Now that I have reached the prestigious age of 24, I am recognized by most of the world as being an adult–or at least adultish. I’ve survived college, bought my first non-clunker car, and have so-far managed to hold down a job in corporate America. (We’ll leave off admitting to the “still living at home” part for the present.)
As a responsible, respectable young person, I do what responsible, respectable young people do. I go to the grocery store and buy (most of) my own food.
On this particular day, I headed to the local Aldi’s on my way home from church to buy what I usually buy myself for a week of nutritious lunches. First passing the massive amounts of chips, I pick out a tasty looking bag. Next comes the cookies lined up and looking scrumptious. A package of these joins the first. Weaving my way up one aisle and down the next, I finally arrive at the produce section. Like every week, I grab some strawberries, lunch meat, tomatoes, and a head of iceberg lettuce. My trip was quick and cheap–just how I like it.
Sunday evening came around, and I was preparing my lunch for the next day. After discovering how mushy bread gets when it is in sandwich form for five hours before being consumed, I moved over to a type of sandwich wrap/taco-like creation. Not much flavor, but it does its job.
Popping open my strawberries, I took out a few, washing and dicing them for easy eating. Next, the carrots were plopped in a Ziploc bag, and the chips and cookies went next. Finally, I ripped open my head of lettuce. It had a strange shiny texture to it–almost like what waxed fruit looks like.
Hmmm, I thought to myself, it must not be quite ripe yet. Since a chicken and tomato wrap seemed rather lonely, I decided to take the lettuce along anyway. The color was good; the texture just seemed a little funky.
Monday arrived much too early, as always, and the hours ticked away until noon. Adjourning to my lunch-eating corner, I pulled out my materials and began assembling my wrap. The tomatoes weren’t quite ripe either, and my eyes didn’t make my stomach grumble with pleasant thoughts of what was to come. With a shrug, I took my first bite.
I continued munching on my sandwich wrap as I tried to figure out what was so loud and crunchy about it. Could it possibly be that the tomato was more unripe than I thought? Making it through half a wrap, I decided that a chicken-only wrap wasn’t too bad after all.
That evening, I began preparations for the next day. Pealing open the lettuce again, there was that same lime-green color. That same waxy texture. That same tearing sound when I ripped off a piece. I studied it a bit more. Perhaps I was wrong. Perhaps it was going bad.
“Is lettuce supposed to look like this?” I asked as I carried the head out into the living.
My sister took one look at it and laughed.
“That’s not lettuce,” she said. “That, My Dear, is a cabbage.”
A few important lessons were learned that day:
1. Make sure you know what you are buying (Just to clarify, nowhere on my cabbage did it say “This is a cabbage. Beware.”)
2. Watch out for sadistic supermarkets that place the lettuce and cabbage next to each other.
3. Finally, cabbage sandwiches will not be catching on anytime soon.
P.S. Don’t even get me started on the deceitfulness of Chicken of the Sea! 🙂