I am not a mean person. While in my youth, I may have used my talent for comic observation for evil instead of good, I am not that person anymore. This is why, when faced with the opportunity to save some one’s feelings by lying to their face…I usually do it.
Today I was grocery shopping. I had my little list and my reusable cloth bags (domesticated, much?) and I had a cart full of my favorite things including raw veggies and raw meat. Now, I am no brain surgeon, but basic reasoning skills tell me that one should not place raw meat and veggies together.
I am a little insane, and I go to great lengths to assure that the meat does not mingle with my veggies while in my cart. I safely partition the chicken breasts from the eggplants with a reinforced wall of spaghetti sauce jars and chickpea cans- I have a system.
Yet every time I get to the register, there is some broken-down, shell of a person who is slinging my precious groceries around, bruising apples, squishing bread and giving me salmonella. I do not want to embarrass this person, who is clearly working hard at the only job he is qualified for. I think in my mind how, if I micro-manage the bagging skills, I might shatter his fragile spirit, he will quit his job, and after becoming a broken, shell of a man he would lose his health benefits and this would negatively impact his tooth retention. Yeah, these are the thoughts I think while someone is bagging my groceries.
I have also spent time thinking of how to fix this problem, and as with most things in this life, I use lies.
So, today, as he placed my peppers next to the sausage, I stopped him and gracefully said “I am sorry, but can you not place the raw meat next to the vegetables, my boyfriend is a vegetarian and if he sees raw meat in there, I will never hear the end of it.”
By saying this phrase, I spared the poor bag-slave the embarrassment of being corrected AND if he was offended, he would be offended with my boyfriend, not me.
This phrase also gives outsiders the impression that I can be in some sort of normal relationship. Although it does speak to my mental health that even my imaginary boyfriend is kind of a dick.
The most important outcome of this is that I do not get bacterial enteritis. And if you counter with “chelsea, you could just wash your fruits and vegetables”, well, then fuck you, sir.