It is a good thing I am no longer judgmental
August 14, 2006
I went grocery shopping today.
And honestly it was completely uneventful, so uneventful that I thought wow, I have nothing at all interesting to write about this shopping trip other than the fact that the crowd of people surrounding the day old baked goods disturbed me. Do stale donuts and pasteries taste better than cardboard when they are 50% off? Personally I would prefer to purchase full priced fresh baked goods.
Call me crazy like that.
I finished my shopping and chose the checkout that only had one person in the line. I pulled up and began unloading my things on to the conveyor belt.
The woman ahead of me in line looked at me, smiled and gave a little nod. It was almost a conspiratorial nod. Like we were in on some sort of secret. Only no one had told me the secret. Did I know her from somewhere I wondered, though that seemed unlikely since I don’t know many people. Even after living in this “neck of the woods”, as they say, for eleven years. I still feel like a stranger in a strange land. Like a person biding their time until they can move away to the place where theya re supposed to live.
But then I realized.
The only things I had put up on the conveyor belt thus far were 6 half gallons of organic soy milk, and 2 half gallons of organic rice milk. A quick glance at her groceries confirmed it.
She thought I was one of them.
In front of her, that I could see, were organically grown grapes, hormone free meat, Newman’s Own salad dressing, as well as an assortment of vegetables that I would be hard pressed to identify. I hated to disappoint her. But it had to be done.
I began pulling the rest of my groceries out from my cart.
What do my groceries say about me? I wondered. Suburban housewife who feeds her kids junk food, lets them play with colorful molded plastic toys, and watch commercial television.
The exact sort of parent I swore I would never be? Honey Nut Cheerios, Honeycombs, Hershey’s chocolate syrup, double stuff mint oreos,the regular meat that is laden with hormones and antibiotics and is going to kill me and make my sons grow breasts. Then I pulled the Wonder bread out. 6 loaves of it. And since I only had my 5 yr old with me, 6 loaves did seem a tad excessive.
I wanted to point out the hummus and say something like, “I like falafel too!” or in the spirit of Mom 101, “Hummus is the people’s dip.” But that just seemed weird.
And anyway, from the look she gave me you would have thought that I had squirted my mouth full of cheez whiz and pounded back a piss warm can of Pabst Blue Ribbon right there at the checkout. She was revolted.
But the best part by far was when my five year old ran around from the neighboring checkout, his hand clutching a chocolate chip cookie the size of his face and grabbed a pear from her pile of groceries, held it up, and shouted, “What the hell is this?”
And really how do you answer that one. Other than the obvious, which is to yell, with increasing intensity, “Oh my god, put that disgusting thing down. Put it DOWN. PUT IT DOWN!!!”
I am sure she needed something to write about on her blog. So that was my gift to her.
Then I gave her a little conspiratorial nod. And fought the urge to pat her waif like daughter on the head and tell her, “I know that cookie looks good. But I think your mother bought some yummy roots for you to gnaw on. Mmmmmmm, I bet you can hardly wait!”
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