Monday, May 25, 2009

General peevishness

We're in a cycle in which everything in our house is breaking. It's ever so much fun when you lose home phone service on the Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend! And the refrigerator is periodically expelling puddles of water from underneath itself. I have been thinking of it as the "new" refrigerator, but today I realized it is nearly ten years old.

I went grocery shopping Sunday at Whole Foods, and I have never seen a crowd of more sour-faced, hostile, miserable, peevish, cross, huffy, churlish people. What was wrong with everybody? Was their hemp underwear itchy?

I understand grocery store etiquette--for example, I can't stand people who block the entire aisle with their carts and their bottoms while they bend over and contemplate whatever is on the bottom shelf, so I'm always careful to pull my cart as close to the side as possible, so other people can get by. Still, it IS necessary to stop moving, periodically in order actually put things in your cart. I mean, that is the whole point of grocery shopping, isn't it? BUYING THINGS? But no, some people had to indulge in glares and angry mutterings when all I did was cross their line of vision.

The scene was particularly savage in the bulk section. There was a shopper buying bulk spices, and there is room for just one shopper at a time at the spice shelf. So I waited behind her for her to finish. Meanwhile, another shopper came up, also wanting spices and when the original shopper moved away, this new shopper gave me an annoyed look and said in this sulky tone, "Oh, you can go ahead." Like she thought I had done something rude by not letting her get to the spices ahead of me and that she was making the sacrifice of the year by allowing me to select spices, completely disregarding the fact that I was there first. If she had been a frail old lady, or holding a screaming baby, or for some other reason appeared to have had a more urgent need for spices than I, I would have gladly let her go ahead of me, but it was clear that she felt ENTITLED to first crack at the spices regardless of whether or not someone had been waiting ahead of her. For this very reason, I took her passive-aggressive "Oh, you go ahead" at face value, and I bought my spices, dammit.

Whoa! Why so petty? I guess rubbing shoulders with a bunch of pissy hippies makes me cranky.


  1. I thought eating only organic put people in better moods because they don't get those mean chemicals in their body. Guess I was wrong!

    I know a place where people are crabby at all -- Italy!

  2. Bummer about the house repairs. It does seem like when it rains it pours.

    I refuse to go to Whole Foods on Saturdays because it's just utter mayhem then. Sunday nights tend to be great because no one is around.

  3. That would leave me feeling peevish too. Which is why I shop before 4 on weekdays.

  4. In our fair city the hippies shop at the local co-op and the farmers markets. Whole Foods is dominated by yuppies and trophy wives and other upscale types. They are the people of privilege and they are churlish because, hey, have you seen what the stock market's been doing lately? They have seen the future and it involves them eating generic cheese and washing it down with tap water. Not Pretty.

  5. At least you'd be gracious if confronted with my feisty toddler, even though I'd probably just go away and come back in a few minutes rather than go out of turn.

    I can't tell you how many times I've been pushed away from that spice shelf or WORSE--had Ronan pushed AWAY from me in the cart so that someone could try to squish in next to me. And there's no good place for a cart right there--I get that, but it's generally not a good idea to separate mother and two-year old. For starters, if anything is within reach, it will be clean-up on aisle spice & cheese. Also, if he's not screaming, he will be as soon as anyone LOOKS at him. Forget actually touching something he is in.

    I generally try to shop without kiddo (or with the manbeast to help baby-wrangle), but sometimes I just need an ounce or two of cumin seed. I don't do a massive spice/herb bulk buy where I have five million jars. At most, I buy two things, then clean up and leave.

    I'd shop at Rebecca's, but then everything would taste like incense. Ugh.

  6. Clean up on aisle spice and cheese! LOL. Wow, that's pretty nervy to move a cart that has somebody's child in it.