Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Health Food Store Chicks

If you want to meet the most nonconformist humans in a single structure, visit your local health food store. These places seem to employ the folks that have the most piercings and tattoos, and the least interest in personal hygiene. Some of the customers aren't exactly stellar models either. I should know -- I am one!

The two women tonight seemed fine and ordinary enough until I got close enough to hear their conversation, which was about buying a house.

"Nobody puts 20% down," said the cheerful brunette.

"I don't care. I don't want to be anyone's bitch," replied the natural blond with the baby blue eyes.

Not wanting to side with the blond, I pointedly did not chime in with the fact that I paid a 20% deposit on our home's purchase back in 1995 because I didn't want to pay PMI. But those were different times. So instead I placed my items on the counter to be rung up.

A very cheerful piece of artwork, about 11" x 17" landscape, was taped inexpertly to the wall behind them. It easily outshone the dingy clutter. I figured I'd try my hand at being social for a change.

"That's a nice drawing, or painting," I remarked, pointing to it. The blond, who was bagging, didn't turn to look where I was pointing right away. But then as she started to reply, she stole a glance at it.

"I did that. I got an A in it," she said flatly.

"Oh it's so nice and cheerful!" I said with honest enthusiasm.

"Thanks. Yeah, I was going through a breakup and when I finished it, I felt so much better."

Faltering a bit, I ventured, "Oh I see. Um, so you go to art school?"

"I used to. I quit. I don't think I need to go to school to become an artist," declared the blond, now sporting a deeply furrowed brow.

"No, I guess not. My daughter really likes art."

"Tell her to drop out of school."

"Well, she's only eleven. Besides, she's really good in math and music, too," I offered as defense.

The brunette, who was finished ringing up the purchase, came to my aid, "Being good in math helps. She could get into graphic arts...."

At this point I took my bag and said good-bye. I was troubled by the blond because she seemed so troubled. So later on I imagined myself giving her a warm, caring hug.

I could identify with her "bitch" comment. I believe credit is a modern form of slavery. But I don't think you can become a homeowner without being someone's bitch, even if you buy the home outright. You'll still need to pay property taxes on the land and dwelling.

Rather, I was troubled by her negativity over school. Was she doing so well as an artist that she didn't need school? If so, why is she bagging groceries in the designated deodorant-free zone of town?

Perhaps I'm worried that our daughter's negativity might progress to just such a point that she'll drop out, too. That's why whenever she gets in one of those "I can't stand living here" moods, I simply say, "Do really well in school so that you can get a good job and move out as soon as possible."

So, to all you health food store chicks: being someone's bitch ain't so bad -- you get used to it. And please stay in school. Peace and blessings to you.

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