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We are what we eat

It’s been raining for hours. And yet, the Saturday open market in Edgar Quinet is crowded. After wasting about half the morning debating if my tiny umbrella would resist today’s winter wind I decided to be brave and go run some errands (applause, please). I went for my Uniqlo giant puffer (think Rihanna’s Balenciaga dress for the 2021 Met Gala) that is the most resembling thing to a duvet, I highly recommend. I don’t own any caps, which I immediately regretted once I crossed the building’s front door right into the worst hurricane ever to crush Rue du Montparnasse. The walk to the supermarket takes about two minutes, an amount of time in which I managed to spot berets, tangerines from a market stand and a Pomeranian flying free at the wind’s mercy. 

Once in the comfort of the Monoprix walls, I closed what was left of my weak umbrella and breathed in relief. I don’t know if it was the sight of Christmas decorations or the fact that I was listening to Love Actually’s playlist on Spotify but I managed to restore my good mood. I walked myself downstairs to get a shopping basket ready to start checking my to-buy list when I bumped into a man that shared that same goal. He was quite old and had a serious pose so I let him go first after what was a rather awkward oh, pardon, désolée, allez-y in my eternal ambition to avoid conflicts. We parted ways only to find ourselves again in the vegetables weighing machines. I pretended to be highly invested in the three different types of kiwis displayed on the side to give him a chance to go first, again. It was the meet-cute scene from The Holiday but the other way around. That grumpy mister Paris and I had apparently the exact same shopping list since we met yet three more times: in the meat section selecting viandes hachées, in the cereal aisle where I was looking for apéro toasts and finally, the long-waited automatic cashiers. In every encounter, he managed to get a better version of the product I needed. I’m usually cost-conscious but I succumbed to the pressure and got a gourmet burrata instead of the discounted generic mozzarella just to prove him I also cared about quality. I joined the “we are what we eat” cult then and there and I knew my boyfriend would be happy about the choice. My levels of stress were increasing steadily (I like to do my shopping alone) so I decided to get a face mask to reward my patience and commitment to duty. And a rimmel. And cotton patches. No wonder capitalism can’t die, consumption is an overly underrated cure. 

Anyways, I made it to the exit, but couldn’t exit just yet. The guard stopped me and asked for the sales check. I was so nervous I couldn’t find it, and I completely forgot how to speak French so I was babbling excuses while searching my pockets with too much energy. The man looked back at me with distrust, avez-vous piqué quelque chose madame?, and I was turning into the vivid image of an amateur thief. I was even wearing an all-black outfit, for God’s sake. Desperate, I tried to pull my best puss in boots face and kept saying je ne suis pas française, je suis désolée on the verge of crying rivers. Why on earth would I be nervous if I had not stolen a thing? I paused for a minute and convinced myself to chill. I remembered a prison in the center of Paris, how bad could that be? They must serve croque-monsieurs there. My thought was interrupted by the sight of my not-at-all-meet-cute walking past us. He turned and noticed I was his groceries partner in crime. He chose that moment to fake a smile and waved me goodbye. Unbelievable, we were practically friends and he abandoned me at my worst. 

I gasped and watched my only witness fade away.


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