It had been a day.
Specifically, it had been a day where the salmon fillets had not thawed out completely and were thus unsuitable for dinner, and it had been a day where that was just the last straw.
I went to the grocery store to grab a heat and serve something for dinner. My preferred local grocery store is one of the “natural foods” variety — good because it has more of the foods I like to eat, bad because it has significant overlap with people who like to view food in terms of moral superiority and deficiency.
Today has been a day, so my food choices would be characterized as the latter.
I show up in the checkout lane with a bag of coffee beans (light roast), a bottle of apple cider vinegar, and a frozen meat lovers’ pizza — the kind with pepperoni, sausage, and bacon on it.
In the lane, I try to grab a chocolate bar. The chocolate bar: milk chocolate, toffee, and sea salt. A happy rectangle of taste perfection. Only, there’s not enough clearance between the the bottom of the display box and the top of the shelf. I can’t get one of the bars out of the box, off of the shelf.
Today, this does not amuse me. Today, this is a big deal.
After a moment, I lift the entire box off the shelf, remove one chocolate bar, and replace the display. The chocolate is safe. Now I can pretend like everything is okay.
I am turned to face the woman in line behind me. I take in that she is approximately my own size and shape.
“It was almost a catastrophe,” I joke.
She grins widely in return.
The woman in front of me turns around, notices me, notices my items on the belt.
“You know, that’s just going to make you fatter.”
I am stunned. Did I hear right stunned. Did this woman just say that out loud and in public stunned. I’m scrambling to explain all the reasons why what I’m eating is okay — which, now that I think back on it, her comment would have been rude even if I ate bacon pizza and chocolate every fucking day — when the woman behind me speaks up.
“Yeah, I hear apple cider vinegar will do that to you.”
In the instant between that sentence and the start up of the conveyor belt, I laughed.