down to Naples Florida that I first saw a Mall. It had been built shortly after we moved there in the mid 1960s. The Edison Mall in Fort Myres just north of Naples.

By the time I wound up in Orlando Florida Mall were the big thing and there were two on Colonial Boulevard – Colonial Mall and Fashion Square Mall – plus The Winter Park Mall just to the north and shortly there after the Altamonte Mall in Altamonte Spings to the north of that. All having the usual Florida Big Box Stores like Maas Brothers, Robinsons, Burdines Jordon Marsh, Sears, J.C, Pennies. Most of these have been bought out by others like Dillards or Macys.

Up here the big malls are done, toast it were. Randall is supposed to be torn down at some point and Parma Town Mall is it the process. We still have a few mostly out in the exo burbs but I have never been to them. The Shopping Center has become more the ting now again. That is the Preppy upper crust kind with upper crust shops.

In Florida the main supermarkets were Kwick Chek which became Winn Dixi and Publix, both local to Florida. Publix being the nicer of the two. Up here in Cleveland we have Marcs – pretty low rent, Daves – kind of middle of the road, but surprising in what the carry, Heinen’s – an upscale Whole Foods wannabe. All of which are local. We also have Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Trader Joes etc. And Giant Eagle – a regional out of Pittsburgh.

Giant Eagle is pretty nice, also huge. One of those all in one supermarkets. With a full on site bakery, butcher shop, pharmacy, delli and “Kitchen” where you can purchase prepared foods. Their baked chicken is very good.

To say this area alone has places to buy what ever you heart’s desire is, would be and under statement but still less than Orlando Florida. Add to that what you can get over the internet and you can see one has that access to just about anything that is available.

So what’s the point of all of this. The point is that we here in this part of the country at least have access to a plethora of consumables most of which will never be sold. And the worst part is, we have come to not only expect it but depend on it to be this way. Dependent consumers who would go just as ape shit crazy it these places went away, just like an addict whose supply was cut off or an alcoholic whose booze was taken away. Hearing those of us on the left talking about wanting to replace capitalism and our broken political system is sometimes like listening to a late stage alcoholic talk about sobriety on the way to ABC Liqueurs. We have the same love/hate relationship with capitalism and consumerism as a drug addict has with their drugs.

Just how would you replace capitalism and its cheer leaders without all this consumerism going poof ? It would mean as major a life style change as getting clean and sober, if not more so. Which maybe one of the reasons you do not see loads of people protesting it out in the streets. Risking their supply being interrupted.

Just something to chew on.

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