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I Feel Like I'm Buying Them Booze

I’m teaching a new class this
semester at my theatre school – improv for teenagers - and
they’ve got their first show coming up tomorrow. To entice
their friends to come see it (and thus hugely boost the laughter in
the audience) I promised my students that I’d offer free
candy and cokes at the show.

Of course, when I say “free”, I mean out of my own
pocket. They all thought this was a terrific idea, and gave me
their list of “fave” candies that I “HAD
TO” make sure I have there. Armed with my list, I hit my
local grocery store last night.

And let me say, as I walked into the store I felt as if I needed
dark glasses and a disguise wig.

I am well-known at this grocery store,
since I will chat up a wooden rabbit, and they all respect me as
Healthy Mom who will good-naturedly lectured them on the dangers of
high-fructose corn syrup. So as I deliberately bypassed the fresh
produce aisle and headed straight for the processed cookies, I
wished that I had gone to a competitor’s store where no one
knows my name.

I filled my cart with all the crap on the list, and you’d be
proud of me – I bought actual Oreos, not Newman’s Own
organic fauxrios. Skittles, Sour Patch Kids, popcorn in a big bag
that’s made with partially hydrogenated oil, something called
Skittles Core – if it’s made by M&M Mars and has
way too much disposable packaging, it was in my cart.

As I checked out, I saw the poor clerk’s eyes begin to bulge
out of his head. “I know, I know, it’s terrible,
isn’t it?” I said. He smiled uncertainly. “Um,
no, it’s not that bad.”

And I realized then that he thought I was doing that thing where
you buy a bunch of crap for yourself and pretend you’re
having a party with lots of friends coming over to help you with
those twelve pints of Ben and Jerry’s. “No, no,”
I said desperately, “This really isn’t for me!”

“Oh, ok,” he said soothingly.


Fortunately, a manager I knew came over to chat and I told her the
whole story – while she teased me mercilessly for the cart
full of artificial dyes and refined sugars. The clerk was silent
until we began walking outside.

“So, this is really for your class of teenagers?”

“Yep, it really is,” I replied.

He looked at the bags in awe.


That will be my children.


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