Yesterday, I had to go grocery shopping and I hate grocery shopping. I hate it because I have to put on a bra and Outside Pants. I hate it because going to the co-op agitates me. The parking lot is a nightmare and, inside, people walk through aisles slowly, like zombies with alternative hairstyles and a penchant for hemp. I hate it because I also have to go to the regular store because sometimes you really need Ore Ida tater tots and Happy Valley Organic Spud Puppies grown in fresh compost and tended to by liberal arts grads living off the grid won't do. I used to reward myself for going to the co-op by getting myself a muffin from the bakery but then I had a terrible experience with a whole wheat, agave-sweetened cherry walnut muffin and I've never been the same.
When Luisa is traveling, I have to go shopping but when Luisa is here, I try to avoid it by hiding or pretending to be very busy or claiming that I can't get up because the cat is on my lap. But yesterday, Luisa was busy and we had absolutely nothing left in the house but Halloween candy.
I arrived at the co-op and the parking lot had plenty of open spaces and I took this as a good sign but then I went inside and it was filled with hemp zombies and everyone was ambling and obstructing my path and I couldn't get to the fruit because there was a guy who needed to squeeze every single orange before he could choose which ones he wanted. He grabbed and squeezed and I'm pretty sure he was whispering sweet nothings to them! Why couldn't he just grab four or five oranges and shove them in the bag like a normal person?
I made it through the produce section and my progress stopped when I hit the dairy case because there was a woman reading the label on every single product in the dairy case, reading them like she had all the time in the world, reading them like each one contained part of a story and then "to be continued" at the bottom of the label and she couldn't wait to savor the next part of the story. I needed a half gallon of milk and some half and half and I waited and waited and waited. My goal is to finish shopping as quickly as possible, however, if I were a Reader of Every Label and noticed someone wanting to get something, I would step aside. This woman did not. It's milk lady, not War and Peace.
The meat counter was a bright spot because there was no line and the meat guy was friendly but not chatty. I got my sliced turkey and was off like a flash! I sped through the bulk foods and dry goods and found a short check out line--only one person in front of me--and I could almost taste grocery shopping victory. I unloaded my stuff and looked up to give my member number and saw that the person in front of me had not finished her purchase yet. She was leaning on the counter extolling the virtues of persimmons. She held in her delicate hipster hand a persimmon and she brought it to her nose and breathed in deeply and a beatific smile appeared on her face and she said to the cashier, "There is nothing better than the smell of a fresh persimmon."
It took all my strength to resist yelling, "Are you kidding me?!" Because here's the thing...I ate a persimmon once. I was seven years old and we had a persimmon tree in our yard and I probably said something to my mother like, "Why are those tomatoes growing in that tree?" and she told me they were persimmons. I had never had a persimmon and I had never seen anyone eat one so I asked her if they were edible and she said something noncommittal like, "I suppose." Eventually, those persimmons ripened and some of them fell on the ground and I was bored one day and I plucked one off the ground and ate it and it was so bitter that I nearly died. It was the worst thing I had ever put in my mouth, which is saying a lot because my brother used to trick me into licking 9 volt batteries. Yes, I did it more than once but that is not the point. The point is that the persimmon didn't smell like anything other than Weird Thing from Tree and it tasted like something that no one should ever eat. As the hipster continued to sniff her persimmon and smile, all I could think is "I don't understand the world! Why is everyone trying so hard to like awful things?" and that's when I realized that I'm old.
So now, I can add "makes me feel old" to the reasons I hate grocery shopping. Next time, I will have to do a better job of hiding or get more cats or burn all my Outside Pants. I can't go back.
Photo Credit: Organic.com