beauty · COVID-19 · food · slice of life

My Allegiances Have Changed

Recently, Marc and I took our kids into one of the local Giant grocery stores since we needed several items that couldn’t wait for the big Sunday shopping. (If you’re a long-time reader of this blog, then you know I’ve been a loyal Giant customer ever since we moved to Central PA nearly a dozen years ago.) Moments after walking into the store, Isabelle and I spotted three people without masks and several more who were wearing them incorrectly. At every turn, there were noses and mouths in our line of sight. Seeing as my kids aren’t vaccinated, Isabelle and I split up from Marc and Ari so we could get what we needed as quickly as possible and get out of the store.

Now, you might think, just call the store manager. Well, I’ve done this at more than one of the local Giant grocery stores. Nothing seems to change. Things have gotten worse ever since the vaccine came out. Therefore, when we needed more deli meat this morning, I told Marc, “I’ve had it with Giant. I’m going to Stauffers today and I’m going to buy several kinds of turkey for you to try. I refuse to put the kids at risk for a preferred brand of deli meat.” (We’ve been discussing the deli dilemma for a while so this announcement didn’t come as a shock to him.)

The kids and I arrived at Stauffers and were greeted by this sign at the entrance:

I had heard Stauffers of Kissel Hill, which is a local grocery and gardening store chain, has been strict about masking in the supermarket during Covid. In fact, the couple of times I’ve been there in the past year, I always noticed how clean it was. But they don’t carry our preferred brand of deli meat, which is why I haven’t shopped there consistently.

I looked at the sign and declared to the kids, “This is my kind of grocery store.”

As we walked inside, I cleaned my cart (pulling from the ample supply of cart wipes) and walked to the deli with the kids where I proceeded to buy multiple kinds of turkey breast for Marc to sample at lunchtime. Then, we moseyed around the store since people were following the masking guidelines. Imagine that!??!

* * * * *

In the late afternoon, I went downtown to a new stylist for a haircut. NOTE: There was nothing wrong with my former stylist. She’s given me great cuts for the past decade! However, she works in a salon that’s located in a health club where masks are optional. Last fall, I told her I needed to find somewhere else to get my hair cut until I was vaccinated and the case rates came down. (I didn’t want her to think it had anything to do with her on a personal level.) She understood. I saw a new stylist in November who worked in a salon that’s Covid-safe, but the cut she gave me was mediocre and the one she gave Isabelle was dreadful. Therefore, I made an appointment another stylist, but I had to wait five months to get in!

This afternoon, I donned my mask and drove to downtown Lancaster for a fabulous curly cut. Before I sat down in the new stylist’s chair, I told her who’s been cutting my hair for the past decade and why I made a switch because of the mask-optional building she works in. She seemed shocked since she, too, didn’t feel that masking in an indoor space should be optional during a global pandemic.

I got a precise cut that brought my curls back to life. Once I was out of the chair I made an appointment for Isabelle to see this new stylist in late June. I’m confident she’ll work wonders with Isabelle’s curls too.


The grocery store in the early morning and the haircut in the last afternoon have me rethinking my allegiances. And while it may seem like a no-brainer to some people, this has been hard for me. I’m a brand loyal person. (I haven’t willingly used anything other than Colgate toothpaste since I was old enough to make my wishes known to my Crest-loving parents as a young child.) However, the pandemic has made me put health and safety first. While I’m vaccinated, I am unwilling to take unnecessary risks since I understand one could still get coronavirus, albeit less severe, after vaccination. Plus, it’ll be months before my kids get their vaccinations. Therefore, I’m choosing to support businesses that are doing their part to keep me and my family safe.

Head over to Two Writing Teachers for more slice of life stories.

13 thoughts on “My Allegiances Have Changed

  1. Oh, Stacey, I totally get it! This horrible virus has us all rethinking so many things. I am with you on the abundance of caution too. Allegiances are not a given when there’s a stronger pull.

  2. First, you look stunning in those photos. Your hair is gorgeous.

    We have the same cavalier attitude about masks to deal with here. Idaho is crazy town these days anyway. Costco used to be great about enforcing the mask policy. Now the local manager is choosing not to enforce the corporate policy. I go bonkers every time I have to shop because there is no store here enforcing their own policies. I totally get your point about these businesses. Every person not wearing a mask is contributing to the virus mutating and spreading. They are wreckless, awful people. We’ll never see the end of this pandemic w/ so many fools roaming among us.

  3. I so agree! We have choose to support those who support health and safety as well. It does mean changing things but I have found sometimes change is a good thing.

  4. Well, hello gorgeous! I really appreciated this post. It seems so strange that a matter of public health would become a political hot button. But here we are!

  5. Staceyj, I feel your pain. I, too, am a loyal customer, but I’ve been forced because mask compliance is not a priority in some places, to change my loyalty. Our Giant does enforce mask wearing, but our hardware store does not. It’s important to me that people wear masks indoors even though I’ve been vaccinated. Because of chemotherapy, I’m not sure how effective the vaccine has been for me. Anyway, you got a GREAT haircut. I love it.

  6. Absolutely. I’m getting so frustrated with lax enforcement of masks and people who seem to enjoy wearing their masks incorrectly just to make a point. I love the new store’s sign! I also loved your line, “I refuse to put my children at risk for a brand of deli meat.” And oh my goodness, your hair is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

  7. Here in Ontario masks are NOT an option. I’m with you: I’d change my loyalties over this. And, while I’m a Crest girl myself, I think that new stylist you’ve found is one to keep around for a while – even if you have to wait months for an appointment: she knows her way around your gorgeous curls!

  8. Way to take control and make decisions for your family that make you all feel safe and comfortable. Your curls look amazing. My curly haired kids are long overdue for a cut!

  9. Good for you! We, too, have noticed the drop in masking since the vaccines have been made available. When we visited our cabin in northern WI this past weekend, it was even more noticeable at the convenience store we frequent at the halfway mark and in town at the local Walmart. We weren’t pleased. Now, I hear that local school districts (my boys are long gone from k-12 education) are seeing parents demand and threaten boards of education about masking policies. These groups of angry parents want the masking to be an option or dropped altogether. As a former nurse practitioner married to a former ER doc, we will continue to wear our masks! (And, I will continue to make them!) Take care, Stacey! And, your hair looks great!

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