This was so close to being a love letter. Remember the beginning of the pandemic when we were like Seth and Summer in mid-Spiderman kiss (yes, I’m rewatching the OC)? I’d avoid entering the plague-ridden supermarket and you’d get a 5-star review and a big tip, no matter how many items were “unavailable” or how many questionable substitutions you made? It was a win-win.
Sure, it was a little annoying that you don’t just have a button to click that says “no substitutes.” And even if you did, no substitutes has a funny way of becoming “no items.” Your poor shoppers are so overworked and motivated to shop quickly to maximize their income that they don’t have time to find stuff like “corn tortillas” or “fresh mozzarella” or anything that they can’t frantically shove in their carts in seconds like they’re finalists on Supermarket Sweep. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve yelled, “I KNOW THEY HAVE CORN TORTILLAS!” at my phone. Have you seen the tortilla section? Finding tortillas in the tortilla aisle is as reliable as finding money in the banana stand. There are always tortillas in the tortilla aisle. And remember that time you delivered 6 bunches of bananas instead of 6 bananas? How we laughed (and made banana bread)!
Then shit started to go down. But still, I stuck by your side that time I had to exchange 47 messages in one hour with the shopper. Okay to substitute spinach for kale? Do you like these strawberries? Does this shopping cart make me look fat? If I wanted to text with someone non-stop for an hour, it would be my mom friends and it would be an airing of grievances, NOT SINGLE-CATEGORY JEOPARDY WITH YOU, INSTACART SHOPPER! I was steadfast when you got my pizza dough, pizza sauce, and then subbed cheddar cheese for mozzarella. Read the (pizza) room, Instacart. NO ONE MAKES PIZZA WITH CHEDDAR CHEESE!
Despite my better instincts, I was willing to live in the precarious netherworld between not getting half my groceries and having an unpaid internship as an Instacart shopping consultant. But this, this was the final straw.
Imagine throwing a little ice cream party. You go on Instacart and order the essentials: assorted ice cream flavors, whipped cream, hot fudge, cherries, and of course, Thicker Full Hair Cell-U-Plex Pure Plant Extracts Marine Flora Complex Instantly Thick Serum and Swiffer Sweeper Dry Sweeping Pad Multi Surface Refills. Are you nodding along Instacart? Because you shouldn’t be. Swiffer Sweepers are not chocolate sprinkle substitutes. Not even the dry ones. And have you had…ice cream? Because I’m pretty sure even vegans don’t eat it with plant-based hair serum.
So we are at an impasse. I can either waste my Instacart membership and risk a breakthrough case of the Delta variant by doing my own shopping, or commit to a life of agita, clean floors, shiny hair and inedible sundaes. I guess I should cut back on my ice cream consumption anyway. Sigh. Five stars.