Clean up on aisle beans

The other night, while ordering satan sausage and lentils from the People’s co-op deli, I noticed something so heartwarming. People’s has a sign that lists items they’ve run out of each day, and Monday’s list said “peanut butter.” A woman standing next to the sign grabbed a marker, smiled and said, “I just have to do this.” She drew a big, fat heart next to the peanut butter, made a little giggle, and then went about her grocery shopping. No tantrums. No disappointment. No eye rolling. Her simple gesture of acceptance & love wiped that resting bitch right off my face.

I notice the little things (like this), because they’re so magical! And because they stand in such stark contrast to the shitshow that is Whole Foods. I’m grateful to have access to nutritious food just steps away from my house, but sometimes I come out of that store wanting to cuntpunch someone real hard, and not in the endearing way I do to all my friends. A couple of months ago, for instance, I went to WF after work to purchase 2 items – cucumbers and garbanzo beans. I was very tired from not sleeping the night before. Sometimes if I watch too many episodes of that great new show called Twin Peaks before bedtime, I stay awake all night wondering  if it’s weird that I think the lead actor is hot…when he sorta looks just like my brother. Anyways, I walked down the cucumber aisle, and a produce guy approached me and said, “Wow, you look really tired.” Telling a woman she looks “really tired” is right up there with asking a woman if she’s pregnant.

I said this to the produce man – “Thank you so much for noticing. That’s really kind of you.” And walked toward the garbanzo beans aisle. Somewhere (probably over the rainbow) between the cucumbers and garbanzo beans, I picked up 8 more essential items (all related to chips and chocolate) and piled them precariously into my arms, wondering if the garbanzo beans were going to be the tipping point. But I didn’t have to wonder for long. On this particular day, I was wearing a classy pair of silver and brown heels, which have been known to slip & slide, despite my catlike balance. Meow. And the heels didn’t disappoint. They slid right out from under me, causing both my body and my 10 items to crash land next to the kombucha case. At the front of the store. On a Monday afternoon. Flat on my face.

There happened to be a guy stocking the kombucha case, and do you know how he responded? By staring at me and saying, “Wooooah.” He made no effort to help me or even ask if I was ok. At the very least, he could’ve laughed at me and told me about the time he fell down in front of a bunch of people, because everyone has a falling down story. They tend to get seared into your memory forever. Instead he just kept on sliding the kombuchas onto the shelves. They weren’t going to stock themselves, I suppose.

I looked at him and said, “Dude. What the fuck.” And then I piled everything back into my arms, stomped my cute heels halfway down the beans aisle, shoved all 10 items onto a shelf next to some broth, hearing the thud of the cucumber as it rolled off the shelf and out into the middle of the aisle… and hightailed it out of there. But not before walking past the produce guy and telling him, “Clean-up on aisle beans.”


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