6.18.2008

too observant sometimes

I don't frequent Whole Food often. Although the quality is always there, it's too pricey. But, the Mister needs special food for his wheat allergy so I brave it once a month or so and stock up on a few unique needs I can't find anywhere else. I wish I knew enough about gourmet foods like one of my best buddies, Lindsey, to appreciate all it offers the way a true foodie does. But I don't.

Regardless, it always strikes me as an interesting crowd, no matter the geography (AZ, CT, NY, CA) it seems pretty similar. The workers are mostly young men that seem to be in their mid-twenties. They always have carefully crafted and exposed tattoos (at least 13 on each arm), well groomed nails that are cleaner than mine and the latest indie hairdo. They each look like they are members of a band on the verge of getting signed. Probably play gigs on the weekends and hold at least 4 jobs throughout the week to make ends meet. They are experts at their work post, telling you exactly where this cheese came from and how it is different than the 832 others beside it.

The shoppers are generally women in their late 40s and beyond with well-pressed khaki pants; pleats in the front. They normally have a perfectly rounded bob hairdo and the kind of purse you saw in Vogue last week. That group doesn't budge to allow you through the aisle while they spend 45 minutes reading the back of a jar and checking out the cheese boy. They glare often, are rarely friendly. They make the experience almost painful as I try to navigate around them.

I have started to see a fresh generation of young mothers. The organic thing is huge here, so maybe the young mom factor is just a west coast anomaly. I always want to take them by the hand and tell them about the more affordable choice, Trader Joe's down the block. Those moms always have the wacky cloth fabric with geometric patterns on it inside the baby seat portion of the cart. I guess shopping carts aren't organic? I love how friendly they are and our babies usually babble together for a few moments. Sometimes she is a hippie, although mostly these days she is a hipster.

Sprinkled lightly into the mix is a small assortment of men. It's like they read somewhere Whole Foods was a great place to meet women. So on they wander looking confused with one item in the cart scoping the scene, waiting for a hottie to show up. Super try-to-be preppy but still cool and tough and edgy sort of looking. It's like that whole generation of guys that wore Big Johnson shirts in the 90s with braided belts grew up and went shopping. It's always interesting to me what a contrast they are compared to those working behind the counters. I would like to see the boy shoppers and boy workers fight. Maybe have a cheese fight snowball style in the wine aisle. And in the final round: soup cans. I always walk away thinking what total pussies some of the men look like shopping there for some reason.

It's alright, though, because me? I don't fit in either. My hair is a wreck, puke stains on my shirt from the non-organic baby, I am certain one of the milk jugs sprung a leak, and the kids are messy from lunch. I am sure they wonder who let the disheveled housekeeper into Whole Foods.

What?! Didn't I say I was working on that whole judging thing?
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