I may be the only person in the area who is not totally excited about Wegman's opening later this month. I've been in a Wegman's once or twice. My parents practically live at the one by their house. My sister eats lunch at the one by her house. My husband went to school in Buffalo, NY, so he knows all about them. Friends have been making pilgrimages to the ones in Lanham and Columbia and have vowed never to shop anywhere else once ours opens in Waugh Chapel South. But for me, I hate change. I'm not a first adopter when it comes to where I shop.
I don't agree that certain places are "worth the drive." I hate not knowing where everything is on the shelves. But mostly, I've spent seven years building relationships with the people at Safeway and I hate the idea of abandoning them. Yes, you read that right. I love the people at Safeway. The store itself might not carry everything we'd like. It certainly isn't Wegman's. But it's where I shop. It's the faces I know. The smiles I get. It's Darlene in produce who gives you an honest answer when you ask "How are the clementines." It's Felix in the meat department who never balks when I ask for something I don't see on the shelf. It's Miss Pat, oh Miss Pat, my favorite check-out lady. She's the best. Quick. Friendly. Lovely. And Stanley who always asks if you need any help, gathers the carts up from the parking lot and restocks the shelves.
What's going to happen to these people who've been working for years at Safeway? Will business drop off so much that their jobs will be in danger? The store is more than just what's on the shelves, it's the people inside. Is everyone going to stop going to Safeway? Or will the allure of Wegman's wear off at some point and people will return to Safeway. Or maybe people will split their shopping and find something they like about both stores. That's what I'll do. (Truth be told, I'd rather have a Trader Joe's closer to me!)
You probably think I'm totally crazy for even thinking like this. But I can't help it. I'm a loyal customer. That's how I roll. I'm sure some of you don't like Safeway and have something negative to say about it. That's fine, to each his/her own. I'm sure I'll go to Wegman's and be charmed by the food, but whether or not I'll be charmed by the people is another thing. There's only one Miss Pat.