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Weekend Life

Tales from the Motherhood: Spacey Sunday results in Trader Joe’s debacle

I felt so spaced out on my way home from the walk-in clinic last Sunday that I decided my purse had been stolen at Trader Joe’s.

I needed tissues and chocolate – very important recovery food – but couldn’t find my purse by the time I reached the register. I told the manager I thought it had been stolen out of my cart or something, so he very kindly ran around looking for it.

I did, too, at first. (Confession – I didn’t exactly run. Bad things happen when I run, plus, I was too wiped out from my ear infection to get too excited, even about this.) But then I sort of loitered by the door. You know, to see if anyone walked out with it.

But I really wasn’t up to playing crime-stopper.

I felt for my keys in my pocket, knew the antibiotics to treat my ear infection were still in the car and figured that’s all I really needed – in the short term.

I knew that the person with my purse wouldn’t find any cash and that my credit union would help if my debit card was ever used (which, now that I think about it, I actually left behind at Trader Joe’s the week before. Wow.)

What preoccupied me most, though, as I leaned against the window by the exit, was that the receipt and warranty information for my daughter’s iPod, which is damaged and may need repairs, were still in my purse. Not having those would surely cause me the most grief, I realized, as I sighed and watched the nice manager jog another lap around the clementine display.

“Excuse me, ma’am,” someone said, stirring me from my reverie as he tried to get past me with his cart. I hadn’t realized I was pretty much blocking the exit. I’m pretty sure he decided I had issues when I snuck a peek at his cold cuts. What else could I do? I couldn’t even call my purse in an effort to locate it because my phone was out of juice.

The manager suggested I run out to my car to see if I left my purse there, (probably so he could lock me out, ha ha!) but I knew I’d tucked my sunglasses into it when I entered the store. I shrugged apologetically. I was so tired. All I wanted to do was curl up with my tissues and Powerberries.

He smiled and said, “This doesn’t happen at Trader Joe’s” and made a casual suggestion over the public address system that everyone look at their carts to be sure they had the right one.

A moment later Ms. Bonnie, the lovely and ever-helpful sample-lady on duty, showed up with my cart. You know, the one with my purse in it. Seems I’d left it behind after sampling the shrimp and stolen someone else’s!

This wasn’t the first time Bonnie saved the day. Three or four years ago, the day before Thanksgiving, I learned I’d be hosting our vegetarian, celebrity clown friend for the big feast, (who lives in Munich and whom we hadn’t seen in years, and arrived for dinner moments after my food disposal burped up vegetable scraps, backing up rather dramatically into my kitchen sink – it wasn’t pretty, but I digress.) She recommended the Tofurky. Our clown friend loved it and so did my daughter.

Love that Bonnie! She loved me back with one of her generous hugs as she presented me with my shopping cart last Sunday, but even so, I may have to wear a disguise on my next visit to Trader Joe’s.

• Jennifer DuBose lives in Batavia with her husband, Todd, and their two children, Noah and Holly. Contact her at

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