Thursday, July 13, 2006

Aldi in the Hood

That's right. There's a distinct difference between Aldi in the 'burbs and the Aldi in the Hood. And I'm here to spell them out for you. I had never yet been to Aldi in the Hood, but last week, I was picking up my dry cleaning in the Hood (at the waaaaay cheaper cleaners there...), and I figured while I was over there, I'd give it a shot and save myself the trip to the one I usually go to. Neither is actually close to my own home, so it's never a convenient trip, to be honest. At least not as convenient as my grocery store a few blocks away. I walked in and discovered that the layout was basically the same. Same routine on the carts. Prices: same. Cool...but that's where the similarities ended, my WT comrades. Here's how it went down from there... So, I'm strolling along the first aisle, and this guy stops in front of the sugars and proudly tells his wife/significant other/hoochie mama...whatever: "Hey, 'dis brown sugah bettah for ya' dan duh white stuff. It healthy. It the heart healthy shit. Let's get some." It took me a minute to figure out what he was talking about. Aha! He was thinking of the naturally brown sugar - you know, like Sugar in the Raw? The unprocessed stuff? Far be it from me to correct the genious. Strolling, strolling... An employee approaches an ancient woman just behind me... "Excuse me, ma'am. We're going to have to keep that bag for you up front while you're shopping. You can have it back when you leave the store." (takes a plastic shopping bag from the elderly woman, while repeating what she has just said) It becomes apparent that the woman has been placing smaller items in the bag in an effort to steal them. This is disturbing on so many levels... not the least of which is the value (or apparent lack thereof) that we place on the elderly in our society. But this is a "happy" column, so I'll journey onward. So, I'm on the produce aisle, which, by the way, is probably about five percent the size of the supermarket size of produce aisle. Generally, at Aldi, as I've mentioned before, there's just one of each type of product (one white bread, one grape jelly, one variety of apples). However, in the case of tomatoes, there was a small selection to be had. Now at the risk of sounding very haughty, high-minded and intellectually biased, I am going to proceed on here. I'm among my WT friends, after all, and I feel this is a safe place for me to sound off... I'm standing in front of the produce. In order to read the prices here, you have to look above the items, find the name of what you're looking for and read the sign. It's not exactly rocket science. Suddenly, I become very aware of the area surrounding me and the odor therein. Uh-huh. You guessed it. B.O., sisters. Bigtime. I nearly caught my breath, but before I could, a hand was on my back. I looked up to find myself staring at the big breasts of an enormous woman in halter top and spandex leggings. Of course, I was also face to face with the B.O. I tried to back up, but the giant woman put her arm around me and drew me closer. As an aside here, let me just say two things. I am not a small woman, but this woman made me feel dimunitive! And second, I have an aversion to close-talkers to begin with. That's even with people I know well. So to have a B.O. laced Amazon whom I don't know from Eve hug me to her bosom? Well, let's just say it was all I could do not to vomit. I guess you could compare it to my daughter's reaction to the pizza sauce at the concert (see 7/4 post)! "Lemme axe you somthin'..." "Uh-huh, sure" (just please don't put my nose in your armpit...) (Pointing at the Grape Tomatoes and then up at the signage above) "Which ones is these?" "Oh, those are the Grape Tomatoes." (releasing her vice grip...) "Grape? Geez...And how much are they?" (Pointing at the sign...) "A dollar twenty-nine." "Oh..." (picking up the Roma Tomatoes and again resting her other hand on my back...) "Well, how 'bout these here? Are they the ones that's 59 cents?" "Hmmm...no, it says they're a dollar forty-nine." (pointing at a different sign) "Well, damn...which ones does it say is 59 cents?" (looking where her finger points, it dawns on me...) "Oh, that's the avocadoes. They're 59 cents apiece." "Sheee-uht. Ava-what? I just need me some tomatoes." "Yeah..." OK, now, really. What was I supposed to say? I did feel sorry for her. She stunk, she couldn't read. And she didn't know the joy of the California avocado. Life's tough, you know? Standing in line now... Stinky Amazon: Man, did you see those tomatoes? They's pricey! I thought they was 59 cents. Super Genious: Yeah, but they do have the brown sugah. That shit's good for your heart, and it only 89 cents here. Heart healthy bargain shopping. Only at Aldi in the Hood...

21 Comments:

Blogger harlemgrrl said...

I found your use of what I assume to be some sort of black vernacular language, interesting. Thanks for your perspective and honest opinions, it's been entertaining reading your blog over the last year or so, but as an African-American woman, the last entry's "WT" level was past my limit.

Regards

7/13/2006 7:27 PM  
Anonymous Pinkcadillac said...

Oh man - this is so identical to the experiences I have late at night at my local ghetto grocery store - and it's not even an Aldi's!
Unfortunately sometimes I can't even understand what some of them say - the english is so rough, like the accent of a foreign country. I swear I feel like an idiot trying to interpret the questions!
*sigh*
I'm afraid it isn't terribly politically correct of us white trash moms to voice our thoughts on ghetto 'vernacular'. Oh, well. :)

7/13/2006 8:14 PM  
Blogger R. Robyn said...

I just reread this post, and I didn't see any reference to ethnicity. Nor did I "imagine" African-Americans when I read the dialogue. So it confuses me why someone would "assume" it is "some sort of black vernacular language" and then be offended!

I find this post to be enlightening, and entertaining. It is also in great contrast to Lucinda's post about her trip to the upscale market in Nashville.

Kudos to you for expressing yourself. Keep on keepin' on.

7/13/2006 11:52 PM  
Anonymous baseballmom said...

