I come to Whole Foods every single day. It’s my new routine. I’d say I’m about two visits away from a, “Wait, don’t tell me…12 oz. yerba mate?”
The reason I like Whole Foods is it’s so anonymous. It’s a grocery store. People don’t come here to be seen on their MacBook Pros. People don’t come here to pay 10 dollars for an americano and then tip five because they’re afraid the hip Seattle barista with a tattoo of a manatee will think they’re lame if they don’t. People don’t come here for the atmosphere. Besides being comfortable, there is no atmosphere.
When you walk into most coffee shops in Seattle people size you up, (if they can look up from their MacBook Pros for more than 0.04 seconds) thinking, “Hmmm, who is this guy? Is he a graphic designer? A photographer? Does he seriously have no tattoos?”
I’m just waiting for a hipster to say it one day instead of just passively aggressively thinking it.
Hipster: “Yo, so I’m going to be honest with you,” he/she says after giving me a high five instead of shaking my hand, “You have no forearm tattoos, and it’s kinda weird. Also, you look like you might care about sports. You look like you might be com– compe– competit– (struggles to even pronounce word) compet — comp — comp — competitive.”
Me: “Do I know you?”
Hipster: “Look, just like get a wolf or a beating heart tattooed on your ribs or something. Also, just so you know, it’s cool to play sports like kickball, but not real sports. And it’s never cool to try or care about anything, unless it’s how many followers you have on Instagram. And even then, it’s — OK, how do I put this — oh my God, so awkward — it’s not cool to care how many Instagram followers you have, but it’s also not cool to NOT have very many followers. You get me?”
Me: “So I need to have a bunch. But I can’t want a bunch.”
Hipster: “Exactly. Also, you need to like go to more desert locations and take photos of you and your friends standing around next to huge rocks. But please — please please please — don’t exert yourself. Don’t, like, actually go hiking. Don’t, like, sweat. Gross. Just, like, take pictures using medium format cameras.”
Me: “OK. So I should get a tattoo. And take pictures next to rocks.”
Me: “A tattoo of a wolf?”
Hispter: “That’s one example. Just make sure you get something forest-themed or something to do with the rugged life. Get like an axe or something.”
Me: “Do hipsters like the outdoors?”
Hipster: “No, but we like to pretend we do. Look, you’re obviously not really understanding, so I’ll break it down for you. Cool: Taking a picture next to a huge-ass stump. Not cool: Enjoying the forest by yourself or with a friend but not documenting it. Cool: Trying to chop the stump into smaller pieces, but being so bad at it that you just end up doing a photoshoot with the axe. Not cool: Actually being competent at using the axe.
“Now do you get it?”
Me: “I think so. So, appearances are the only thing that matter?”
Hispter: “God. No. It’s more like, ‘Appearing as if appearances don’t matter even though they totally matter is the only thing that matters.'”
Hipster: “Really good to meet you, man.”
(Another high five. Hipster walks back to table and sits next to pale Caucasian girl with a tattoo of an Indian headdress on the underside of her bicep.)
Anyway, as I was saying, this doesn’t happen in Whole Foods, because even though it has a cafe, Whole Foods is primarily a grocery store. Granted, it’s a neo-hippie, “it doesn’t really matter if it’s organic; what matters is it costs more” kind of grocery store, but that’s the subject for a different rant. And I’m not here to rant. I’m here to sip my 12 oz. yerba mate and enjoy the conservative music coming from the speakers, blissfully unaware that life could be so much better if I just cared a little more but didn’t care, if I tromped around the desert next to huge rocks, and if my forearms had a little ink.