Saturday, November 1, 2014

The (Missing Eighteen Minutes Of) Tape

First we got the huckleberries. Then we had to get a freezer to go with them. And then we had to get freezer tape.

Maybe many people would not need to get freezer tape, but it breaks my heart to buy new Ziploc bags. It breaks my heart to buy plastic at all, and we can't seem to avoid it. We clean all our Ziploc bags and reuse them until they burst into tears--they tear at the corners--and when we got our cute new little freezer, all I could think of was Mommy and her freezer, and she used freezer paper and freezer tape. So I knew it could be done. Naturally I already had freezer paper because it's useful in hand-applique and stenciling, but I didn't have freezer tape. Next time we went to Freddie's, I had freezer tape on my list.

Fred Meyer's has most everything you might ever need. Dave went off for groceries and I hove off to the aisle with the tin foil and freezer paper and looked for the tape. I looked up and down and I didn't find it. I talked to a nice fellow shopper and we commiserated. She couldn't find what she was looking for, either. It occurred to me that Freddie's might not carry freezer tape. Do they even make it anymore?

Eventually I bushwhacked over to the Scotch Tape aisle, where a Fred Meyer employee looked straight at me and said "are you looking for freezer tape?"

Dang! I don't think of myself as being that transparent, but perhaps I reveal more than I think I do. Maybe I should be more circumspect. On the other hand, "needing freezer tape" isn't much in the way of an emotion.

Turns out the other lady I'd spoken to had tipped off the employee about my freezer tape bereftness, and the employee had gone off to check out the tape aisle herself, anticipating my arrival. We looked hard. We didn't find any. She whipped out her phone and called another employee. "Dan's in charge of this whole section, but he used to work appliances," she mouthed to me, "and he says he knows for a fact that they have freezer tape over by the freezers. In one of those impulse-buy displays that sticks out from the shelves. They'll be hanging on it from those little clips."

That's a good idea, marketing-wise. I mean, if you're going to go to the trouble to find freezer tape in Fred Meyer's, and you finally find it, where better than right next to the freezers? "Here's my freezer tape," you'd say, "and look! I could get a freezer to go with it, right here!" It might not happen often, but for the tiny price of putting freezer tape in just the right spot, you could make a major sale.

Sadly, Dan, although reputed to be amazing, was mistaken. My new friend was already on the phone again and motioning me toward Hardware. Soon we were in front of yet another tape display: electrician's tape, blue masking tape, regular masking tape, frog tape, etc. "Monica does all the tape ordering," she confided. "I mean, for the whole region. She literally knows everything. There's a duct-tape deputy but she handles the rest," she said. "And she swears we have it, and it might be here." Her phone rang again. It was Marilyn, from Inventory, who, omigod, was awesome. "Marilyn says she's pretty sure she saw it over by the preserving section. Just by the mason jars and paraffin," she said. That made sense. "And that's aisle 28." Off we went again, hesitating briefly at the Garden Center, where we both shared a thought balloon ("Floral tape? Nah").

We scanned the shelves of canning supplies. No freezer tape. "You know, where you should have it, if I could make a suggestion, is next to the freezer paper, over in foils and wraps. That's the first place I looked."

"Good idea," my new friend said. "I'll talk to Jeremy about that. He does shelving and displays."

"Meanwhile, do you have a place for freezing containers? You know, Tupperware and Ziploc bags?"

"Sure. It's over there by the freezer paper and foils and wraps."

I went back to Freezer Paper. I stepped to the side and noticed, for the first time, a small display that jutted out from the shelves. Freezer tape was hanging from little clips all the way down. Bingo. "GOT IT,"  I bellowed to an aisle of startled plastic-wrap shoppers. I had my freezer tape and a nice quarter-mile hike under my belt and all the information I would need to run the Fred Meyer Human Resources Department.

It just goes to show. Sometimes the thing you're looking for is right in front of you. It doesn't work for car keys or reading glasses. Works great for inner peace, and freezer tape.

46 comments:

  1. Looks like masking tape...just sayin'.

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    1. Don't think I haven't mummified a number of items in freezer paper and masking tape. I'm assuming Freezer Tape doesn't come undone in cold temperatures, but neither does masking tape, in the right quantities.

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  2. glad you found it. Annie is right it does look like skinny masking tape.

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    1. I'd be afraid that duct tape would be toxic.

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    2. Really? Maybe I should go check on the cat.

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  3. You must be a joyful person. You can find fun---and new friends---even in searching for something mundane. Congrats!

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    1. Actually, both Dave and I think it's major entertainment to goof on store clerks. Sometimes we're a tag team.

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    2. So, you are not joyful; you are evil?
      Or joyfully evil. I'll go with that.

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    3. Not evil at all! We don't goof on store clerks unless they're laughing with us. The other ones are no fun at all.

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  4. The EXACT SAME event happened to me in the West Salem Safeway yesterday ( what are the odds?). Substitute shelled sunflower seeds for freezer tape, Produce Aisle for Appliances, Nuts and Chips for Foil and Tupperware. MY new best friend, the new store manager and I circled through the same three sections five times for an estimated .47 miles - I left the store empty handed but with full bladder. Re entering to use the Restroom, I spied my seeds in the bagged and chopped lettuce section. Even the produce employees were unaware of this unique placement ��

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    1. I wonder just how hard it would be to arrange a grocery store alphabetically? I used to know someone who put stuff in her refrigerator that way. You wouldn't have wanted to live with her.

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    2. store placement is mostly dictated by the manufacturers of the goods, they send reps into the store with specific layout maps to stock the shelves when a new product is introduced or when a new layout has been decided on. Like the candy displays at checkouts, many people blame the store for putting it there, but all we're doing is what we are told by the manufacturer.

