I went in to get a pineapple.
Because: pineapples, right? I've been popping bites of acidic fruit for days in hopes of jump-starting my labor.
Because: I've never been this pregnant in my life.
In my shopping cart, Lauren sang herself a song while I tried to keep a calm face. There was no pineapple to be seen. The entire, beautiful produce section was void of tropical fruit (for some reason; not that October has anything to do with it.). I was very nearly distraught; a common habit for me this week.
From between the pumpkins and the grapes, a well-dressed lady smiled at me. A very pretty lady. One who made me want to waddle back home and at least apply some mascara or put on a pair of clean jeans.
"Hi, how are you today?!" she chirped.
"Good, thanks." No need to tell the poor girl the truth, right? She seemed nice.
"Would you mind if I asked you a few questions?"
Uhm...I peeked over my shoulder, sure there was somebody else she'd rather be speaking with. "Sure," I stammered.
"Great!" She was clearly elated. "We're asking people about their produce purchases today; do you ever buy organic?"
"Oh, yeah." I answered. "I mean, sometimes."
"Why only sometimes?"
"Well it just depends on how much I think I can afford. Organic is somewhat out of our price range in the grocery store."
I wanted to talk to her all of a sudden. I wanted to allow my mind to detach from my non-laboring body -- from the moments ticking past that will allow me the natural childbirth I so hope for -- and latch onto other interesting things.
I wanted to explain that buying from the farmer's market, while not always guaranteed to be organic, feels less like buying from a factory so if I can get to one and it has what I need, that's my preference. I wanted to tell her that I'm usually willing to pay more for organic, free-range meats and chicken, and I like that my favorite store now sells cage-free eggs. I wanted to tell her that organic is really wonderful, but sometimes discouraging: who can afford such extravagance?
She nodded and smiled encouragingly. "That's what we're hearing a lot of lately. Would you mind if I interviewed you?"
"Okay. Or...wait. Like, an on-camera interview?" A young man had materialized by the lady's side with a piece of equipment. He nodded. She nodded. "Oh, gosh...I would but..." I pictured my puffy face, red nosed from bouts of anxious tears all morning. I pictured my unwashed hair. My chapped lips.
And suddenly, I was saying things again. "I really would love to, but I'm just not feeling my best right now. Today's my due date, and as you can see, I'm not having a baby yet. So I've been a wreck for days, especially this morning. I'd rather not talk on camera; I'm sorry!"
Tears were pooling on my lower eyelids. I hadn't said a thing about organic produce, like I had intended. Instead, I'd backpedaled onto my ever-present belly.
The lady looked overwhelmed. (Understandably so -- sheesh.) But the camera man, he was nodding sympathetically. "I remember when my wife felt that way -- I completely understand."
I wanted to hug him. But that would have made me cry some more. So I apologized again, and walked away.
To beg the produce-man to find me a pineapple from the back room.
Which he did.