Damn...I wish we had Aldi. Those prices for produce beat ours all to hell! And...from experience let me say, white scuzzy people talk like that too, so I didn't think it was offensive, or referencing anything racial. Keep on keepin' on!

7/14/2006 12:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hahahaha I am laughing and shaking my head yes the whole time I read your entry Hahahahaha... I live only 10 plus minutes from our "hood/ghetto" and Oh my stars! I have been so there with you.... Actually I drive to the hood/ghetto to the costco there because I can not stand the people in the snotty area of town *smile*

7/14/2006 7:08 AM  
Blogger Woman with kids said...

.59 cents for an avocado? Geez... there are times that living in Maine just isn't fair!

7/14/2006 8:25 AM  
Blogger tacky princess said...

harlemfrrl - I should clarify my use of the term hood here, and I do apologize if I offended anyone with any "vernacular". The hood I refer to is really just the more urban area outside of the burbs, in my case. The hood, in this particular case, was a term coined by my hair lady, who told me: "Hey, they just opened an Aldi in the Hood! I can't wait to start going there!" She happens to be one of my very good friends and lives right there, and it's only a couple of miles from where we live, as well. Just a more urban neighborhood.

Again, sorry to offend. Unfortunately, that can tend to happen now and then in this sort of a blog when we really let loose.

Hope you'll return for more WT fun.

7/14/2006 9:24 AM  
Blogger Babaloo said...

How come your California avacados are cheaper than the avocados I buy here, in California? Can you ship me some?

7/14/2006 12:06 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Ahhh....Aldi! Many good memories there. In fact, I did a blog entry too on them http://www.momadvice.com/blog/2005/08/why-i-shop-at-aldi.htm

You know that you are shopping in Aldi when a woman approaches you (INSIDE THE COOLER!) and says, "Pssst...Psst...." You turn to find a woman, looking through the glass door, and she asks you if she can exchange food stamps with you for money...and then you feel guilty for refusing!

Many good times at our local Aldi. I actually do menu planners (just using Aldi ingredients) and they have been a huge hit. I think our site now comes up before the Aldi homepage in the search engines- totally cracks me up!

Love your blog- ran across it through the ultimate mommy blog list on Greg Kawalski's site!

7/15/2006 8:08 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

That's a great story. I laughed really hard.

7/15/2006 11:54 AM  
Blogger tacky princess said...

Amy - loved your comment - AND your website / blog entry. Not to mention your Aldi menu planner. Folks, find it at the aforementioned, http://www.momadvice.com/food/aldi_meal_plan.aspx !

TP :)

7/15/2006 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure which is funnier...your blog or someone referring to ebonics as "vernacular".
Guess I won't write in my own blog about the chilling experience of going to Family Dollar in the 'hood and hearing the most absurd-made-up-not-actually-occurring-in-the-English-language, children's names yelled shrilly at the top of their mother's lungs. Eh, that's just as well, there's no chance I could have guessed how to spell them.

7/16/2006 2:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally - everyone was extolling the virtue of Aldi's after your last post, and I had to post like, HUH? What Aldi's are YOU shopping at ? Our Aldi's is a PIT......I wouldn't buy a non-edible item at the one by me, let alone food - and it's NOT in the hood! It just brings in the folks FROM the hood -the experience you describe was pretty much identical to mine - and the shoppers? Black and white -neither race is exempt! Sign me, Not An Aldi's Shopper!

7/16/2006 9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with most of the posters, I did not see color in your writing. The only culture you pinpointed was the Amazon woman. Amazon women were either greek myths, or women from the region in South America, correct? Neither is African, but they were fabled to be rather large (and one breasted, but that's another story...).

OK, that sounded borderline Muffy of me. Sorry!

7/16/2006 10:28 PM  
Blogger Sharpie said...

I don't know if this Aldi of which you speak!! We have nothing like that near me!! Although I can tell you I went to a Shaw's recently in da hood and promptly ran screaming as the produce was crawling with cockroaches. Blech!!

7/17/2006 6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Aldi isn't exactly in the 'Hood, but it isn't the Ritz either. I would describe the area as older and very much blue collar.

The funny thing is that nearly everyone I've had dealings with - both Aldi employees and customers - the experiences have been overwhelming positive.

For the most part. I have dealt with the b.o. before. It was bad.

But I see people all the time letting someone with a few items go ahead of them in line, I see people helping 'newbies' find things - I generally leave feeling pretty good.

7/18/2006 6:31 PM  
Blogger amelia said...

Oh, this brings back memories of the good 'ole Aldi days!! We had many similar experiences, and hubby wouldn't let me go to the store alone after he saw a guy packing a piece. I do miss it though!

7/19/2006 5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite part of your story is when you referred to this person, who you obviously think is less educated than you, as a "genious."

Seems to me you've got a bit of a "Muffy" complex of your own. I'm with harlemgrrl here (though I'm practically the whitest white that ever whited). This was my last trip to your blog.

7/22/2006 5:40 PM  
Anonymous Pam said...

I'm from Toronto, and have NEVER even heard of Aldi before. This weekend, on a trip to Chicago with my two boys, WE SAW AN ALDI. The elder (17 yrs) was NOT pleased to be travelling with mom and dad sans girlfriend and was even LESS pleased to be shoved into an Aldi just so mom could see what Tacky Princess was talking about.
It was fantastic. And cheaper and CLEANER than the "No Frills" in my 'hood.
In addition - never saw colour in your "vernacular". I hear that language from ALL races and creeds here in the melting pot that is Toronto (actually Scarborough - also called Scaryborough or Scarberia).

7/27/2006 12:37 PM  
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