Here’s the problem when I go to Whole Foods.
It starts with the intent to get 1 or 2 things. Like my Quorn vegetarian chicken patties, which are shockingly usually cheapest at Whole Foods. But I believe that Whole Foods is wholly designed to suck people into their over-priced, hippie-stocked lair because, the second I step in there, I am overcome by the scent of fresh flowers, which are ALWAYS kept by the entrance. Then the invisible hands of the Whole Foods marketing monster pull me to the visually-stunning cornucopia of colorful organic foods, with pictures of the happy little field workers who picked them, which triggers my first world guilt and suddenly makes me some kind of fucking humanitarian who buys into the bullshit being spoonfed to me by the marketing geniuses at Whole Foods headquarters.
“Oh my god,” my inner voice says, “this avocado is from Chile, where they’ve provided worker Manuel, the father of 5, a home for his family, complete with clean running water?? Fuck yes I will buy this overpriced avocado and eat it with pride, and pat myself on the back because I paid a whole dollar more per avocado so that little Anita, Manuel’s daughter with Spina Bifida, can have the hope of someday walking. This is the avocado of the people! This is a mother fucking FREEDOM avocado! VIVA LA AVOCADO!”
And I will stock my basket with five avocados, one for each of Manuel’s kids, and turn to go to the frozen foods section to get my Quorn vegetarian chicken patties. But wait, what’s this in the refrigerated produce section? A box of colorful edible flowers? I don’t even know how I’m supposed to eat edible flowers, but they are beautiful shades of purple and magenta and yellow and I’ve never in my life wanted to shove colors in my face-hole like I want to right now. They have to be organic, right? I mean, Monsanto cannot possibly have cornered the market on pretty, edible flowers. In the basket they go.
As I leave the produce section, daydreaming of eating purple, and finally headed to the freezer section, I pass my downfall: the beauty section.
I don’t know where Whole Foods procures their beauty section curators, but it’s like they scooped out the girliest part of my brain, which is essentially a Tiffany’s box full of lavender, butterflies, scented candles, rose water, pink ribbon, fluffy powder brushes, lip balms, lotion, beaded necklaces, peonies, and glitter, and just threw it at the shelves of their personal care section. So of course when I pass by it I’m like, “There’s the long lost part of my brain, let’s go see what it is up to!”, and I’m lost for another hour.
But sometimes these detours seem destined, as on my most recent trip to the Whole Foods beauty section, I made my usual Stop ‘n’ Sniff-it-All trip to the fragrances where, as the name suggests, I proceed to stop and sniff every fragrance that they have. And on that particular trip, I found a new fragrance line I’d not heard of before. Tulip. And when I sniffed Tulip’s Mandarin Peony perfume, I almost fell over because it is an EXACT dupe for one of my favorite body sprays, Miso Pretty by Blu Q, which has been discontinued. And I would take a moment to point out that it is colossally stupid for a company to discontinue a cult favorite, if it weren’t for the fact that the reply email I received from them in response to my inquiry on it’s discontinuation weren’t so freaking sweet and personal. I wish she had written me back and been like, “Yeah, we got all you bitches hooked on smelling like peonies, and now you can go troll overpriced stationary stores and boutique pharmacies for another scent that you like half as much”, and then I’d go off on a rant about how my trips to Papyrus are now pointless because I’m not paying $20 for ONE sheet of wrapping paper.
So as I stand there in the Whole Foods, having found a scent-dupe for my long-lost Miso Pretty, I see that the cost is $30. Which, of course a grocery store body spray is $30 when the grocery store at which it is sold is Whole Foods. All I’m saying is that Miso Pretty was, like, 15 bucks and knew it’s rank on the pricing ladder when it was nestled between a novelty cat butt air freshener and Knock Knock WTF Sticky Notes. But I guess when you’re shelf-adjacent to candles made from local beeswax and wooden necklaces that are SUPPOSEDLY made by African women who were saved from the sex trade, you can double your prices.
See the problem with buying $30 body spray from Whole Foods when you just went for a box of vegetarian chicken patties, and you’re unemployed, is that your husband will be like, “I thought you were just going to get chicken patties?” and you’ll be like, “Well I saw this really great body spray that smells like another body spray that I loved, but that was discontinued….” and he’ll be like, “You know what else was discontinued? Your paychecks.”
Ok he won’t really say that, but he’s probably thinking it. I know I would be.
So I decide to do the RESPONSIBLE thing and text him to see if he minds if I buy it because I’m a fucking wife now and I have to be all “considerate of my life partners feelings.” And then when it’s been over 5 minutes since I texted him and he hasn’t even had the courtesy to reply, all I can do is sit there and stew in my own self-righteoussness and indignance and be like, “Well I am an adult, I don’t NEED his permission like he’s my dad or something. I contribute to this household in other ways and HE’S NOT THE BOSS OF ME!!!”. And so I whip out my phone to text, “You know what?? I’m buying it!!!” and realize that I never actually hit “send” after I typed out the first text.
So then I send it and, like, 30 second later he writes back, “Yeah babe, go for it 🙂 :)” and then I feel like a total fucking asshole because my husband is so sweet and supportive that he’ll let me buy ridiculously overpriced body spray when he’s floating my ass, AND he will give me two smiley faces at that.
And to make up for the fact that I hurled insults at him in my head, which he was never even aware of, I sail past the seafood section where I notice that shrimp is on special and I decide to buy him shrimp, because he loves it. And then since we are having a special dinner and I will be smelling all fancy like peonies, I decide we can’t have a nice dinner without a great bottle of wine. Unfortunately, Calm-ass Husband isn’t a wine drinker, which means I also have to grab him a bottle of overpriced microbrew.
As I finally breeze towards the frozen foods section, satisfied that my selfish overspending of $30 on body spray is now balanced out by my additional overspending of beer, and shrimp that my husband will have to cook himself since I don’t cook it, I am drawn in by the heavenly aroma of rich coffee. It smells of fairly traded beans that were grown in the shade, and didn’t disrupt the habitat of birds. I decide that all of my hard work deserves to be rewarded with a mocha, and walk right up to the coffee counter, where some girl in her early twenties, dressed exactly like Rosie the Riveter, is waiting to make my coffee.
As I briefly toy with the idea of pointing out to her that Rosie the Riveter was propaganda that served to get women out of the home and into “men’s” jobs during the war, after which many of them were fired so men could take back over, thus relegating the women back to domestic life, or menial jobs, I decide to not say anything and just revel in the irony that this modern day Rosie is slinging coffee for “the man.” I step forward and ask, “What sort of milk alternatives do you have?”, and then immediately hate myself for sounding like someone who shops at Whole Foods for vegetarian chicken and $30 body spray. I order my almond milk mocha and make a mental note to later make a point to litter, or drive through McDonald’s, to counteract the douchiness that just flew out of my mouth.
I finally manage to grab my vegetarian chicken patties and make my way to the counter, where the cashier has the audacity to ask me if I want to donate $1 to whatever charity they’re pimping out at the moment. I smile and say, “No thank you, I already gave to Spina Bifida” and grandly gesture towards my 5 avocados. I then depart Whole Foods, $63 lighter and with a sense of confusion over what just happened to the $57 I wasn’t planning on spending that day.
Ah Whole Foods, you cunning wench.