op ed

Too Much Of a Good Thing.

I recently switched grocery stores. I had nothing against the store I was going to – they have a massive selection and their prices are stellar, but it’s also very crowded despite being open literally 24/7 and they only take cash or debit card. Not a big deal, but you know, there’s that. I still thought I was in love with my grocery store and it wasn’t until one random weekend when things changed.

We were driving past a grocery store in the next town over that I’d kept thinking about checking out and we had a bit of time to kill so I asked hubby to pull into their lot and see what the fuss was all about. The only thing I really knew about the store was that their commercials state that someone will bring your groceries to your car for you. I’m an able bodied momma and didn’t think that could be necessary but I was intrigued.

The store was like a breath of fresh air. Much smaller than the store I’ve been going to with prices that are affordable, if not as excellent as the store I’d been going to. Their selection was very good, but smaller than my current store. And yet… I kind of liked that. Sometimes it is overwhelming to walk through a bread aisle that has like 50 varieties to choose from. Does anyone really need 50 choices of bread of yogurt? Surely 10 is sufficient. I made mental notes as we walked through and found that we could definitely shop here and still get all of our favorite brands or something very similar.

So I decided to challenge myself to give this new store a shot, to get used to the layout and see if I’d still be happy with them a few weeks later. So far, the answer is a resounding yes. I love the smaller layout and found that less choices actually does make my life a bit easier. They still have more than enough variety for me but not to an overwhelming degree. I love that it is less crowded than my old grocery store and though I think I am spending a little more money it’s still within my budget. Plus, they really do walk the groceries out to my car each time. Is this necessary? Not at all – but the small act of generosity, mixed with a calmer shopping experience and friendlier employees makes going to the grocery store a little less stressful and with a three year old in tow, I’ll take any help I can get!

The other day I ran into our old grocery store to grab a few things and found myself overwhelmed by the crowd all over again. I’d sort of acclimated to the chaos of the store after shopping there regularly for a couple of years but now that I know what else is out there, it was off putting. The gigantic parking lot that was always crowded apart from a few times a day suddenly seemed ridiculous when the small lot of my new grocery store always has plenty of spots. No longer acclimated to their level of crazy, the difference was obvious.

So, this all has me thinking about that phrase too much of a good thing. It seems to be a seriously problem here in America where we have too much junk food, too much crap television to watch, too many things to spend our money on, too many activities to enroll our kids in. We are a society that always clamors for more, more, more but I think it would be very healthy for us all to do less, less, less. Maybe less variety would be very good for us.

Maybe the problem that American Idol is facing is not just poor judging choices but simply the reality that they are no longer the only fish in their pond and that America and the world is struggling to keep up with the fifteen singing competitions on television. Some may watch all of them with glee, but most people are going to choose one or the other at some point and the ratings for each show will reflect that. I think the problem with their ratings is that they still expect to match the ratings they saw when they were starting out on top.

Maybe the reason that so many people are facing financial troubles is because commercials and retailers are telling us that we need more when we don’t. When there is so much out there to buy, our choices don’t seem as excessive as they are because there is still so much out there that we haven’t bought yet. I know there are also more serious problems like unemployment and a high cost of living, but many of us would be able to save a lot more money if we simply spent less – myself included.

What do you think?

Do you ever find yourself suffering from too much of a good thing?

family fun photography

beautiful and resilient

flowers that bloom in spite of my lack of green thumbs


  1. (of a substance or object) Able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed.
  2. (of a person or animal) Able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.

In spite of my complete lack of green thumbs, this pretty plant just keeps on keeping on – it is currently the only plant that is blooming and possibly thriving with no thanks to yours truly, I’m sure. Further research has revealed that their virility is not the least surprising:

They are called a Luscious Berry Blend of Lantana camara – according to Wikipedia, “West Indian Lantana has become popular in gardens for its hardy nature. It is not affected by pests or disease, has low water requirements, and is tolerant of extreme heat. It is a favorite species of butterflies, and used in butterfly gardens in the United States.” It’s also apparently considered an invasive species – a really pretty invasive species, so it has something in common with my daughter.

sorry, this seat is taken
sorry, this seat is taken

Proven Winners says “If you are looking for a tough plant it’s hard to beat lantana. Lantana are heat tolerant, use little to no supplemental water in the landscape, will tolerate less than ideal soils and usually don’t need to be deadheaded. If you are looking for a plant that will thrive on neglect, lantana is the champ. Lantana come in many shapes, sizes and habits. Check size and habit information for the specific variety you are choosing to make sure it fits your needs. Lantana can be trimmed back at anytime to shape or to promote increased branching.”

Important Note: The leaves of lantana can be toxic to animals, so remind your puppies and ponies not to consume them.

"Remember Doc, the lantanas are not bananas."
remember Doc, the lantanas are not bananas