Embarrassed By A Condiment

It's embarrassing to even admit my embarrassment, but there I was, standing in the grocery, feeling self conscious. I was kicking around the grocery on my "big" shop, which I do once a month to get all the staples. The big shop includes at least two grocery stores, and lots of menu planning and list making.

I had already been to the first store, so I was getting the shorter list: all-natural fish sticks, Clamato, brie cheese, arugula, bloody mary mix, ketchup. And there is was: the ketchup at the end of the aisle because it was on sale for 99 cents--what a deal! As my mind started to say "right arm, reach for ketchup on sale," out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a familiar face: a lady who attends my exercise class and who I also recognized as related to a woman who own a local organic market.

I smiled at her, and then, as I placed her, I suddenly froze. I just couldn't pick up the ketchup in front of the lady whose sister owns the local organic market, could I? Turns out, I couldn't. I acted like I was breezing by that sugar-packed ketchup and I went into the next aisle, pretending to look at vinegars until she went away, at which time I swiped the sale ketchup and put it in my cart.

But all once, I could feel how utterly silly the entire thing was... why was I embarrassed by ketchup?! IT's my business what I eat, and if I want a little ketchup on my freaking fish sticks, who am I to be judged by anyone? Of course, this was silly to think I was being judged in the first place... the only person who was truly judging me was, well, me. This was nevermore apparent than when I again spotted this woman breezing by me with a bag of Doritos in her cart. (yes, I was spying on her cart.)

So why the embarrassment, self shaming and subsequent cart spying?

Maybe it was because I used to work at said organic market... maybe it's because I actually know how much sugar is in a tablespoon of ketchup (two to three teaspoons, OMG never repeat that!) Perhaps it's because I have a lot of pride that I oughtn't have. But I was compelled to hide my ketchup buying from a fellow customer who, incidentally, was herself buying unhealthy food.

So there it is. I bought ketchup and I was ashamed. I wish I didn't eat ketchup, but I do. And for those of you who are thinking that I should try the organic stuff, I did. It just doesn't have the sugar to tomato ratio that satisfies. It's final, underneath my Bossy Italian clothes, I am a ketchup eating American, and you can be sure that the next time I buy ketchup, I shan't be hiding it! 

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