On the way home from school, my daughters and I stopped at the local close-out store to buy some dry goods and canned goods, which is usually not only a chance to save money, but also a chance to try different brands and products from all over the world.
While turning a corner from one narrow isle to another, we encountered and elderly man in a scooter chair. He took one look at our shopping cart and proclaimed, “Look at all that junk food! I’m coming to your house!”
Needless to say, I was bothered by this man judging the contents of our cart, especially since he was Dimensionally Enhanced himself. However, something about him struck me as odd, giving me that tingle at the base of my neck that tells me to keep my mouth shut and move on. In addition, my girls were with me and the Mom Instincts kicked in, so I just smiled and chuckled as I herded my girls to the relative safety down the next isle.
What He Meant, What He Said
On one level, maybe the man had food envy, wishing he could have two bags of tortilla chips and three packages of cookies in the tiny basket on the front of his scooter chair. However, there is that other level, the one created by the dominant culture, that good, responsible people, and especially, good, responsible parents, don’t buy junk food.
Either way, the man was judging what was in our cart, judging the snacks as something naughty, whether he did so in a conspiratorial or castigating way.
Look Beneath The Surface
Not missing the opportunity of a teachable moment, I pointed out to my girls, “Yeah, he noticed the chips, but he missed all the beans underneath.” My little activists-in-training got what I meant immediately.
In the cart, underneath the currently legal contraband, were cans and cans of beans in many glorious forms: black beans, great northern beans, pinto beans, chick peas, and the all-time favorite at our house, refried beans. Sitting alongside the beautiful beans were bottles of tea and juice, naturally sweetened with organic cane sugar.
Unless You’re Buying …
… you don’t get to comment on ANYTHING in my cart or anyone else’s, unless it’s to ask, “Where did you find that so I can buy some, too?” Unless you are serving me dinner, you don’t decide what food I will eat. And unless you are a medical professional treating me for a life-threatening food allergy, you cannot tell me what I may or may not eat.
Sadly, this is not the first time the Food/Fat Police have inspected my cart and sadder still, it won’t be the last.
Have the Fat Police ever inspected your shopping cart? What did you do?
Born and raised in Northeast Ohio with her BA and MA from the University of Akron, Mary has 20 years experience in the corporate sector working for local companies and Fortune 500s in customer service, PR, sales, advertising, and broadcast media. She currently teaches English Composition at Stark State College and UA. Her passion is living and teaching tolerance while pushing for Size Acceptance. She hopes to inform as many everyday Americans that the issue of Size is not an issue at all but merely a distraction from the real issues, such as the decline in public education, our infrastructure, economy and healthcare system. Mary loves irritating people by speaking her mind and presenting them with annoying facts, contrary opinions, and life's little ironies; when not doing that, she loves being with her family.