Let Us Talk Lettuce: Roaming For Romaine

Walking into the grocery store, my list in hand, looking for first item on my list, green leaf lettuce.

Am about to grab some green leaf lettuce when I’m approached by young woman, early 20s, cute in a confused but earnest way, who asks me if she can ask me a question.

And so the conversation began…

~ ๐Ÿฅ—ย ~ย ๐Ÿ’šย ~ย ๐Ÿฅ—ย ~

HER: I’m supposed to buy my dad some romaine lettuce.

{pause}

ME: Yes…

{pause}

HER: I don’t understand where the romaine lettuce is…

ME: It’s down the way to our–

HER: This isn’t romaine lettuce, is it?

[She has a plastic bag filled with something green and leafy. ย She puts the plastic bag directly in front of my face, about 6″ in front of my eyes… because I’m old, I guess, and she wants to make sure that I can see what is in the bag.]

ME: No, that’s Napa cabbage. ย It’s not romaine lettuce.

HER: This is CABBAGE? ย In the lettuce department?

ME: Yes, it’s leafy and looks sort of like romaine lettuce, but it’s cabbage… and won’t work if you’re looking for lettuce.

{pause}

HER: What does it taste like?

ME: Cabbage.

{pause}

HER: Is that lettuce? ย It’s red.

ME: Yes, that’s red leaf lettuce. ย It’s lettuce… as is the green leaf lettuce beside it that I’m going to buy.

HER: Lettuce can be RED?

ME: Yes.

{pause}

HER: I don’t understand lettuce. ย How do you know which one is which?

ME: There are little tags on the shelves below each kind of lettuce that tell you what it is.

[She takes the opportunity to turn her head sideways and notice the little tags, reading a few of them.]

HER: Huh. That’s helpful.

ME: Yes it is. ย Now if you go down the way to our right–

HER: LOOK AT THAT! The tag says Napa cabbage. ย That’s what I picked up.

ME: Uh huh. ย Down the way, to our right, there are bags of–

HER: What am I going to do with this Napa cabbage that I don’t want?

ME: Put it back. On the shelf. With all the other Napa cabbages.

{pause}

HER: I can do that?

ME: Yes, and down the way, to our right, there are bags of romaine lettuce that have three–

HER: THREE!!! Yes, that’s what my dad said. ย Bags of three. Where are they?

ME:ย Down the way. To our right, where the big sign talks about–

HER: Yes, yes. ย I see it. ย How did I miss it? ย Thanks.

[She scampers off to buy a bag of romaine lettuce, leaving me to finish my sentence, unheard and definitely unheeded.]

ME: — where the big sign talks aboutย the current dangers surrounding consumption of romaine lettuce.

~ The End ~

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Usually.

93 thoughts on “Let Us Talk Lettuce: Roaming For Romaine”

    1. Kate, I watched her as we went around the store. In every other department she grabbed things and knew what to get. Somehow lettuce was beyond her. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

      Liked by 2 people

          1. Fortunately for me I’m not a Twinkie fan. Here the pretzels are at the end of the cookie aisle so I so see stuff but it’s easier when you’re not a fan. Technically I don’t know if they are still Twinkies.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Good point. I don’t know if Twinkies still exist either. Didn’t Hostess go out of business? DO WE NOW LIVE IN A WORLD WITHOUT TWINKIES? I am clueless about this topic.

              Liked by 1 person

                1. Thank you. Good to know. I never was one to love Twinkies so I probably contributed to their bankruptcy, and now will continue to live my life without them even if I can get one. ๐Ÿ˜‰

                  Liked by 1 person

  1. So…I must wonder, has this young woman never been in the produce section of a grocery store, never eaten lettuce in her life, never bothered to read the articles or even look at the pictures on her newsfeed/instagram/fb about romaine and e-coli, never tasted cabbage, never…
    I think that I might have just told her the napa cabbage in her bag was definitely romaine and moved myself on over to the fruit section hoping she wouldn’t follow and begin a discussion of the available apple varieties…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Deb, I cannot explain why lettuce was so baffling to this young woman, but it was. She was sweet as can be, and seemed bright enough– but lettuce was not her thing, I guess. I continued talking with her because I had to see where this conversation was going. I mean, it was unique…