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    3. ... and what the store is being paid for, by the manufacturer, I assume :)

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  5. I've heard of freezer tape. I think we even used it back in the day, but i don't really remember what it is.

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    1. Your mom used it on you, and you've blanked it out because of the trauma.

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  6. I had a similar experience with mason jar lids. I had an unexpected canning session ahead of me one evening and didn't have enough lids. I went to a very large, urban Home Depot just a few blocks away. The friendly greeter asked if he could help me. I asked where the mason jars were kept. "MASON JARS??!" he cried incredulously, "My grandma used to use them!" The guy had well over a decade on me and I am... well, a woman of a certain age. So I felt a bit Amish at that point. "We don't have MASON JARS!" he said, shaking his head. So I drove a couple miles to the suburbs, to a very small hardware store. Where they had an entire aisle of canning supplies! I felt vindicated; I was NOT anachronistic, merely incongruous. Whew!

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    1. Shoot. You should live in Portland--you'd find Your People. I'll bet half the kids under 35 here do canning (have a dog, and bike to work).

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  7. Never heard of freezer paper or freezer tape. We re-use our Ziplocks to some extent, but I am afraid of plastic getting into the foods as the bags break down?? Your trip sounds much like ours the other day when I was looking for an apple-peeler...without any success.

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    1. I'm afraid of plastic in general, but more for what it does to everything else than what it does to me. I guess I just figure something else is going to get me!

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  8. I did similar laps around Walmart some time ago trying to find lint rollers, because, you know, four cats. After awhile I actually forgot what I was looking for. Found some other stuff I didn't know I needed (I'm pretty sure this factors into placement of useful/useless stuff) and was going through the checkout when I saw ... lint rollers. But because I KNEW they'd be more expensive at the register, I went BACK through the store, located an employee (really, an astonishing feat on its own) who took me directly to the right spot. Which was not, I might add, the same spot they had been for the past three years. So I feel your pain, and your sense of triumph, and also our age, because I totally remember freezer paper and freezer tape. Boo-yah!

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    1. I was wondering: have you ever tried just rolling the lint roller on your cats? Would that work?

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    2. You have a cat, what do YOU think?

      When I was a teenager, we used to vacuum our dog. She liked it. I've briefly considered that with the cats, but we have an upright now and I'm afraid I'd crush them.

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    3. I think Tater would be okay with the roller, but she is never within three rooms or on the same floor as a vacuum cleaner.

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    4. To be honest, I actually have tried the lint roller on whatever cat is handy, but it doesn't pull the fur out of their coats. Brushing does, but dang it if they don't walk away after a brushing session, have one good shake, and leave a pool of fur regardless. I've given up on being cat hair free, basically, except for using a lint roller on myself as I'm backing out the door.

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    5. Have you ever tried to assemble a whole new cat with what you take out of the brush? Spoiler alert: I have. Well, it was a dog. Still.

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    6. Some people knit with dog and cat hair, and there are places you can send the hair you get from your pets to have it spun into yarn. I do not do this.

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    7. I once saw a nice Irish Wolfhound sweater.

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    8. Wouldn't a sweater knitted from dog hair stink on ice if you got caught in the rain?

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  9. Mixed emotions here. Laughter and pleasure for you of course. And a smidgeon of jealousy. Store employees here are experts at the 'I dunno's' 'If we have it, it is on the shelf' malarkey. And don't put themselves out for anyone.
    And everything in our home has a patina of cat fur. It is how we can tell it is ours...

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    1. That's how Freddie's employees used to be--well, not so much unhelpful as scarce to the point of invisibility. But I've had two experiences like this one in the last month. Someone's been hirin'. And trainin'. I should totally know that person's name.

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    2. I remember memorising the store layout almost entirely so I could direct people to where stuff was,"aisle 3 on the right hand side towards the back on a shelf about waist height, next to the ..." like that. Then they redid the fittings and rearranged the layout! buggers! Took me six months to relearn.

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    3. I'm thinking if you actually stocked the shelves, you'd have it down. This reminds me of learning a new postal route, and then all of a sudden, once you've got it all figured out, they stick you on a new one. Bleah.

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  10. I KNEW I left my inner peace around here somewhere. The life lessons one learns from freezer tape.

    Nicely done.

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    1. The tape is hanging off an impulse-buy display. The peace is in between the shelves. You have to unfocus your eyes. Meanwhile, everyone's at home waiting for you to bring the groceries home.

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    2. ^^ This comment alone: worth the price of admission. Although unfocused eyes might get one mistaken for a clerk.

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    3. I'd like to point out at this time that the price of admission is REALLY low. Well, unless you value your time...

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  11. I have never even heard of freezer tape. I use ziploc bags too until they tear, I get the double-zip ones for the freezer. I did the search and not find thing myself recently and the nice assistant pointed it out right where I had been searching.

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    1. I remain amazed on an almost daily basis at what we cannot see when it's RIGHT IN FRONT OF US.

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  12. Glad you are recycling: did you see the pictures of the marathon in Beijing, China. Do you ever feel like a dung beetle rolling your ball up Everest?
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    1. Well, now, I like that image a lot. That ups the ante. Because dung beetles roll their shit backwards. And when you're desperately sucking for oxygen, you definitely want a shitball in front of you.

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  13. No one has mentioned it yet, but per your title.....if Tricky Dick and his secretary had freezer tape, maybe Watergate would never have been discovered.

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    1. ...but what if there was a suspicious splice taken out of the freezer tape?

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  14. My wife learned that the best place to hide things in the refrigerator is in the front of the middle shelf. "He'll never find it there!" Unfortunately she is right again.

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    1. You can't see what is right in front of you. You are not alone. Not. Alone. By which I mean, my husband can't either.

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