Even My Relationship With Whole Foods Is Dysfunctional

I was born the sixth child of two strict, Irish Catholic, depression era parents, one of whom was blind in one eye and had two different sized feet. If you don’t come out of that deal with a few personality quirks then you are just plain boring.  From that mix of genetics and chaos I’ve been blessed with a smidge of anxiety, an abundance of neuroses, and a dash of codependency.   Let me tell you, I am a gem!  Just ask my children.  They should be home from their weekly therapy session any minute now.  Needless to say, I’m a tad dysfunctional. Hell, I can’t even have a healthy relationship with a grocery store.

I love Whole Foods, I do.  I love Whole Foods, but I also hate Whole Foods because Whole Foods is the tenth circle of Hell.  Even Dante couldn’t imagine something this bad.  The thing is, though, I also need Whole Foods.  See, we’re like the Ike and Tina Turner of corporate/human partnerships.  And, yes, I realize Tina didn’t need anybody, so that would make me the Ike of this dysfunctional duo.

Everyone in this house has some sort of food allergy or intolerance.  Milk and I don’t get along and I’m allergic to shrimp.  After four years of ER and doctor visits for vomiting episodes, which medical professionals swore were due to heartburn or desperate cries for attention, we finally deduced on our own that our youngest couldn’t tolerate gluten. Shortly after that, we discovered my husband couldn’t either.

My food issues are really not that big of a deal.  As long as I don’t eat those things I’m fine. The gluten thing is another matter.  It’s not just enough for them to avoid those foods.  If they eat a food that doesn’t contain gluten but was made in a facility that also makes gluten containing foods they can become sick and miserable for days.  For their safety, I keep an entirely gluten free household and I have to be exceptionally careful about any food I bring in.  The closest and safest grocery store that allows me to do this is, you guessed it, Whole Foods.  I’m chained to this place like an abused dog.

I live in a pretty wealthy town and Whole Foods fits right in.  I’m one of the few middle class folks here. We’re sprinkled around like jimmies on a very expensive and gaudy cupcake. Given that the average product Whole Foods sells requires you to take out a second mortgage, it makes sense that every car trying to kill me in the parking lot is a Tesla, Range Rover, or BMW. Why are people in six figure cars in such a damn hurry to park and get inside this place? Has a new organic, free range, non-GMO superfood been discovered that I don’t know about? What the hell?

Actually, I think they can’t wait to take an infuriatingly long time to wipe down their cart with one of those antibacterial wipes and make it clean enough to perform surgery on so that they can then leave it in the middle of the aisle and ignore me as I try to wiggle my clearance rack jean swaddled ass past them.  Or maybe, just maybe it’s so they can rush in and give me their two cents on any product that might possibly be in my sight line.  Come to think of it, it’s definitely so that they can ask my opinion on a product I know nothing about.

“Have you ever tried this?” a petite mother of an infant in a stroller worth more than my house asks while pointing to a contraption that appears to allow the user to suck snot directly from a baby’s nose through what looks like part of a Twizzler Pull and Peel.

“Uh, it’s been a long time since I’ve had to suck snot from someone’s face. My kids are older. I had to use that bulby thing when they were babies.”

“Oh.” Then, she walked away in what I think was disgust, but it could have just been bad Botox.  One can never tell in this town.

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Golden milk sounds like a sex act that’s illegal in 13 states.

One time I was cornered by one of those folks with a table at the end of the aisle.  He was selling what he referred to as “a hug in a mug”.  I shit you not. I’m always either too nice or too mean, and of course this time I haaaaaaaad to be too nice, so I stopped and listened to his spiel.  It was a jar full of neon yellow powder that you were supposed to mix up in “the milk of your choice” (Since I’m out of breast milk and I can’t deal with dairy, I decided almond milk would work for me). This concoction apparently has anti-inflammatory magical powers, so I informed the Billy Mays of Whole Foods that I was urged by my oncologist to adhere to an anti-inflammatory diet and I guess I’d give it a try.

