After spending the afternoon reworking my CV yet again, I had a rather strong craving for Kettle Chips (crisps, whatever) and a Snickers bar. And no, this is not a product placement post.
This presented a problem for me because I am, I’ve realized, a truly neurotic shopper. For some reason, I care a great deal about what cashiers think of me based on my purchases. I’m the person who still feels uncomfortable buying ‘just’ tampons or condoms and therefore feels the need to accompany these personal things with a number of other innocent drugstore items, such as shampoo or toothpaste, which results in my having lots of spare shampoo and toothpaste. Heaven knows what else I’ll buy if ever I’m required to purchase a pregnancy test.
I’m always afraid cashiers will ask questions or comment on my purchases in their attempts to be friendly: ‘So you’re using o.b.? My girlfriend loves that brand!’ And the thought of that brief exchange gives me chills. It’s the same thing at restaurants. If ever I feel like ordering a steak or some other red meat, or even a large breakfast plate, I imagine the server will question my judgement and say something like: ‘You sure you can handle that?’ And then I’ll wonder if I should have ordered something completely different. Plus, I’m usually a eat-healthy vegetarian, so even though the server wouldn’t know that, I’m convinced he’ll judge me for breaking code.
Which brings me back to the chips and chocolate bar dilemma: I’m pretty thin, so I always feel the need to make excuses for eating junk food. Like, maybe I’m having a party, and I require exactly one bag of chips and one chocolate bar. Convincing? I think not. One time I remember buying chocolate for some reason (it might have actually been for a party, in this case) and the cashier said something about how ‘it’s nice to treat yourself’. And even though that was a perfectly reasonable thing to say, it made me feel really insecure, as though he was making assumptions about my lifestyle.
So despite my neuroses, I left my cozy bedroom this evening to walk three blocks to the corner store, and the whole way I was trying to think up valid excuses for wanting the aforementioned items, just in case the cashier gave me so much as as awkward eyebrow raise. I selected my selections and placed them on the counter in front of a tired, middle-aged Middle-Eastern woman, and she barely made eye contact. I put the items in my bag and walked home, hoping none of my flatmates would be there to greet me and ask me where I’d been.
I don’t know how I live with myself sometimes.