I walked down the first aisle and freaked out because the organic cereal and snacks were there instead of the drinks. Then I went down the coffee/cookie aisle and the drinks were there instead.
I stood in the middle of the aisle, just me and my cart and my look of abject terror. I had no idea what to do. I go to this particular store and this store only because the familiarity of it allows me to shop without being waylaid by crowd anxiety. I have a floor plan of the place stored in my head and my shopping trips are all mapped out in the exact same way with no deviation whatsoever. I start at a certain aisle and work my way up and down in a very particular fashion, always ending my trip in front of the bread display. I know (knew) where everything is and I’ve been going to this store and shopping this way for so long I’m convinced I could do it with my eyes closed.
But there’s change. And that change freaked me out. I had a near panic attack next to the Snapple display and actually dug through my purse for a Xanax (yay for emergency supplies always at hand), took half and waited for my breath to come in regular intervals.
By the time I figured out what was where and how the aisles were now set up I had calmed down but when I saw workers in other aisles ripping shelves out and taking down product to change even more stuff I started sweating. It wasn’t just one or two aisles they were changing. It’s everything.
Nothing is going to be the same again. It’s going to take me months to figure out my new shopping pattern. It’s going to take that long to get used to the new set up and become familiar enough with it so it feels comfortable.
Food shopping should not be this stressful.
Stop changing things, world. You’re messing me up.