I was talking to Indigo Girl about this on Twitter, and then realized, no, this is something I need to share with THE WORLD: I was at the grocery store this week, and the clerk DIDN'T KNOW WHAT CHOCOLATE CHIPS WERE.
Shall I pause? Do you need a moment?
I was buying quite a pile of bags of them because they were on a good sale (and as an aside, fellow customers: "SOMEONE'S doing a lot of baking!" can be said in a whole range of tones and with a whole range of accompanying facial expressions, and some of them are totally fine and some of them are TOTALLY RUDE AND YOU KNOW IT), and the clerk picked up one bag and turned it over in her hands and said, "What are these? Like, little chocolate candies?"
When I told Paul this story, he wanted to know if I'd been buying an exotic kind of chocolate chip, because some of those really do look like bags of little chocolate candies---but NO, these were regular Nestle Tollhouse Morsels, totally standard, yellow bag. And besides, it's not like when I said, "...They're chocolate chips. They're for...baking?" she said, "Oh, duh, of course! I don't know where my brain went for a minute there!" Instead she said, "Ohhhh!" in a tone of wonder. And I said, "Yeah. I use them in, like, cookies and muffins." And she said, "Huh!" like I was telling her a novel way of seasoning asparagus. Then she added, oddly: "I only eat boxed chocolates." She didn't ACT like she was putting me on.
Nor did she seem like a recent arrival in this country: I know other countries have different standard baking ingredients, and that if I were to get a job in a grocery store in one of those countries I would likely look very foolish indeed, asking questions about absolutely ordinary items. But while I didn't go so far as to verify this by examining her birth certificate, I'd say she was 100% standard United States teenager.
So. Anyway. Mystifying.
And speaking of mystifying, another Twitter topic that actually I want to talk longer about and to more people: What is with models in underwear ads looking so SULTRY? I totally get it when it's underwear being marketed as GIFTS: in that case, I EXPECT the model to be sending the message "Your significant other would TOTALLY look this hot if you bought this fancy get-up, I PROMISE!"
But if it's regular everyday cotton briefs, I want the model to just look...friendly. The same as she might look in jeans and a t-shirt. Like she's saying, "Hey, this is a nice deal on the hi-cut cotton kind you like! I like to wear these myself! They're comfy! And look, it's a Bonus 4th Pair pack!" It doesn't seem necessary for her to look like she's trying to seduce me: _I_ know not to buy them based on how SHE looks in them, and besides, she is not my type.
As Misty pointed out, this problem is just as bad with men. When I'm at Target getting another 5-pack of cottons for Paul, I feel like telling the model on the wrapper to BACK OFF, FRESHY, I am buying these for MY HUSBAND. (Also, I think men look kind of stupid when they're trying to look sexy.) (I mean, don't they? They're all "You know you want me: look how artfully I've arranged myself in this budget-friendly 100% cotton!" and I'm all "*trying to repress a snort of laughter while also wincing to think what his mother thinks of this*".) I'd prefer the guy on the underwear wrapper (do you notice how very carefully I am avoiding the use of the word "package"?) to look like a GOOD FATHER and a NICE HUSBAND. Maybe he could look like someone else's slightly flirty husband. But THAT'S AS FAR AS IT SHOULD GO.
Gift ideas for an 8-year-old, part 2 of 2 - Last week I talked about the gifts we were getting/considering for Edward, who is turning 8 next month. This week it’s Elizabeth’s turn: not “girl gifts,” ...