Sunday, November 06, 2005

On Food Sampling

Food Sampling is not a difficult job, which is why I like it. The time goes fast, people come to you, happy and eager to try things, and you usually see people you know. On occasion, there are the people endowed with curiosity that come up with a disapproving look, only to tell you what the product you have to offer really is ie. junk, crap etc, or that they don't want to try it. They are the exceptions who figure there is always a catch to everything, especially if it's for free. Well, I'll tell you a secret: the only catch is that you'll like what you're tasting, then you'll choose to buy it.

You have to be quick with your hands and welcoming with your smile, but beyond that, it's simple.

This weekend's product was Fruit Loops Winders. They are a 50% fruit roll that separates into strings when you un'wind' it. I credit the brand on the creative name, and they're fun to play with (I know) but I don't like anything that gets stuck in your teeth against your will, and I wouldn't say that it's a first-of-it's-kinder.

It was delightful to see children's eyes light up at the sight of a rainbow-coloured strip of candy. I was encouraged to be creative, so I busied myself making different shapes and arrangements with the food -squeezing the strips together into triangles that I would stack upon eachother, thus effectively making a David's star, or writing things with the edible string like "cool" and "fun". My favorite was seeing little tikes sneak up after they had already had one sample, grab another, and dash off with their loot. I was reminded of the innocence of children, how they were too shy often to take a sample themselves. In contrast, their parents were hardened by the world, harshly berating their children for taking too much time or not saying 'thank you'.

Speaking of rude adults, I was having a great day yesterday, until lunch, when I scooted over to another parking lot to get Subway. It's been raining all weekend, and I sense snow soon. In the dreariness of it all, I parked in the closest parking lot available. Right beside me was a car straddled over 3 parking spaces, diagonally, but it didn't really phase me, I just thought: chaqu'un son gout.

I put on my parking brake and I was getting out of the car when I heard a muffled noise coming out of the car beside me. The noise was a man shouting "What?!@ Are you f#$king blind?" He was furious. I guess because my car was parked in front of the nose of his car, he was upset. The fact that he was upset made me upset. Territorialize much? I walked up to his window and asked straight up: "What?" The tone I asked him with could have been more neutral, but I suppose my feathers were already ruffled. "There's a million spaces in this parking lot, but you had to park right in front of me." He complained, using an exaggerated inflection in his voice. It was true, the spot I parked in was in front of him (it was not true that there were a million spaces in the parking lot), but I was not in front of him directly enough that it would have affected anything, and he wasn't parked in a parking space at all! He was parked in three spaces. He could still have turned and made it out, so I figured this was a something else kind of confrontation.

He went on: "all it would've taken is just a little thought" again raising his voice really high on the word 'little'(insulting my intelligence). From my point of view, his anger seemed completely unwarranted. "I don't see what the big problem is. Would you like me to move somewhere else?" "No, what I want is for you not to have parked in front of me." At this point, my impatience was growing. I had offered to move, and he was just being a jerk. Here's a guy who obviously wanted to start a fight and wouldn't be happy anyway, because his lottery ticket hadn't won, or his girlfriend wouldn't listen to him anymore. "All it would take is the same amount of thought to back-up and pull-out as it would take for me not to have parked here" I told him. Then he grabbed his window and looked livid and waved at me furiously saying I-don't-want-to-hear-its and buddy-I'm-warning-you's. Typical. He wants to complain but doesn't want to hear any solutions and he just wants to rage on me even though he knows he's out of touch. I HATE THESE WRETCHED ANGRY PEOPLE!! Then he said I better walk or else I'd force him to do something else that he apparently didn't want to do. "Don't make me get out of my car, just walk." This made me feel indignant, and even though I never fight, I was on the brink of inviting him to step outside of his comfortable mobile home, but I didn't. I clenched my teeth, turned around, and walked away.

It irked me all day, but I tried to think of the positives, like the fact that he didn't smash my windshield in or slash my tires after I left. He was just likely a disgruntled guy with a short temper and no ability to think outside the box who parked in an opportune spot to get into a verbal battle with someone over it for the sake of it. I just happened to be the convenient guy on his half hour break. It doesn't bother me when people get heated over real problems, but when a man twice my age is willing to beat me up because I parked in front of him, that makes me stew. He was gone within 2 minutes, so what the flip? I didn't think it was even comparable that someone was getting on my case for parking in the wrong spot when they themselves WEREN'T EVEN PARKED!!!

Today I went back to my job and everything was fine again. The job itself is easy but my incident reminded me that it can be difficult to be nice to people all the time. I am being paid for my emotional labour. When someone is yelling at you, it can be hard to smile. Threats and violence are the simple man's power.

Because I am emotionally complex, and often times too moody according to my friends, I needed therapy to calm down after my weekend. I listened to a version of "Black is the Colour of My True Love's Hair". I don't know who the original was written by, but Nina Simone sings a variation of it.

The one I heard was long, emotional and glorious. Here are the words:

Black is the Colour of my True Love's Hair
Black, black, black
is the color of my true love's hair
Her lips are like a rose so fair
And the prettiest face and the neatest hands.
I love the grass whereon she stands
She with the wondrous hair.

Black, black, black
is the color of my true love's hair
Her face is something truly rare.
Oh I do love my love and so well she knows
I love the ground whereon she goes.
She with the wondrous hair.

Black, black, black
is the color of my true love's hair
Alone, my life would be so bare.
I would sigh, I would weep,
I would never fall asleep
My love is 'way beyond compare
She with the wondrous hair.
Black, black, black
is the color of my true love's hair.


Blogger transience said...

i commend you for being the bigger man, here. that said, the other guy was probably bitching over his small willy.

2:02 a.m.  
Blogger Laura said...

Fools are with us always. Good for you for not becoming one as well.

I think that song is an author-unknown folk song. I'vew heard many different versions, from sweet and sincere to goofy knock-offs. It is a lovely song, and perfect for the purpose you put it to.

Good for you, twice. Men of peace are rarer than they should be.


9:08 p.m.  
Blogger susubala said...

You love her black hair. She must be more happier if u write about something else.

12:21 a.m.  

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