Although our CSA is over, I still went to the market this morning. For one, I’ve been slacking on my 10,000 steps per day Fitbit goal. For two, I thought about buying conventional produce at the grocery store and realized that my brain was whining at me about it. For three, the weather was kind of grim and this being the weekend after Thanksgiving, I figured the market would be as deserted as possible.
It wasn’t deserted, but there were certainly less people there today than there were last week, and no one seemed as stressed. I could actually get to certain booths without having to elbow my way past gawking parents with $1500 Scandinavian strollers, and I didn’t have to wait behind some privileged asshole trying to haggle with the honey farmers about bee pollen.
Oh, that woman. See, last week I needed some vanilla honey, and because I didn’t want to scrape my own vanilla bean pods clean (at least not for honey), I figured I’d pick up a few flavoring-sized tubes at the honey stall for less than a dollar total. So I went, got the tubes, and waited to pay for about five minutes because the woman ahead of me wasn’t thinking about monopolizing the time of not only the farmers, but anyone else who happened to be behind her, either.
She wanted bee pollen, which I understand can be used with varying efficacy (and by that I mean probably none at all, but you try telling a rich hippie that) for certain health issues. So I’ve got no problem with people buying it, because if there’s a market for the product, I say let a farmer get money however they can. This lady wanted all of the stall’s bee pollen – about six jars, all with pretty labels – and she wanted it dumped in a bag. She didn’t want it in the jars, and by that I mean that she didn’t want to pay for the jars.
Nevermind that someone at the farm had spent time and been paid money to package this stuff, likely adhering to FDA standards. This woman wanted all of this stall’s product, she wanted it in an entirely different format than was available, and she wanted it for less money. And she spent at least five minutes trying to convince the farmers that this was reasonable, although I hope, ultimately, without success because she was an asshole and ended every sentence in a question mark.
And, like, you know that pisses me off? Because it really sucks to be one of the only people left who knows how to speak declaratively? Like a semi-intelligent human being?
Then, later at the veggie quesadilla/food co-op booth, a group of three middle-aged women and their pre-teen kids stood around waiting for their orders. Let me say first that I love this co-op booth. They use only local, organic veggies available at the market, provide a ½ price menu item to anyone who is unemployed, and will allow anyone to try any veggie on their menu as a side for less than a dollar. Not sure if you like mustard greens? Here, try them practically for free.
It’s just a really nice system and their food is delicious, so Courtney and I will usually get one for breakfast on our way towards the end of the market. We don’t mind waiting because we can see the food being made right in front of us, and because the people in the co-op are nice, and who even cares, it’s a Sunday morning and we’re spending it at a fucking farmer’s market.
So these women and their kids are standing around, and although they’ve been waiting for maybe two minutes, one of them leans in and loudly demands (not asks, demands) “I ordered three whole veggie quesadillas?”
Yeah, lady, they know. You’re standing right there. The grill on which your food is being made is less than three feet from you. You can see it, the people manning the grill can see you, and you’re next in the food line so obviously the stuff cooking right the fuck now is for you. I understand that your concept of food preparation is probably limited to the pastry case/microwave combo at Starbucks, but actual food made with whole ingredients tends to take more than 30 seconds outside of an industrial convection cooker.
So then her quesadillas are done, and as the woman cooking it is handing it to the awful woman, the awful woman demands (again, she doesn’t ask, she demands), “Yeah, can I get more containers to split between all of us, yeah thank you.”
No question. No actual request. No pause. Just a demand, the implication that the woman cooking it should have known better despite the actual order, and that immediate, insincere “thank you” tacked on the end like some bitchy white lady afterthought, a way to communicate that she’s not actually thankful, it’s just her perfunctory way of pretending to be polite.
Sigh sigh infinite fucking sigh.
I realize that I’m the one who made the choice to move to a mostly upper class neighborhood in a mostly upper class city. I realize that a Sunday farmer’s market in this neighborhood is likely to be a mostly upper class environment. I do these things because I feel safe, and after nearly a lifetime of being in places where this was not an option, I really like it here. But it’s still disheartening to see that even though you’re in a place of unreasonable privilege, where a general atmosphere of comfort should mean that people are more likely to be nice and accommodating of one another, there is an overwhelming number of rich fucking assholes who make demands rather than ask questions, who don’t understand the amount of effort required by others to provide them with this nice weekend morning, and who are no doubt raising another generation of future assholes who will be even worse, probably, because don’t you always want your kids to have more than you did? And that includes assholery.