If you are wondering what kind of person would get up early to go grocery shopping, let me introduce myself. I won’t crack my eyes before 8 a.m. for much, I rarely get to work on time and I wouldn’t get up before dawn to clothes shop, but I’ve figured out that if you get to Whole Foods when the doors open, it’s almost as if the store has opened just for you.
So, I was annoyed when I was shopping last week and a slim man was tagging at my heels and practically gazing over my shoulder in the oil aisle. I was about to dramatically swing my head around and give the interloper the ol’ stink eye (which, as a New Yorker, I believe I’ve perfected) when I noticed a set of soft blue eyes shielded under a baseball cap, attached the handsome visage of Edward Norton. I almost squealed in his face.
As I reached for the sesame oil, he reached for the sesame oil. Then he looked right at me.
“Excuse me,” he said, in that recognizable voice and I took a deep breath, “Do you use this on salad?”
He held up the bottle of sesame oil and I looked at it with such surprising affection, it was if holding a bouquet of flowers. I shook the fuzz from my mind and said, “Yes, yes I do.” I pointed out the plum vinegar I use with it and handed him a bottle. “It’s a nice dressing on a spring mix,” I added, trying not to sound like a dork but sensing I was rapidly failing.
“Great, thanks,” he said, and looked me right in the eye. We stood there, locked for what seemed like forever but was probably about 10 seconds, then I said, “Well, I have to go help Brad Pitt pick out a steak so…” And he laughed. I made Edward Norton laugh.
I wandered off into the next aisle, completely forgetting where I was or what I was doing, until I landed in the cracker selection. I reached up for a box of my favorites when I noticed Edward Norton had wandered into the cracker aisle and was examining my choice. I started to walk off and I noticed his hand reach up to pick up a box of the same crackers I had just put in my basket. Now I was convinced I was being punked. I looked back at him and he could read the bewilderment on my face.
“I’m kind of following you,” he said, “you seem to be picking up some really interesting stuff. I’m always looking for new things to try and I’ve been getting kind of bored with stuff I usually buy.”
I wanted to tell him that he picked the right person to shop behind. That I think about food more than anything else. That I commonly have dreams about brunch, that if even hear the word “taco” I have to go out and get a taco, that I could write a thesis about New York City pizza. I could have told him that I wake up early to go to Whole Foods once a week and it’s the highlight of my day and that sometimes I eat while I grocery shop because I just can’t wait. But I didn’t. I was suddenly really excited to show him the grape leaves. He met my smile with his own.
“Hi, I’m Edward, by the way,” he said as he reached out his hand.
Then I’m pretty sure I passed out.