Everyone needs a place where they feel they belong. A place of camaraderie where you will feel comfortable no matter what. I have found in my lifetime that I possess the ability to become a bit of a chameleon, able to blend into most situations with relative ease. I rarely embarrass myself or find myself worried about what others think of me.
There is one major exception to this rule, though. There is one place I will never quite feel at ease.
Whole Foods is not for me.
For those who do not have the luxury of visiting a Whole Foods, let me explain. Inside of a Whole Foods, you will find every health food imaginable to mankind. They cater to a very specific clientele, stocking issues of “The Atlantic” at the registers in place of “People” or “Us Weekly” as they have figured most people shopping for fennel and Gnocchi di Polenta are more interested in reading about the latest state of U.S. politics than whether or not Kanye and Kim Kardashian are on the rocks. They sell every whole grain imaginable and will freshly grind locally roasted coffee at your request.
On the surface, this all seems very nice. I would like to fancy myself a person who could enjoy a wood-fired pizza with Stracchino and Arugula. The only problem is I really would prefer a pepperoni pizza and have no idea what Stracchino or Arugula are. I would bet there is cheese involved somewhere in the pizza, but aside from that I am at a complete loss.
Clearly this is the last place I should ever visit.
At some point in the last few months, my wife developed the fantastic idea of making our own toiletries. If I had to blame someone for this decision, I would quickly point my fingers at the creator of Pinterest. Before I knew it, we were constantly on the hunt for things like “essential oils”, a product that must not be all that essential as the only place they can be found is inside this superior grocery store.
As we wandered the aisles tonight pursuing Thieves Oil, I looked about at the patrons. They meandered from gluten-free brownies to organic vegan cane sugar with their noses pointed to the ceiling. I watched, knowing that the moment I pass by them, they will look at their shopping compatriot as if to say, “Oh look! That Walmart shopper got lost and ended up in Whole Foods! He must be so confused.” Then they would pick up their milled flax-seed and head to the Sacha Inchi snacks.
I passed the Kombucha tea and headed down an aisle, finding myself surrounded by anything organic or gluten-free that you could imagine. As I wandered down the aisle, I was reminded of the empty bag of generic Doritos in our trash at home. Not only had we bought food that was the exact opposite of organic or gluten-free, but we had bought a cheap generic version. Then we had the gall to eat it. I imagine that the couple shopping for Goat Milk soap would be horrified to know of the atrocities that had been perpetrated on our bodies.
We continued on, passing the artisan cheeses and various tofu products on our way to an aisle full of the ingredients that apparently are used in soaps. We crossed items of our list, picking up items like aloe gel and Xylitol, a sweetener that apparently makes mouth wash not taste terrible. We headed to the checkout, passing by the premade soaps, toothpastes, and mouthwashes. Being the supportive husband, I did not mention this as we waited in line next to The Atlantic, a biking magazine, and some sort of organic chocolate that I am willing to bet does not taste as good as a Reese’s cup.
At some point, I guess I could see myself becoming very interested in shopping at a place like Whole Foods. Eating healthier does allow you to live longer, and I am opposed to death, so Whole Foods might not be that bad. Maybe that is a sign I am growing up. I can at least imagine a world where Virgil’s Clementine Naturally Flavored Juice Beverage could replace a can of Diet Mountain Dew in my hand. I might even give some of their meatless breakfast patties a shot.
I will never feel comfortable, though, until the exploits of Kanye and Kim greet me at the register. After all, that is as relevant as an article discussing the effect of the educational common core on children with special needs.
I mean, if those two kids can’t make it, what hope is there for the rest of us?