I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time in the hippie food stores here in Lexington. Partly because of my search for citric acid for making cheese (see previous blog about making cheese, drinking wine, pummeling, stretching and swearing), but partly because these stores are like a magnet for people like me.
And by me, I mean people who can eat an entire bag of Chili Cheese Fritos before leaving Walmart and who just earlier this morning ate 19 chocolate hearts that were leftover from the high school band candy sale fundraiser. It’s pretty bad when you find yourself enjoying the high school junk food junkies’ rejects.
When I walk into one of the hippie food stores I have a quasi-religious experience. Just one whiff of that – what is that smell in there anyway? Smells like someone is steaming rice and bamboo reeds in a Pier One store – and I get a little bit teary, sorry for my sins, penitent, and I vow to buy at least three whole grain, organic scones that are $5.50 each.
Five minutes into the store and I’m going to change my entire life. I’m going to stop eating Doritos and Gatorade for dinner when my husband’s not home, I’m going to pack my son’s sandwiches on bread that weighs 15 pounds per slice and is packed with chunks of nuts and straw, I’m going to buy milk in glass jugs that look antiquey and cool, and I’m going to stop shaving my legs.
The people shopping in those stores put me to shame. They all have either dreds, layers of multi-colored clothing in drab, washed out home-dyed colors, earrings in places they shouldn’t, John Lennon glasses, or all of the above. Which screams out the statement that they have more important things to do on this earth than to look good.
And the people who actually work in the hippie food store are really something. They all look like they need a good steak, they’ve clearly taken their vegan tendencies to an extreme. You could knock the whole deli and bakery staff over with a feather, like a set of hollow plastic bowling pins.
At a Fresh Fields in New Jersey I asked one of the employees where the Little Debby Cakes were and he turned blueish and started to sway. I had to bring him back by holding a bottle of Urban Cowboy Dusk Organic Cologne under his nose.
I’m very embarrassed to be me in the hippie food store. I turn my engagement diamond ring around so it looks like I’m just wearing a double band and maybe people will think I’m a nun and that will explain the conservative clothes. I park miles away so no one will see I’m driving an SUV. What? SUV? I don’t drive an SUV. I don’t know what you’re talking about.
But a couple minutes into the store and I’m ready to chuck it all - abandon my car in the parking lot, throw out my animal-tested lipstick, and open up a bag of soy crisps and dig in.
How long do you have to stop washing your hair to get dreds?