Melissa used to do all of the grocery shopping. This wasn't because she liked it, she just hated doing it less than I did, and she preferred that we have things besides Froot Loops and Dr. Pepper. She had a very complicated relationship with the local grocery stores, alternating between the Safeway and Sprouts around the corner, and the Whole Foods and Fry's a little further away. She wasn't jumping between the stores because of cost or coupons. Rather, it was a function of which store annoyed her least and which had cashiers least likely to engage in small talk. I always found this funny, and then I started to do the shopping myself.
About once a week I frequent the Safeway near our house. So far I've been relatively loyal to the Safeway. It's convenience above all else, call it laziness if you like. Safeway is the closest to the house, and I know the layout better than the others. All that said, my last couple of visits may force me to change.
The problem is that whoever is programing the public address system at this particular Safeway has an strong affinity for the early 80s and has been stuck in some very tragic relationships. In all seriousness, when was the last time you heard Debby Boone blasting on the PA? I have found myself silently weeping as I wander the aisles, simply because the damn muzak thinks I will be more likely to buy a bag of Double Stuffs if I hear something vaguely sad.
I've had a couple of people mention to me that I put too much stock in music. That I notice it and let it influence my emotions more than most. All that is probably true, but I like living this way. I've surrounded myself with musicians, all of whom have left their mark on my tastes. For me, at least, listening to music has been a way to get through the trauma in my life. Without a good stereo and a deep library I know I would not have made it this far. My hardest days are the days filled with silence. Cranking QOTSA helps. Besides, life is just more interesting with Tom Waits than it is without.
I'm trying to document everything these days for a lot of reasons, including trying to take the superstition out of some of my encounters. Writing it down and sharing it with the world seems to help, in that it relieves the taboo. With that in mind, here is a playlist of the "worst" stuff Safeway has played me while I shop for cereal. In this case, worst is a relative term, in that I've found it oddly inappropriate and unhelpful while I cope. So, enjoy, I guess?
Radiohead - Fake Plastic Trees:
I find this one a bit ironic, given the video takes place in a fake plastic supermarket
Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart:
Kudos are in order I suppose. I mean, not every supermarket would play these influential post-punk innovators signature song. But still, brutal.
Elton John - Rocket Man:
"I miss the Earth so much, I miss my wife"
Debbie Boone - You Light Up My Life:
The aforementioned Debby Boone. Yesterday evening's inspiration for today's entry.
Simon and Garfunkel - I Am A Rock:
There was a time back in the early 2000s where my friend Matt and I wanted to write a movie script essentially about being alone and lonely. Then we met our respective wives and scrapped the project. Why bring this up? This was the song we had picked as the theme song.
The Cars - Since You're Gone:
At this point I'm looking around for the hidden camera...
Sister Christian - Night Ranger:
The best scene Paul Thomas Anderson ever directed makes it a terrible song for a grocery store...
... The only thing missing is Jessie's Girl.
Cyndi Lauper - Time After Time:
This song is probably the most obvious choice for a grocery store PA. Doesn't make it any less difficult to hear.
U2 - With or Without You:
Now you are just being mean.
Willie Nelson - Always On My Mind:
Seriously? Screw you Safeway, I'm going to Sprouts.