Forgive me Father for I have sinned. It is been more than 6 weeks since my last blog post. What have I been up to? Lots of things, but my trip to Whole Foods in Clarendon on Sunday morning was my most recent adventure:
Charles is in China for 2 weeks which means I'm fending for myself when it comes to meals, laundry and walking the dog. With nothing but a sausage and half a can of pinto beans in the fridge, I knew I had to do something.
Confession Time. I get a bit distracted during the grocery shopping experience by how beautiful the produce is, how cool the whole fish on ice are, how yummy the cuts of meat are in the butchers case, and how mouthwatering the cheese stacked in pyramids in the cheese case looks. I am the dream customer for Whole Foods - the inexperienced, impulse-driven, ignorant of the cost of food grocery shopper.
Naturally, everything caught my eye. It started before I even got into the store when I spotted the huge pumpkin display outside the store (2 for $10!). Pumpkin-enabled I made my way inside. The sliding doors parted and the smells of the cinnamon-scented pine-cone firestarters (on sale!) got me thinking of stocking up for the winter. Instantly I'm wondering if I'm going to need another grocery cart since my micro Whole Foods shopping cart is full of pumpkin.
Ooooh! Like a magpie distracted by bright, shiny objects I spot the perfect apples (so pretty! and they're local!) stacked just inside the door. I grabbed 4 apples of 5 different kinds (my precious!). They looked so pretty. My cart nearly full I realized I still had enough room for limes (4 for $1!), an eggplant (organic!), and some onions (whole bag on sale!) and of course a kilo bag of clementines (delicious and healthy!).
I emerged on the far side of the perfect produce department and stood next to a case of ice holding whole perfect salmon, rockfish, mahi mahi, and red snapper and breathed deeply to clear my head from the rush of the experience. Had I just escaped from a rip in the fabric of space-time? Or was Whole Foods pumping drugs into the perfect produce department to compel me to buy even more? Luckily whatever it was wore off in time or I would have bought one of the whole fish in the ice.
My cart nearly full and most of my shopping list still left to forage, I steeled myself to tackle the rest of the store. In rapid succession I visited the meat case (2 pork chops and brief discussion about upcoming Redskins game), pasta aisle (bread flour, canned crushed tomatoes), and grabbed a bottle of light white wine ($6.99!) on my way to dairy.
Then I ran into confusion. Where was I? The recent renovation of the Whole Foods store was complete and I was lost. They'd moved everything around. I went with my instincts to find my way to the checkout. But before I knew it I found myself in the new wine and cheese area. I wasn't going to stop. We don't need cheese! Afterall, I'm carrying 5 extra pounds just from the Stilton we enjoyed on vacation! Nevertheless the siren song called and I was unable to resist so into the basket the cheese (sage Darby, Irish cheddar, aged Gouda, and Parmesan) went.
But where was checkout? I had to get out of there before I'd spent my whole paycheck on a collection of foods I didn't even know how to cook, much less have time to eat but at least looked pretty. I looked up through the towers of baked goods (cute cupcakes! Be. Strong. Must. Not. Put. In. Cart!) and racks of alternative, organic lifestyle magazines (ooh! If I buy this magazine all will be right with my world. Put. It. Back!) and spied the checkout lanes. I made a dash for it and got to a checkout lane (friendly, smiling staff!), paid, and got the heck out of there.
So each night this week as I eat my re-heated pizza (from "Al's Pizza" on Capitol Hill) for dinner and gaze at the bowl sitting in the middle of the table brimming with apples, I'm counting the days until Sunday when I get to go back and do it all over again.