MY LIFE IN A SHOPPING CART
12 August 2005
I couldn't believe this photo when I saw it. You must look at it in its original size. It's a chandelier at the 2005 Venice Beinalle, which is made entirely of tampons.
Yes, tampons. See? You must look at the original size!
The sight of this magnificant thing brought back a...uh...flood (pun intended) of memories around the purchase of feminine hygiene products.
Somehow we aren't embarrassed to approach a check-out counter with a package of toilet paper in our baskets, but the purchase of a package of tampons or sanitary napkins can cause us to shrivel up in embarrassment--as if we don't want people to know that we have, you know, normal bodily functions.
In the days when I had need for such things, more often than not I would send Walt out to buy supplies for me. He was one of those weird men who didn't mind buying such stuff (or at least he never told me if it made him uncomfortable).
I suppose that male equivalent would be condoms. The mortification of a young man picking up his first packet of condoms while the clerk shouts across the store to get a double check on the price.
Do you ever feel that when you go shopping, others are checking out your cart and making judgements about your life by what's there?
I was at our natural foods co-op recently. This is the place you go for fresh fruits and vegetables, whole foods, unprocessed foods, healthy foods.
As I was checking out, I looked at the guy behind me. A fresh veggie/whole foods/healthy food looking kinda guy, whose eyes bulged out as he eyed my white bread, Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter cup ice cream, and the other things in my cart, none of which would qualify for the label "healthy." Until that moment, I hadn't been aware of exactly what was in my cart.
I can remember feeling extremely uncomfortable in my WeightWatcher days, when I was buying fresh produce at the Farmers' Market rather than at the local supermarket. I'd buy all the rest of the week's food at the supermarket, go to the check-out stand with my cart full, and not a green thing in sight. The fat lady standing there with meat and bread and cereal, and no veggies at all. I often wanted to turn around to the person behind me and say "Really, I'm buying all my produce at the farmers' market. This isn't all that I'm going to be eating this week. I really do eat healthy!"
When I'm buying fruits and vegetables, I find I display them prominently on the conveyor belt at the checkout stand, and hide the junk food underneath, hoping nobody will notice.
I'm guilty of checking out the carts of others myself. Standing in line behind someone, perhaps someone I recognize, who doesn't really know me, who is checking out several large bottles of booze and some cigarettes and all sorts of other such items. I can't help but think about the lifestyle that this implies and make passing judgements about it.
I mean--what else do we have to do when we're stuck in long lines at the check out counters but check each other's shopping carts looking for good stuff we might have missed, or clues as to the lifestyle of the person buying all that stuff, and making up scenarios in our heads about what is going on behind closed doors in their house.
And whether it's "their time of the month" or whether they're having sex, of course!
It's much more fun than sneaking a peak at the tabloid headlines, because you wouldn't be caught dead actually showing interest in the gossip about Brad and Angelina or Tom and Katy, or how much Oprah really weighs or how angry Regis is with Kelly or how much of a bitch Katie Couric really is. (These are just guesses, you know--'cause I never look at those headlines myself...)
Walt returned from D.C. last night. We're getting this airport pick-up thing down to a science. I pulled off the freeway at the Sacramento airport and parked, waiting for him to call me when he'd retrieved his luggage, so I didn't have to keep making a circle of the airport waiting for him to arrive--in these post-9/11 days, it's much more awkward to do that. I noticed that there were two other cars apparently doing the same thing. When I pick someone up at the San Francisco airport, I wait in the next town over, about a 5 min. drive, and wait for their call. MUCH more efficient. And finally a good reason to have a cell phone!
I greeted his return home in spectacular fashion. He was loading his luggage into the back seat and my foot slipped off the brake and the car rolled on top of his foot. Fortunately, he wasn't hurt, but we sure entertained some folks sitting on a bench watching the whole thing.
I live to bring joy and laughter to my fellow human beings.
Except Walt, apparently.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
The calendar came back for final tweaking. It gave me the