“You’re oncologist told you to take this?” A voice gleefully asked.

“Uh…”

Without letting me finish my thought, a woman came from behind me, snatched up a jar and delightfully told us that she was treating her husband’s brain tumor with only natural remedies.  The husband picked up a jar and looked it over, shrugged his shoulders and carried on pushing his cart down the aisle.  She followed eagerly behind.  It’s a shame she didn’t stay longer so that I could tell her it was the year of oral chemo that successfully killed my tumor, not what was in the jar she just threw in her cart.  Turns out the stuff was pretty tasty, but you could never fully mix it into your milk and were left with chai tasting beach sand swimming in your mug.  The jar is still sitting in my pantry months later if any one of you wants it.

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I also have all of this stuff, but I’m not giving it up.  It’s pretty dang good.  Yes, that does say nutritional yeast.  Don’t ask.

Whole Foods is absurd and deserves pretty much all of the shame it gets, what with its kale guacamole and overpriced asparagus water.  BUT, I LOVE HIM!!!  I do.  I love you, Whole Foods.  My kid can have a donut once in awhile and my husband can have a beer every now and again.  I can even eat ice cream! And, when I walk through your doors wearing a pair of Toms, drinking a soy latte, and carrying a half dozen reusable shopping bags under my arm you don’t mock me.  You should, you really should because I probably look stupid, but I am loyal.  I will remain with you, boo.  I’ll stay forever, assuming I win the lottery soon, don’t get rundown by a $100, 000 car on my way in, and am not carted off to jail for murdering another patron.  So, maybe not forever forever, but you get what I’m saying.

*Featured image courtesy of Pixabay.

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12 thoughts on “Even My Relationship With Whole Foods Is Dysfunctional

  1. Oh, Whole Foods! I feel you. I grew up in Austin and we patronized the first Whole Foods (now it patronizes us), so I have vivid 1981 memories of carob bars and tofu sandwiches and keifer and things my husband thinks are all communist. Those of us who went there weren’t rich; just hippies and hippie children with weird names and perfect attendance records because we never got sick like the kids who got to eat Doritos and Twinkies. Curse them. In my 20s with disposable income, I would stop by the “newer” WF for fancy breads and cookies and salsa and pretentious deli salads that cost $10 per lb. But then I got fat and now I can’t even preTEND to have any claim to it bc they turn and see me and are like, “Did Walmart just walk in?” even though I’m fully dressed with Chico’s separates. And you’re right–it costs too dang much. It’s crazy talk. It’s outrageous. I want to hurl items across the aisles and yell, “Lemon bars for EIGHT dollars? Have you all gone mad?” And they have. They have. But it sounds like they have just what your family needs for its dietary concerns (and they know it). So you have to pony up. I’m sorry about the gluten issues and I hope your tumor is gone for good. Seriously, asparagus water?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. From what I hear, Whole Foods makes 60% (or some big number like that) of it’s profits off of vegan junk food.
    But it’s soooo good.
    Have you ever heard Jim Gaffigan’s bit on Whole Foods? Pretty funny.
    I do have to make one thing clear. I know what nutritional yeast is and I think it’s from satan, especially if someone puts it on popcorn!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Christine, I am so glad I found your blog. The more posts I read the more I giggle! 🙂

    I can’t afford to go to Whole foods, in London they put the price up even more so it is just mad-prices! Ah well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh.my.gawd. you’re just hilarious, you know that?! I love Whole Foods, too, but I don’t want to live in a tent by the river just to shop there. I’m cool with diarrhea from the processed crap I eat 😂😜😫

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah, “Whole Paycheck.” I remember working in Boulder (where there are three of these monstrosities in a small town) and getting weird looks when I asked where the normal grocery was. But! They did have Certified Humane meat before anyone else, and now that I’ve relocated to the north end of nowhere it’s the only place that sells mochi. But I can’t bring myself to pay $2 per banana, so we have to limit what we get there.

    Liked by 1 person

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