A few weeks ago, my wife decided we need to go natural. I assumed it would involve her walking around the house naked, so I naturally agreed. Turns out, that’s not what she meant at all.
She was referring to avoiding chemicals and processing in our foods, cleaning supplies, etc. Even though I was disappointed it didn’t involve nudity, I agreed to go along with the idea. I figured it would be a good way to keep her distracted while I focused on more realistic and important things like a zombie apocalypse.
Well, last week she decided we need to go to a natural food store. Keep in mind, the nearest natural food store is about an hour and a half drive from where we live (yay small towns!), so it’s a bit of a road trip.
I immediately agreed to go. My reason for going, of course, was a little different than my wife’s reason for going. My wife wanted to go because she has a genuine desire to improve the quality of our lives.
I guess that’s a good reason if you’re into that sort of thing.
I went for a much better reason. I went because I saw it as a great excuse for me to act superior and condescending toward people who still shop at mainstream grocery stores.
I obviously made her wait a few days so I could grow some scraggly facial hair. Once my face was ready, I put on old jeans and my only Gandhi T-shirt (“Be the change you wish to see in the world”)… and we were off to the natural food store.
Superiority, here we come! Woo hoo!
It didn’t really work out that way.
I still remember the pride I felt as we walked through that parking lot toward the store. I looked disdainfully at the other people coming in and out of the non-natural stores in the shopping center and said, “Chemically enhanced zombies, every damn one of them.”
“You’re really hard to be married to sometimes,” my wife said. “I hope you know that.”
“Oh, I know it,” I said. “I know it plenty.” I looked at a girl coming out of a shoe store and yelled, “Be the change!”
“Hush!” my wife said. “Good gravy.”
“Is gravy natural?” I asked. “I hope so because I really like gravy.”
We walked into the store. I quickly noticed something odd about one of the other customers.
He was wearing a backpack.
“What’s with this yahoo?” I asked my wife.
I like the word “yahoo.” People don’t use it enough.
“What?” my wife said.
“He’s wearing a backpack,” I said. “We’re in a city. Is he city-hiking?”
“No,” my wife said. “He’s wearing a backpack so–”
“There’s another one,” I said, pointing to a woman in line at the cash register. “She’s wearing a backpack too.”
“Bran,” my wife said, “they have backpacks so they don’t have to–”
“Another one!” I yelled, pointing toward another man. “And another one!”
They all wore backpacks. Every damn one of them.
“Is there a backpack convention nearby or something?”
“No,” my wife said. “And I’m done trying to explain it.”
We did our shopping in Backpack-Land and got in line to check out. The nice woman bagged our groceries in recycled plastic bags and we headed to the car.
“I’m totally doing a blog about people who wear backpacks in cities,” I said as we walked across the parking lot. “Do they think they’re closer to nature if they dress like a hiker?”
“You’re one to talk, Gandhi,” my wife said.
“There’s a big difference between wearing a T-shirt and wearing a backpack,” I said.
“Yeah,” my wife said. “There’s a good reason for the backpacks. The only reason you wear that T-shirt is so you can be a pretentious jerk.”
“Pretty sure their backpack reason is the same as my T-shirt reason.”
“Not even close,” my wife said. She held up one of the bags in her hand. “They do it so they don’t have to use plastic bags to carry the things they buy there. They’re trying to help.”
My world crumbled.
“WHY THE HELL DIDN’T WE BRING A BACKPACK!”
“I figured you’d refuse,” my wife said. “I felt like getting you to come here at all was a victory. I didn’t want to push it.”
“YOU RUINED EVERYTHING!” I screamed.
“We came here to buy foods that help us live a healthier life,” my wife said. “We didn’t come here so you can feel superior.”
“Sometimes it’s like you don’t know me at all,” I snapped.
“Just get in the car, Plastic Man.”
“This sucks,” I said. “Totally wasted trip. I don’t feel superior at all. Matter of fact, I think I actually feel inferior. The facial hair, the jeans, the Gandhi T-shirt… all wasted!”
I pouted the entire way home. Justifiable pouting is totally allowed. It’s a rule I have.
Several times while driving home, I noticed my wife smirking. Looking back, I think she set me up. I think she enjoyed seeing my hopes and dreams crushed. She has a bit of a dark side.
Anyway, here’s my advice:
If you go to a natural food store, be sure to take a backpack.
Without a backpack, you won’t feel superior to other people.
And if you don’t feel superior, what’s the point of going?
Healthy living, I guess, but that’s a cold comfort.
Since then, my wife regularly calls me Plastic Man, just to remind me I’m inferior to the other people who were there.
Sometimes it’s hard being married to her.
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