And since I'm Jewish, there is no prior confession. But if it's guilt you want, I'm swimming in it. Yesterday, I went to the new Whole Foods in Lincoln Park. You know the one. It looks like a monolithic battleship and has a food court that's almost as big as the Mall of America.
And this wasn't my first time.
The first time, I just went shopping. I swear. And I hardly bought anything - just a loaf of sugar-dusted pumpkin bread with candied San Joaquin Valley walnuts and some organic ginger ale.
The second time, I broke down and entered the food court. It was a modern-day Garden of Eden, a bubbling cauldron of temptations of the flesh. There were handmade pastas with sustainable pesto flown in from Liguria, real Asian people making udon, organic ham sandwiches made with silky meat from some farm in the nether regions of the Blue Ridge mountains where the pigs sleep on fluffy pillows and eat certifiably organic slop.
I opted for the fish tacos for $6.99. A guy named Pedro prepared them the "authentic" way, with organic cabbage leaves that were so delicate, they brought in a tiny Mexican child named Pepita to pluck them with her lilliputian hands.
After the gluttonous meal (I can honestly say I hated myself at that point), I walked over to the packaged meat department and fondled the charcuterie.
From there, I went over to the Bins of Abundance. Cashews roasted six different ways, texturized vegetable protein in powdered and granulated forms, enough couscous to feed the school children of Marrakesh for a year. And then there was the Wall of Salt. Smoked, gray, truffled, coarse, medium coarse, medium, Hawaiian, Britton. It went on and on.
I started to feel the way I had felt in 8th grade, when my best friend and I took out the family car and crashed it into a judge's Cadillac. This was somehow wrong.
So I quickly finished up my shopping: tomatoes from San Marzano, where the volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius acts like a super fertilizer, French lemonade (is there any other kind?), bar soap made out of Sicilian pistachios and mountain goat milk, and $17 lentils. I paid for it all with my children's college fund. And I was on my way.
On a brighter, I-might-not-be-going-to-hell-afterall note: unlike that Lexus LX10, I did not park in the spot reserved for "alternate fuel vehicles only." That guy is definitely going to hell.