I don't like Farmers markets. There, I said it. They stress me out. I hate to admit this because I am enamored with the idea of them, but that's about where it ends. Even their spelling freaked me out back in editing class--Farmer's? Farmers'? Farmers!
I don't mind the booths where you just walk up and order some food because that's a process I, as a 25-year-old American female who drove to Dunkin' Donuts every day of her 15th year, am very familiar with. Order food, pay for food, wait for food, walk away. I get it. That makes sense. What doesn't make sense to me, however, is walking up to a booth filled with 437 types of leaves and then responding to the expectant stares of the growers of said leaves who think I have something intelligent to say to them. I don't know the difference between these leaves, Mr. Farmer Man. I desperately wish I did, but truth be told I don't even know how to order them. Can I just point to 7 different ones and say, "I'll take one of each, thank you very much"? Or is picking seven in poor taste? How many leaves does one need? Should I ask where they came from? Does the color gradation make a difference in taste? Is $5 a good price for one leaf? Can I use my debit card? Should I sample the leaf first? There are just way too many variables! I can't take the pressure!
Instead of trying it out and learning from my mistakes like my terrified 15-year-old self did at the drive-through, I smile awkwardly at the person selling leaves and briskly walk to the next booth knowing that they know that I know that I'm going to buy pesticide-covered broccoli pre-chopped in a plastic bad from Safeway later. I guess my favorite part is the free samples. Even that stresses me out a little though. What if someone just left their wide variety of sugar and cayenne pepper crusted pecans out on accident? What if the last person who took some just got done blowing their nose before neglecting to use the scoop? Even if they did use the scoop, chances are I'm going to forget which hand I used to hold the scoop handle last time and lick their boogers anyway. I don't like fighting my way through crowds and seeing people push their tiny dogs in strollers. I do like looking at the little babies trying to toddle around but I can't play with them anyway and I get scared some stroller dog is going to accidentally knock them over.
Last time I went to the farmers market they wouldn't even let my dog into the market area. There is a significant medium-to-large-dog-ist attitude in this country. Everyone hates on little dogs in everyday conversation but when it comes down to it, guess who gets to sit in the stroller getting pet by strangers about to dunk their hands into communal kettle corn and guess who has to sit in the hot-as-balls car with no water? That's right, my medium-sized beagle mutt is the one having a heat stroke in the car while I'm sampling 17 varieties of blood oranges. They all taste the same, y'all.
I'm certain my distaste for this craze has nothing to do with sustainable farming or buying local and everything to do with my discomfort in crowds and crippling self-doubt when it comes to the unfamiliar. Remember my carwash debacle? Same thing. I'm paralyzed by unfamiliar options. Watch me try to navigate the vitamin section at Whole Foods, I dare you. You'll have a good laugh as the annoyed yogis practice deep breathing while my face turns beet red (there's most likely a supplement for that--try baboon anal gland extract and never blush again!)
None of this is going to keep me from actually going to farmers markets, mind you. Chances are I'll come across one that turns this whole thing around for me any day now, but for now since it's Wednesday and all, I figured I'd get this confession off my chest.
Go link up your confessions with Melissa.