There’s something about grocery shopping that I find messes with my mental health every time I’m forced to go hunt for provisions to keep me alive for the week. I look ridiculous going from one aisle back to the other comparing prices and trying to keep my weekly food budget under twenty dollars. I am quite adept at utilising my mania when trying to decide between yogurt or cheese this week. It can be quite productive but at the same time I know how ridiculous I look. I have a fear of trolleys so I carry all my items in my arms. I move very quickly in this odd shuffle motion not properly lifting my feet. My eyes are wide and I often look faint. I have been approached several times by staff members and customers asking me if I’m feeling alright or if I’d like to sit down. I find this to be a great confidence boost. Grocery shopping is not my friend.
Today’s drama unfolded in the dairy aisle. I was pricing cheese and trying to figure out if I could stretch my shampoo for another week so that I could afford the 250g block of tasty goodness. For some reason the pre-sliced cheese caught my eye and I began to think more and more about that as a concept. My minds been stuck on the thought all afternoon and here I am six hours later still stuck on it and with no cheese.
Now I’m not talking about the processed Kraft Singles type of cheese, though I do have issues with that as well. The cheese I’m talking about is the natural cheese that you can buy from the grocery store pre-sliced. At first glance there’s nothing overly wrong with this. It’s time saving, cutting down the 10-15 seconds it takes to cut a few slices for your sandwich. It saves dishes, no knives or graters. But do we really need those few extra seconds? Would it kill us to wash that one extra knife? It just seems ridiculously lazy. Like so fucking lazy that it makes me hate humanity. I hate being a part of this mass-produced world.
With most people agreeing that the relationships we develop with others being the most important thing in life it seems so odd that we’ve lost this sense of community especially in the way we receive and offer our goods and services. I’m a big market shopper, I find the whole experience way less stressful. After strolling around and chatting with the people who actually grew the food they’re selling makes me feel this nice, warm, homely buzz. Plus it makes the food taste better. Or perhaps that’s the lack of pesticides and preservatives? Either way the sense of community and helping out a fellow person is what I desire and enjoy the most. And this is what I fear we are all losing touch with.
When did we turn into this competitive, money hungry society?* I’ve always felt like we were on the earth to support one another and have meaningful connections with one another. Now it just seems like it’s all about who can make the most money and what the easiest way to do something is. We’ve become lazy and are too accepting of this detached community we’ve allowed to form.
Obviously this is bigger than just cheese slices. I know it sounds tedious and obvious and that some hipster with a beard has said this all before. I’m just worried about the world we are creating for ourselves and future generations. For how much longer is this going to sustain us? I’m bored already of the mass produced faceless food that is constantly crammed down our throats silencing any voice trying to object to this way of life.
*Cheese singles hit the American shelves in the fifties