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.