Sometimes you work and work and work really hard to make the right choices in life. You say no to a bunch of things like cigarettes and cheese burgers even though your brain tells you that you might really need cigarettes and cheese burgers to be happy. Eventually, you get to a place where your brain tells you to eat a vegetable instead of smoking a cigarette or eating a cheese burger and that is strange. And then, it happens all the time, and then you never want a cigarette or a cheese burger again. And that feels weird, but right. Your friends who like cigarettes and cheese burgers think you are a pretentious dummy, and you try not to judge but you feel superior.
And then you go to Whole Foods.
And you are wheeling a little shopping cart around the store after coming close to having a coronary in the parking lot, and all the choices have been made for you. You do the math in your head and realize that you are spending most of your pay cheque on crackers and sprouts. And you can buy fake cheese to put on your fake burger and you line up with basically nothing to eat in your cart. You have a strange sinking feeling that you hate everyone in the store, so much, because they are always in your way or they are rude or they are buying real burgers. And you realize: you are not any better. All that yoga and fake cheese, imagine what you would be like if you didn’t do all that? Frightening.
Ugh. Whole Foods.
I have been to the Whole Foods in Toronto and the one in the suburbs. And I am inured. Maybe the Toronto pushy is a pushy I am used to. Maybe it is because our country in so big, we tend to spread out a little. I’m not sure. But whenever we travel in the US, I look up the nearest Whole Foods expecting that I will be spending most of our vacation eating from the coconut yogurt aisles. And we do. But I often come away with such serious doubts about my life choices afterwards. For example:
1. Seriously, what is the deal with the Whole Foods parking lot? Three days ago I watched a man on a phone back his Porsche up into a police officer and then shrug when the cop yelled at him. AND the cop just kept walking because he was in a hurry to buy kale like the other 40 million people crammed in the store that day.
That same day, we tried to leave the parking lot, but realized the car line-up to leave was over 30 minutes long. I had a weird feeling like I might die in the Whole Foods parking lot. But I also felt better because we had purchased strawberry popsicles sweetened with brown rice syrup. So we ate them and and we listened to the cars honking at one another. Just as an aside – if the driver of the first car in line isn’t busy backing up into a cop but waiting for a break in traffic – then why honk? I don’t really get it. I mean, if you own a Range Rover than you probably get a pay cheque and so you have to be smart enough to get to work and make someone pay you, so it follows that you should be smart enough to figure out that honking might not solve your problem in this instance. Anyway, we ate our popsicles on the stoop and waited until the parking lot had cleared. Later I read that the popsicles also contained white sugar and I felt stupid.
I found a video about the Whole Foods Parking Lot! I think I am late to the party. but it made me laugh.
2. White sugar: Often when I go to Whole Foods, I think to myself, “Stanny, this is Whole Foods. Where EVERYTHING is healthy and a whole food. You can buy whatever you want!” But when I leave, I realize that I spent Holden’s college fund on every vegan product in the world that contains sugar. I know this, and yet I continue to make this choice over and over again. I dream of the day when I can walk into Whole Foods with my eyes truly open and my cerebral cortex functioning and say to myself, “Stanny, that vegan chocolate mousse is not a whole food. It is vegan and it has tofu and it is a million dollars, but that doesn’t make it good or healthy or worthwhile.” Sigh, dreams.
3. MindReading: There is something a little unsettling about the fact that while I often think I am a unique snowflake, Whole Foods all over North America has me figured out. How do they know that I, a struggling yoga teacher, would pay a million dollars for vegan chocolate mousse? That means the store is filled with people just like me who can’t resist the temptation of vegan chocolate mousse. And that seems so sad and strange and depressing. It also furthers my belief that in a zombie apocalypse I will be the first to go. My neighbours will come and eat me and I will spend the rest of my undead life chasing cats for supper and shuffling my ethically-sourced vegan boots around.
Thanks Whole Foods.
So, Miami. Do you really want to see? Are you living under a mountain of snow right now? Can you imagine that some people live in a place that is like this in February? I will be shovelling out my car soon enough, don’t worry.