If you don't live where we live, well, you just have NO IDEA. Our high-end grocery is a WalMart and DO YOU THINK I'D MAKE THAT SHIT UP? No lie. They finally put a Publix about 45 minutes away, and my family now has three doctors: a pediatric dentist, an ENT and a dermatologist, in that town. I can stock up on butter on a regular basis.
The only Whole Foods I had even been to was the original one in Austin. But that time I'd been sitting at that bar with the porch? Where you get shit-faced and watch the sun go down? And I was staying in a hotel so it wasn't like I could stock up or anything. So when this Whole Foods opened in Birmingham, my first thought was...Explorateur. OMG. Explorateur.
Explorateur would be a cheese. And if you're a cheese person then you know, there are cheeses and then there are cheeses and I'm here to tell you...this is one more cheese. Needless to say, WM doesn't carry it. When Tria opened in Homewood, I occasionally brought home a couple of wheels but it's been a while and I was approaching withdrawal so last week...Whole Foods and Explorateur.
Only, if you like to eat and you like fun stuff, Whole Foods is an absolute sensory overload. You just can't fucking handle it and when I walked in there, well, everything just blew up. The Child From The Defective Gene Pool and I strolled through, mouths agape. I HAVE good olive oil, so I bought a really expensive one because I liked the bottle. I bought Scottish porage oats because...hey, they're good for me. I paid $40 for two small filets because the little kids weren't going to be home and I didn't have to share. I bought baby bok choy.
And then I bought cheese. I bought seven kinds of cheese, five of which I had never heard of. I made notes on a pad...Hirtenkase is served with German beer. Mahon is served with fresh rosemary and a ribbon of olive oil. (If your dick's not hard now, leave this blog. You have no sense of appreciation.) I bought Baby Swiss because it's always been my husband's favorite and Stilton because The Not Nice Kid eats it plain.
And then real life kicked in and this little boy (keeping in mind, I'm 51 years old. He was probably 35 but after a point...they all look alike.) said, "I actually came over here to tell you that it's Whole Foods' policy that only employees can take pictures."
Well, that just pretty much leaves you speechless...if it left ME speechless then it's a given conversation killer. WTF are you going to do? WRESTLE A 50-YEAR-OLD WOMAN TO THE GROUND AND BEAT HER CAMERA OUT OF HER DYING GRASP? He didn't offer me a JOB, so that pretty much left that out.
I actually let it go. Told him why I was taking the pictures and that I would stop. Didn't laugh when he wiped the sweat off his face and that's a true story. I had enough pictures to make my point. That little boy didn't make the rules. And puh-leeze people...is this an issue?
But I was so enamored of the absolute abundance of the place, and so happy with my little pile of stuff, that I just let it go. I bought a small round carrot cake for The Nice Kid and a Pear Williams Mousse Delight cake for my husband. We got coffee and sipped and stared at the rows of imported coffees in awe.
Last night, we had a minor family crisis and after tennis lessons instead of going home, I ended up at the Mexican restaurant having a margarita with my sister. And when we got home, I pulled out the Baby Swiss, the Stilton, one of the experimental bottles of wine and some bread for my husband's supper. And The Not Nice Child strolled through, took a bite of the Stilton and in her infinite seven-year-old wisdom announced, "You know, you really need pears with that."
And oh, by the way. I forgot the Explorateur.