In a one-hour period last week I saw two things that made me fearful for humanity. It’s not like I was looking for signs of the apocalypse. I swear. I was just running errands and minding my own business as best I could. I have to add that caveat because as some of you may have figured out by now MYOBing is a skill set I’ve yet to master. But I promise I was very focused on my To Do list and not looking to be amazed at the idiocy of humankind.
My first moment of we’re all doomed was at an organic grocery store. I was there to buy cheese puffs. I got you there right? You thought I was going to say arugula or radicchio. But no, it was puffs I was after. Specifically puffs to pack in my 15-year-old daughter’s lunch. Did I care if they were organic? Absolutely not. My main concern was cheese puff coating transfer and cheese veneer vulnerability. You see these “healthy” puffs are the only ones I found that don’t shed their orange patina all over your hands. Apparently, having your fingers working a day glow hue is not socially acceptable in a high school cafeteria setting.
So, there I was ambling through the store with my two bags of puffs that I think were garnering me some food shaming looks. I get it. Most of the shoppers have their organic cart swagger going on. They’re loaded up with the no’s. As in no GMO, no gluten, no preservatives, no additives, no dyes and no unhappy dairy cows and there I am double fisting cheese puffs. Also, the majority of the clientele are all sporty in their Lycra leggings, Patagonia jackets and boots that cost more than my house payment while I’m wearing Old Navy corduroys. This means that when I walk my thighs rub together making a sound that can best be described as a symphony of cheese graters.
Now, while I’m making music I notice the trifecta of disgusting. It was so gross I almost dropped my puffs. At not one, but two of the sample stands people, grown people, were 1) Free range sneezing like their snot had healing properties and needed to be shared all over the samples. 2) Fondling the samples so vigorously I felt violated just watching. 3) One woman licked, yes licked, samples and then put them back.
What is wrong with people? You’re paying a premium price for a strawberry that had a loving pre-harvest home life and yet you’re okay with using your bodily fluids as some sort of “all natural, gluten-free” marinade! I wanted to say something to the licker, but I was afraid to approach her. After all somebody that French kisses food items and then walks away can’t be all there mentally. (I did though give a heads up to the store management about their Typhoid Mary samples.)
My next stop was Macy’s when something so disturbing happened I still flinch thinking about it. As I’m looking through a sale rack, a lady, also pawing through the Ralph Lauren sportswear separates, is on her phone telling her child that grandma had just died. Yes, a death notification of a loved one was delivered in the women’s department at Macy’s AND the lady didn’t miss a beat as she relayed the news she checked a price tag. I didn’t even know the grandma and I released my grip on a darling lilac cashmere V-neck sweater for a moment of silence.
Even if I play devil’s advocate and run a couple of scenarios through my head like maybe grandma had been at death’s door for days, maybe the mom had told her daughter an hour ago that death was near or maybe even that grandma was a huge jerk whose family hated her – none of it equals sharing the news while shopping a clearance sale.
I was so alarmed I group texted my children, “When I pass on under no circumstances are you to deliver the news to anyone while rummaging through the remnants of a 60 percent off sale at Macy’s. I don’t care if you have WOW coupons.” I added, “I at least deserve the respect of a Nordstrom’s or Neiman Marcus notification.” I also threw in a safety tip “and for the love of God never eat a grocery store sample.”
Of course, I got nothing in the way of text reply from my children. When I texted again about the no reply my son sent back his usual response, “I really want out of the family group text” and my daughter totally dissed me with, what I think was, an eye roll emoji.
Whatever. My kids can discount what I saw and heard all they want, but I know a major case of dumbassery was going on that day.