Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I've run out of miso and that is a fairly urgent need, but I'm not scheduled to make a run to the Asian market for another thirteen days. I guess I could make a trip in specially but that doesn't feel right with gas prices being as they are.
So. I must go into the passive-aggressive health food market. Hopefully they will carry it. My Korean market only stocks chu miso and I actually prefer the stronger aka miso. I was going to check at a new place in Asheville. But in the meantime, I must gird my loins and go to this market that is closer.
The people who run it are preachy and sort of scare me. Their bones poke through their sallow skin and their eyes are overly bright. I think they practice calorie restriction--you know, the people who eat like famine victims because it makes you live longer. I'm never really sure where to draw the line between that and anorexia. I think I scare them too. I think they think my steroid puffiness and fatness may be infectious.
When I lived in other places, I always found the health food stores to be very restful places. I liked how I felt when I left there. I liked the smell and the people who worked there--young women with wildly curly hair, india print dresses and hairy armpits. Clear faced, earnest boys in tie-dye and Birkenstocks. These places felt healthful--even though I knew 80 percent of what was there was snake oil. But some of the snake oil smelled pretty, so I didn't mind.
This place--this place is just not like that. I've been in houdou shops that felt more welcoming. Honestly, I've been a bit weird about the place after going in there and asking for something that would otherwise be standard health food store fair, but that they didn't "believe" in. I was treated to a lecture. Proselytizing.
You know, I used to regularly eat at the restaurant attached to the Hare Krishna Temple in Dallas. Amazing vegetarian food. Delicious. Best advertisement for giving up meat is good food. It's not something we do very well in the US--really good vegetarian food. Not once did a Krishna try to chat me up and convert me. And the food was so good that I took bunches of leaflets, bought their incense and a cookbook.
I think what bothers me about this place and why I avoid it so much is the over-weaning weight of obligation that hangs in the air there. It's not that the scary, skinny people are unfriendly or fail to smile--it's the sense that they find no joy in what they do. That what they believe and practice is as rigid and judgmental as some of the religious groups with similarly burning eyes and proselytizing speeches.
Sure, we all want to live longer--but let me live dancing, laughing and eating. If you can't infect me with the bliss you feel--if all you have to offer me is your reproach--then I'm not interested.