An exercise in attempted empathy.
8:15 am: Hello, High Speed Farmer’s Market White Male Achiever Bro. It would be so easy for me to be angry at you for barreling into me as you exit the market this morning. Because I really could have stepped aside and let you and your ripped Star Wars t-shirt complete this achievement faster and better than any of the dudes who dominate the market at this hour. I guess I just wanted to see if you would step aside. Or really, even see me, in my bright red sun hat, entering the market in a leisurely Sunday morning kind of way, so happy to have beaten the sun and the crowds. How foolish of me.
Instead, I will imagine that you have a wife at home. She’s been up all night with poor little Brayden, who is teething hard, and can only by soothed by a chilled dinosaur egg pluot rubbed gently against his swollen gums.
So goodbye, High Speed Farmer’s Market White Male Achiever Bro. I will think of you fondly when I make a spontaneous decision to see a movie later this afternoon.
9am: Hello, Earnest Survey Lady. Why yes, I am registered to vote. Thank you and — well no, I’m not particularly against development in Hollywood, as long as it’s done responsibly, so — well, actually I rather enjoy seedless watermelon, even if they aren’t precisely natural, so yes — it would be very easy for me to start getting annoyed at this point, b/c I’m getting to the Farmer’s Market a little late today, and the blazing summer sun is already beating down on two of the four streets where I want to purchase all the vegetables I need to let slowly rot in the fridge as I order from Postmates one last time.
Instead I will remember that look in your eye just before you approached me. It was definitely a “getting up the courage to be rejected” look, and I remember how that felt when I used to have to approach people at gas stations with a microphone and a cameraman and ask them how they felt about gas prices.
So, thanks Earnest Survey Lady. You are doing a good deed, even if 99.8% of the people at this Farmer’s Market are most definitely already registered to vote.
9:30a: Yes, yes, Aggressive Male Hummus Duo, I will try another dip. I don’t really understand what I’m trying, or if it has milk in it, but I’m — yes this one is delicious as well, and what was that? You are speaking very fast. It would be so easy for me to get frustrated with you for the way your dual sales pitch is burrowing into my brain like that big space drill they used in “Armageddon.” It would also be easy for me to start yelling that I can’t even decide which of your fine products I want to purchase because you are still yelling at me about trying the sun-dried tomato garlic spread on toasted pita, even though it pretty much tastes the same as the last delicious garlic spread I tried.
Instead, I will remember that you are just doing your job, and doing it well. It’s not your fault that this is the last possible moment on Sunday before my brain starts to worry about work, and the silent anticipation of which dip we will be eating while watching “The Night Of” is the best thing that will happen to me today.
So farewell, Aggressive Male Hummus Duo, I applaud your entrepreneurship almost as much as I treasure my ability to flee it.
10am: Dear Double Stroller Family. I’m glad that you have produced these two beautiful blonde children, close enough in age to warrant a gigantic double stroller. Gertrude and Hunter fill my childless heart with a lovely flicker of borrowed warmth as they close their tiny hands around the nectarine at the bottom of the free sample tin. Especially Hunter, who is still in his toy train PJ’s. I know it would be taking the easy way out for me to get angry at that gigantic double-wide stroller you’ve left in the middle of the increasingly crowded thoroughfare.
Instead, I will choose to enjoy how happy your children look as they pet that blind baby goat. Ripping my big toe nail on that jagged piece of plastic above your back rear stroller wheel is a small price to pay for such lovely gifts to the planet.
So farewell Double Stroller Family. I hope someone will have fixed college tuition prices by the time you need to confront them.
10:30a Oh, Avocado Guy. I get that you are selling a finicky fruit. But all of your avocados are hard. Like, rock hard. I would need a time machine to eat this avocado before next Sunday’s Farmer’s Market. I’m quite tempted to be mad at the way this will inhibit my good eating intentions all this week. I’ll probably have to order Postmates again.
Instead, I will be happy that you, at least, are in the shade. Because it is getting hot out here. Also, a small suggestion: Next time you set up your farm-fresh avocado sign, maybe you should hide those LA Wholesale Farmer’s Market branded boxes a little deeper inside your van.
11a: Hello, Lady with The Straw Hat & Whimsical Summer Scarf Wrapped Just So Around The Brim: It would be very easy for me to be angry at the way you have been weaving around the Farmer’s Market all morning, apparently unable to decide just which kale is exactly right for the healthy pre-prepared lunches you’ll never make. I am very tempted to get annoyed at they way you keep yelling at your husband to keep up, because you are getting really overheated and his phone is dead. Maybe if you had just woken up a little earlier this would not be a problem.
Instead, I will remember that I may have been looking in the mirror at the face-painting mirror a little too long, and that it might be time to head downhill to the place with the great iced-coffee that validates parking.
See you next week, Hollywood Farmer’s Market.