Monday, September 17, 2012

Guilty as (over-)charged

Long, long ago, when I was a young'un, a recent college grad and newish grad student filled with energy and dreams, I wrote somewhat disparagingly about a Chronicle of Higher Ed feature on academics' guilty pleasures. No Perez Hilton? No $10 Prospect Heights martinis? C'mon, guys.

But nowadays, I kind of get it. Not all of academia follows this trajectory - I was briefly at an astrophysics-postdoc keg party this past weekend - but me, I'm nicely settled into middle age, and my guilty pleasure these days is to go to the Greenmarket and load up.

But this is guiltier than it sounds! Guilty because what exactly am I doing at 11:45 on a weekday, wandering around, buying groceries, when I have a car, live in the suburbs, and am meant to be in the weekly-haul mode? Shouldn't I just buy vegetables at Wegmans or Whole Foods like a normal person?

Guilty because why did I just spend $3.50 on a bunch of arugula? (Then, at another stand, $2 for what looked identical.) Still a bargain compared with any arugula salad purchased outside, but the calorie-to-cent ratio here can't be impressive.

Guilty also because not all vegetables survive the journey, nor do all eventually get consumed - it's possible, apparently, to overestimate one's own future enthusiasm for broccoli rabe. (I like the idea of broccoli rabe. Readers, expect a post sometime on the many foods I like the idea of.) At home, there are ears of corn for fresh-corn salad, there's lacinato kale for that shredded-kale salad, there's so much basil, arugula, all of it perhaps asking to be turned into one of those "cleanse" smoothies for lack of will to prepare it more appetizingly.

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