Brad and I went on a date this week…to the new Whole Foods store that recently opened in Lincoln. This is what we do. We like food. We are foodie people.
We grabbed a green basket and rambled up and down the aisles, marveling over the five varieties of quinoa and the create-your-own sixpack of microbrew beers. We snagged toothpicks of cheddar cheese and organic brownie bites from the free samples. I took pictures of the olive bar and the dessert display. We eyed the meat case and debated the difference between proscuitto and pancetta. It was, all in all, a lovely date.
But there’s a reason why Whole Foods is a date place and not a weekly thing. The truth is, Whole Food just isn’t me. It’s a little too fancy, a little too perfect. Frankly,Whole Foods is too much pressure for me.
For example, I now know that disposing your lunch trash in the Whole Foods cafe requires an advanced degree in Waste Management.
I eyed the trash barrels and recycling containers lining the wall like guards outside Buckingham Palace. Should the sandwich wrapper go into the recyclable paper waste barrel or into the “landfill barrel?” On the one hand, the wrapper had melted cheese smeared on it, which seemed to qualify it for the “landfill” category. On the other hand, it was made of paper, so perhaps that made it worthy of the recyclable paper barrel? Same with the napkin. I used it to wipe my mouth, so landfill barrel, right? But it, too, was made of paper…so maybe the recyclable paper barrel was the proper place for it? I went through this process for each and every piece of trash. Clearly I needed a guided audio tour, or at the very least a diagram with lots of arrows and bullet points.
And then there was the Great Mango Smoothie Debate. Brad and I stood in front of the refrigerated case for several minutes, deciding whether to purchase the bottle of Mango Smoothie or not. We knew the boys would love it…but it was $8.99. I mean, $9 for a bottle of juice? That’s more than I spend on my wine.
And then what would happen when, inevitably, Rowan left a quarter-inch of Mango Smoothie in the bottom of his breakfast glass? Would I not call him back to the table to lick up every last $9 remnant of it? Would I not possibly consider handing him a Q-Tip to glide around the bottom of the glass to ensure every atom of smoothie was ingested? I saw the scene unfold in my mind, clear as day – me with my hands on my hips, yelling like a lunatic about my ingrate children and $9 juice.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Whole Foods. I will surely grace Whole Foods with my presence again. But I have to be honest about my limits. If Mango Smoothie has the power to transform me into a raving lunatic mother before 8 a.m., I know I’m in over my head.