Tuesday, January 8, 2008

"An Ounce of Pretension's Worth a Pound of Manure"*

My classes don't start again until next week, so I've got a little extra time on my hands right now. My husband, the foodie in our family, got some fancy new cookbooks for Christmas, and asked me to stop by Whole Foods to get some ingredients for him. Easier said than done!

To digress for a minute, I must explain that I am just not that into food. I mean, I love to eat it, but I don't like to talk about it, or watch a show about it, or read about it, or prepare it. As a wife, I've often experienced that anxious "what am I going to fix for dinner?" feeling that sets in right after lunch, and I always find myself wishing that humans didn't have to eat all the time. I mean, if you stop to think about it, eating takes up so much time and energy that could be better spent doing something else. Like shopping. Take it from someone who eats 4-5 small meals a day!

Needless to say, stopping by Whole Foods is not my idea of fun. My rare excursions there usually involve the single purchase of some fabulous cosmetic or fragrance (Organic? Who cares? All I know is it smells delicious!) that can't be procured at a department store. Once those doors open and I set foot inside, it's like the first day of junior high all over again. I begin to doubt my own intelligence and the appropriateness of my leather purse. Where is the freaking ear-shaped pasta? How come nobody's wearing a bra but me?

I mean, I get it. I really do. I know there's a reason to worry about the safety of our food and where it comes from. I know there's an energy crisis and global warming is threatening our world. Al Gore showed us that in his movie, and then he went on to depress us even more with those boring slideshows and endless shots of him staring pensively out the window, like a doomed heroine in a Victorian novel. "Come back, come back to me, normal weather patterns!"

But why does it have to feel so fake, like you're doing a good deed just by shopping there? Is it just me feeling out of my element, or is the girl in front of me buying organic tampons (I swear on my box of Stayfree with Wings!) trying too hard to be cool?

*to quote Steel Magnolias once again