I went to Wegman's today on my way home from work; I left early to meet the roofer. It was about 12:30pm when I arrived, and the place was jammed, but I had to pick up the free-range turkey Steve had ordered.
If you've ever been to a Wegman's, you know that it is normally grocery nirvana. However, there are so few of them in the metro area that the stores drown in a sea of people prior to any national holiday. There were three Fairfax County Police Department patrol cars doing crowd control around the parking lot, and Wegman's seemed to have a lot of security staff on hand as well.
I got perhaps the fifth-worst parking space in existence there, and I trotted toward the distant entrance. By trotting I probably got in front of about 20 people who were doing more of a mosey. (Don't these people have jobs?) Inside, it was chaos. I knew it was going to be rough, so I put my New York on.
I grabbed a handbasket instead of a cart, so I could move quickly. Fast and light. I needed eggs and trashbags, both on the far side from the turkey pickup. I dashed around slow-moving carts and moms with kids, swerving through the aisles at a breakneck pace. Got the eggs and the trashbags, and steamed toward the meat section. I needed pancetta for my turkey, so I grabbed some prepackaged stuff at the deli, and went and picked up the big bird. At this point my basket was full, so I heaved the very cold 14-pounder under my left arm and plowed on toward the checkout, tossing two loaves of fresh-baked bread on top of my basket while en route. I got in the express line and checked out without any major incident.
I considered it a victory to have gotten in and out in 35 minutes, and I made it home in time for the roof guy. I vowed I would not return to Wegman's until after New Year's Day, and I certainly would never go to Wegman's on Thanksgiving week ever again.
Unfortunately, when I was putting away the pancetta, I saw that two of the three packages expired 10 days ago. I nearly wept. At $6 for 3 oz. (each), I have to return them. Plus, I need the pancetta for my turkey and Wegman's is the only place I could find it.
Which means that tonight, I have to go back to Wegman's.