Culture Shock: The Grocery Store

There’s a particular day in March where Guinness flows like the River Shannon. And so, after a long day, the quest began for that dark elixir. Well, after all it was St. Patrick’s Day and being the good (mostly) Irish boy, I felt it necessary to imbibe the liquid meal. So, late on that fateful Monday, I and a friend went to the local grocery store. They were out of Guineess drought and I had to settle for Extra Stout. But that’s not what this story’s about. This is about the culture shock my friend experienced simply by going to a “normal” store.

You see, she’s one of those healthy living, exercising, organic eating individuals for whom Whole Foods is the supermarket equivalent of Mecca. I suppose that means that I shop at the supermarket equivalent of the Middle Ring of the Seventh Circle of Hell. It’s the one reserved for suicides. Yes, I mean to say that I’m slowly and consciously killing myself by eating the way I do. So, technically, this is where I’d end up. Although, one could argue that I’m more a follower of Epicurus. At the very least, I’m epicurious. (Bad puns are kind of my thing. Get used to them. 🙂 ).

Okay, I realize I mixed my religious beliefs and/or philosophies. And I am now somewhat off topic. All right, getting back on topic. Where were we? Ah, the two categories of supermarkets: Whole Foods and Decidedly NOT Whole Foods.

Walking through DNWF, you would think she had entered another country where everything was utterly foreign to her. Pre-packaged, preservative-laden foods were ubiquitous. Fresh food was a relative term. And “organic” was that tiny, expensive section that would be covered in dust were it not for the cleaning crew’s tenacity. She continued in amazement that most of what lay before us required the excitation of polarized molecules to create the heat transfer coefficient necessary to turn these items into pabulum – and I use the term loosely – suitable for consumption. The impetus for this amazement was the fact that she possessed not the device necessary for said excitation. What? Oh, sorry. I get carried away some times. She was shocked at all the microwavable foods especially since she didn’t have, nor desired, a microwave.

After the initial shock passed, she chose the lesser of the (many) evils: a pre-packaged salad. I believe it was a Chef’s salad. It may have even been made earlier that same day. I had my Guinness Extra Stout and we proceeded to check out so we could conclude the day with drunken merriment.

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