The politicization of grocery shopping

NOTE: This is a rare post that has nothing to do with the outdoors, fitness, or anything else of that ilk. But go ahead and read it anyway.

One of the things that has regrettably become a part of life today is that everything has become politicized. And I do mean everything.

If I put a description of a person here, you can guess their politics.

So, let’s say it’s a 30-something suburban mom driving an SUV, transporting her kids from soccer practice to church.

Or perhaps some dude attired in a second-hand-store outfit right out of “Portlandia,” sipping on gourmet blend coffee at a trendy coffee shop while updating his twitter status on his iPad.

Someone with a southern accent.

Someone with a Yankee accent.

Places are definitely political. Guess the party affiliation of a gated community. Or an independent book store. A Baptist church. A synagogue.

Even things can be political. For instance, a full-sized pickup with a gunrack. Or the gun in the gunrack.

Or maybe a pair or open-toed sandals. For men.

See what I mean?

Living in Oklahoma, politics take a decidedly rightward lean. We’re smack in the middle of Red State America. I mean red meat, red-blooded, redneck, Red State America.

This is a state that hasn’t voted for a Democrat for president since Lyndon Johnson beat Barry Goldwater back in 1964. That means every GOP candidate since then, no matter how big of a stiff that guy was, got the Oklahoma vote.

In 2008, Barack Obama lost every county in Oklahoma, all 77 of them. Oklahoma’s lone Democratic congressman hinted that even he didn’t vote for him. (He for sure didn’t endorse him, and regularly votes against his own party.)

When they show those maps of red-vs-blue during elections, Oklahoma looks like a big red pan-shaped stop sign, telling liberals far and wide, “Don’t bring that s**t here.”

To me, it’s kind of crazy how politicized everything has become. Even grocery shopping has a distinct blue/red conflict going on.

A different crowd shops at Walmart than say, Trader Joe’s. Or Whole Foods.

We actually have Whole Foods in Tulsa. Sometimes when I’m feeling wealthy or really granola I’ll go there.

Other people will make the jump, too.

So there’s this suburban mom who decides she and her family need to eat better food. Less processed stuff, less stuff trucked in from the other side of the world, fewer GMOs, etc. She steps over that “organic” threshold (what would the neighbors think!) and heads on down to Whole Foods. She’s been watching “Oprah” and “Dr. Oz,” ya know.

So she heads out, her young boy in tow, jumps in the Chevy Suburban/Ford Expedition/name your big SUV, pulls out of the manicured anonymity of the ‘burbs and drives on down to the store.

They pull into the parking lot, get out and head inside. Instantly, the difference in clientele is apparent. Rail thin vegan women wearing smart eyewear and outdoor performance clothing. Yoga instructors and “runners.” Aging hippies and young hipsters. Dudes in skinny jeans, scarves and fedoras. A distinct lack of makeup.

This is obviously a much different experience than Junior is used to seeing when mommy drags him to the store. He’s heard of these people. Seen them on TV. Overheard whispers about them amongst the adults at church. Like a youngster addicted to nature shows who gets to see the real thing at the city zoo, little Junior is anxious to show mom how much he has learned.

He tugs on mom’s sleeve. She looks down.

Keeping hold of her sleeve with one hand, while pointing at the shoppers with the other, he lets it fly:

“Look ma! Democrats!”

And thus, the politicization of grocery shopping is complete.

Bob Doucette

On Twitter @RMHigh7088

POSTSCRIPT: Some of this is made up. But I think you get the point. Peace.


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