I heard that Whole Foods Market was opening an hour earlier for the over-60 crowd this week. Ok, I’ll admit to my age for this perk. On my early morning run today I thought I’d swing by and check it out. No big shopping trip, just a quick in and out, and maybe snag some fresh tomatoes, if they have some.
There was a security guard at the doors. I flashed my ID, though he waved me on with disinterest. Either they weren’t checking, or it was too obvious that I qualified. Not like the checkout clerk at Walgreens, who actually knows us, and still insists on seeing our ID for a bottle of wine — every single time. This of course launches my dear husband into a rant — also every single time, which I now have memorized. But I digress.
Back to the Whole Foods expedition, it was my first foray out into retail in almost a week. I had only seen pictures on the news, so wasn’t sure what to expect. I also wasn’t sure I should be here. Was I being reckless and cavalier?
There were lots of gaps in shelves which young stockers were working to refill before the 8am general opening. It wasn’t very crowded. I passed only one or two people down each aisle. Everyone looked similar to me: a just-got-out-of-bed look about them, nobody smartly dressed for the office, very focused on an efficient grab and go. There were few smiles or hellos.
As I headed to the checkout I saw where all the people were. Not enough checkers had shown up yet. Ugh. With a long line of heavy laden baskets snaked around the corner, I considered aborting mission. But hey, I’m in no rush, so I decided to wait it out. Observing my peer group more closely in line now, I realized that they may resemble me in many ways, but there was one notable difference: most of them had on protective gloves and many were wearing face masks too. Geez, what was I thinking? I had disinfectant wipes with me, but not all this hazmat equipment. Eeek! I suddenly felt naked, exposed.
What am I doing here? Decide again to stay, or bolt now? It suddenly seemed like wildly risky behavior — like having unprotected sex with a stranger. What new reality am I living in? Now I have to remember to bring masks, gloves, disinfectant wipes and handsanitizer, as well as my own bags?!
I’m going back into my cave.