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Dear Marget,

First let me explain why I’m calling you Marget. If I used your real name (which rhymes with Marget and starts with T), some might accuse me of pandering. And although I‘m not concerned with compromising journalistic integrity (that happens every time my husband re-writes this column), I wouldn’t want to risk future opportunities to brownnose.

Marget, thank you for allowing yourself to become a big part of my life. Before I really knew you, I’d only visit if you were on my way someplace else: “I‘m going to stop by Marget on my way back from the library.” Now you’re that someplace else.

We see each other so often, I feel that I can call you friend. You were there when I was sick (Aleve, 100-ct, $7.99), when I needed comfort (Archer Farms ® Belgian Chocolate Ice Cream), when I needed shelter (rain poncho, $14.99) and nourishment (Luna bar, Iced Oatmeal Raisin). And you were there when I was a pig and ate too much comfort and nourishment (Tums Ultra 1000 - Assorted Berry).

Oh sure, there was that time I stopped by on my way to work and you wouldn’t open your door. Remember? It was 7:50 am and due to poor lighting and advanced age, I had put on shoes that were two different colors. All I wanted from you was something, anything in an 8 ½ that matched each other. I’d have worn two large pitas as long as they were the same bread. But no, your doors were locked. I have no one to blame by myself. You were always clear about needing your down-time, posting available hours on your front door, referring to them on your answering machine, and printing them on the back of those colorful notes you mischievously inserted in my Sunday newspaper.

Once I accepted the times you were accessible, yours became my home away from home -- assuming my home was 175,000 square feet. I’ve grown so dependent on you, my minivan automatically drives to your address. Just this past Monday I was on my way to the gym and missed the turn because I habitually headed toward my local Marget. It’s funny how often that happens, and how infrequently I turn around.

And let’s talk about your intuitive ability to know what I need before I do. It’s practically supernatural! For example, when I dropped in to pick up a birthday card and paper towels, I left with a birthday card, socks, loose leaf paper, a 6 qt Sterulite box, Suave 2-in-1 shampoo, AAA batteries, and a Kit-Kat bar. Marget, how did you do that? Then, when I went back for the paper towels, you reminded me that I needed another Kit-Kat bar. That does not only demonstrate your intuitiveness, it explains why I joined a gym … that I keep driving past.

It’s not just availability and thoughtfulness that makes you a good friend. Your fitting room doors run to the floor, your bathrooms are clean and easy to find, your sturdy plastic bags line my bathroom trash cans perfectly, your new roomy hand baskets have thick plastic handles that don’t dig into my palm after carrying two pounds of stuff that wasn’t on my list (see above). And imagine my surprise when you added a fresh section to your grocery department. Where did you find the room? Now I can get a chair, robe, slippers, bowl, spoon, cereal, bananas, and milk all in one trip! My favorite part about the new addition is that the frozen food aisles have motion sensor lights. When nobody’s around, I walk with my arms out and say, “Lights On!”

In closing, thank you, Marget, for everything. If you ever have a ‘life’ aisle, I look forward to getting one.

Your pal,
Jean Sorensen


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