On being pretentious.

I use my own bags at the grocery store. We compost. We have a share in a farm and get most of our produce from there. We also buy a whole lot at the Farmer’s Market. From time to time, we shop at Trader Joe’s. (In fact, we have to drive to Chapel Hill to go to Trader Joe’s. Sometimes we catch an independent film while we are there.) In other words, Mike and I can be, well, pretentious. We know this. We don’t love it, but it’s just how things are these days. We would be crunchy except I’m not really the crunchy type. So we’ll just stick to being pretentious.

This school year, one of my favorite games to play with the band and orchestra teacher was to mention something pretentious Mike and I had done and then look at her to watch her roll her eyes.

“When Mike and I were at the Farmer’s Market this weekend . . . ”

“When Mike and I were shopping at Ten Thousand Villages . . . ”

“While we were in Chapel Hill to see Slumdog Millionaire, we stopped by Trader Joe’s and picked up some goat cheese. ”

Now, the band and orchestra teacher would want me to tell you that she recycles and she is for saving the planet. She just likes to make fun of me. She loves to give me a hard time about the Farmer’s Market and the lack of summer blockbusters in my life. And I like her so much that I encourage it. During the last week of school, I happened to see her in the hall as I was eating an apple, and I waved the core at her and said, “Just want you to know, I am taking this home to compost it!” She laughed and asked if that was true. “No. I’m taking it home to Big Bunny. But we compost her litter, so it’s kind of true.” (She rolled her eyes.) (Which, unquestionably, I deserved.)

Since it’s summertime, I kind of miss our interactions. I haven’t done very many pretentious things this summer. So far. Before I tell you about my latest and greatest pretentious move, let’s talk about olive oil. My mom went on a Mediterranean cruise and she brought Mike back some olive oil from Greece. This was The Greatest Olive Oil Of All Time and with it he made excellent hummus. After that, he declared that we must use olive oil from Greece. And we spent some time at the Teeter looking at their giant wall of olive oil. Which was, as I remarked upon at the time, incredibly ridiculous. No one needs that many choices when it comes to olive oil. I just want one from Greece.

Now we know it’s cheaper at Fresh Market, so I went there the other day specifically to pick up olive oil (who runs out of olive oil?). While I was standing in front of their slightly smaller shelf of exotic varieties of olive oil, I had a brain fart about whether we wanted Italian olive oil or Grecian olive oil. I considered calling Mike. I imagined the conversation that my fellow shoppers would overhear. “Dear, do we want olive oil from Greece or Italy?” It sort of made me sick. I looked back at the selection of many different olive oils, and I called anyway. He didn’t answer. After a minute, I managed to remember which one we needed, so I bought it – I had my own bag – and headed out to my car. At which time I called the band and orchestra teacher to tell her the tale. She was appropriately horrified. Here is a snippet from the end of our conversation.

KARI: When I was at the checkout, the cashier said, “I buy my olive oil in a big jug at Costco.”

B & O TEACHER: You know you are pretentious when the cashier at Fresh Market thinks you are pretentious.

KARI: I know. There is pretty much no hope for me at this point.

(I might have needed a break from school, but I kind of miss the other teachers.)

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