March 15, 2005

People Are Funny

I am incessantly curious about what other people are buying at the grocery store or restaurants. I try valiantly to pry my nosy eyes (nosy eyes? That's a weird phrase, no?) away from their carts or baskets, but I just can't help myself.

Like this morning, I was in Au Bon Pain getting a bagel with egg and cheese, and the guy in front of me in line was buying three bananas. He paid about $3.50 for what would have been about thirty-nine cents worth of bananas at the grocery store. I was dying to ask if all of those bananas were for him, or did he share them with people the office? I mean, really, who needs that many bananas? Is he suffering from a serious potassium deficiency? Does anyone like bananas that much?

And then there was the old, gray, ill-looking man in line at the grocery store who was buying nothing but ten pounds of potatos and a huge bottle of plain-wrapped vodka. I desperately hoped he was conducting some sort of potato experiment to see if he could make vodka at home, but I feel that he was actually just in the end stages of cirrhosis of the liver and was using the potatos as his only nourishment while he drank the cheap, foul vodka.

(Not that I'm criticizing vodka. No, I love the stuff. Just got the two-dollars-a-gallon kind.)

And then there are the people who you see with a cart piled sky-high with macaroni and cheese, boxes of preflavored, dehydrated pasta, ramen noodles, and a 24-pack of Mountain Dew, and then, perched on the very top of their mountain of bad-for-you food, is the package of five-dollar organically hand-grown tangerines that you rejected as ridiculously overpriced and only fit for rich, pretentious people. Do they think you'll think they're really very healthy if they stick that stuff on top of all their other crap? Do they think they'll think they're really healthy? Am I just way too obsessed with other people's business?


chris said...

I do the same thing, and of course, I worry that other people are doing it to me. For example, we buy most of the healthy stuff at Whole Foods, but most of the other stuff (i.e., the fun stuff) at Harris Teeter or Super Target. So there I am with a mountain of nutritionally questionable items and of course, a 24 pack of diet coke, and I'm wishing that I could wear a sign that says "I buy all the real groceries at Whole Foods." Of course, now that I know I'm not the only one who does it, I will be even more paranoid!

MsPrufrock said...

I'm guilty of checking out other peoples' carts quite inconspicuously. Somebody told me once that those that are so preoccupied with the food of others has issues with food themselves. I prefer to think I'm just a nosy bitch.

Cricket said...

This is funny. I am much more concerned about my basket than about evaluating that of others. I kind of do a little mental tally to make sure that I bought about an equal amount of fresh stuff vs. frozen, processed crap. Of course, I don't think to do this until I am unloading the basket at check out. (Maybe I do this in part to justify that Almond Joy from the kiddie candy traps to balance things out when I buy too much produce.)