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  2. Leaf it to you to chop up the most hilarious human interaction. Couldn’t stop laughing with this one.
    (You were home right? Not traveling to Colorado where they lettuce wrap up some fuzzy thought producing materials…veggie brains? HAHA)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. philmouse, I was at home at my local Kroger, minding my own list, when this young woman, who seemed bright enough, approached me. I realized that the conversation was going to be a good one, from a blogger’s point of view, so I went with it. Plus I like the idea of me being a Wise Woman Who Knows Her Vegetables, imparting wisdom about said! ๐Ÿฅ—

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Lettuce pray for the youth of America. hahahahahaha

    I read something the other day that said the crisis is over and romaine is safe to eat again. Me? I’m still eating only green leaf, thank you very much.

    p.s. This post has made lettuce seems like a really weird word… you know when you look at a word too much and it starts to look like maybe it shouldn’t be spelled that way or something?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Tara, lettuce pray for peas, too. ๐Ÿ˜

      I’m with you. I’m not inclined to want to buy romaine lettuce again. It seems dodgy to me, so I’m going with green leaf lettuce. Maybe red leaf lettuce sometimes, too. It’s a kind of lettuce, you know?

      [I know what you mean about the word lettuce. It’s an odd one.]

      Liked by 3 people

    1. nancy, this conversation reminded me that once upon a time I didn’t know things about foods in the grocery store and had to ask someone. It’s easy to forget that we were all clueless at one point. ๐Ÿค”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow. Just wow. Once at the office we sent one of the junior staff out to get dish soap for the lunchroom/kitchen – he came back with a box of dishwasher powder. In his defence I guess we should have been more specific about LIQUID dish soap and the fact we didn’t have a dishwasher ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Norm 2.0, that’s a good story. I believe it, and you’re right in that one must be very specific when sending a youth out to purchase things. It all comes down to assumptions that lead to misunderstandings. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Mary Lou, I watched as this cute girl picked up the romaine and went on her way. I figured my work here was done when I got her to the romaine lettuce area– if she didn’t care about the warnings, then who was I to stop her? ๐Ÿ™„

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My Kroger still has the mixed-salad bags with Romaine in it and just below bags of lettuce without. I chose the bottom shelf but I didn’t see a sign? Hmmmmm. Not sure what all this is about? You tried! ๐Ÿ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Our Kroger had a sign explaining the recent problems with romaine, but that it was now back on the shelf if you wanted to buy it. Kind of a disclaimer, I guess. All I know is that I’m avoiding romaine for the foreseeable future.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Jill, I agree that there seem to be more lettuce recalls in the last few months than in the last few years. Our Kroger removed all the romaine when it was officially recalled, but put it back [new ones I hope] once the recall was over. The large sign explained all of this, sort of as a disclaimer I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I mentioned during my game show story that one of the biggest weaknesses in my knowledge has to do with food. You could put romaine lettuce and a pile of yanked up dandelions in front of me, and I honestly wouldn’t bet any money that I could identify which is which. I wouldn’t go through all the trouble of bothering other shoppers like this poor girl was, though…. I’d just tell whoever wanted it to buy their own darned lettuce if they want to eat healthy that bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting, evilsquirrel13. You can’t know everything so if food knowledge is your weakness, it’s good that you know that. I didn’t mind that this shopper asked for help, but her unfamiliarity with lettuce was unique in my experience. And she was so sincere.

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  6. I’m an iceberg girl myself. I must admit I did not know about the dangers of Romaine until I brought my mom some salad mixes since she had a portion of a toe amputated and cannot go to the grocery store. She thought I was trying to kill her. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope your tutelage helped the young woman.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet, I like iceberg lettuce, too. I used to buy romaine lettuce, but since the various scares, I’m onto green leaf lettuce. Whether I helped the young woman who asked for help, I dunno. Sorry to hear about your mom, how difficult it must be for her to get around. Funny about you buying her the wrong lettuce. Oops!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Betsy, that’s exactly what I thought as the conversation was going on. This is a blog post. She was a nice enough person, but oh.so.clueless. about lettuce, veggies… life?

      Liked by 1 person

        1. You’re so sweet! Stop by anytime and join in. I don’t think this young woman was stoned or dim-witted, I think she just didn’t know about lettuce. It happens. We can’t all know everything– and I give her props for asking. That, to me, shows some smarts.

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  7. I remember when I was young and… ummm… clueless, I would look for a kindly looking “older” lady to help me if I had a question in the grocery store. The first time someone younger approached me with a question, I felt so important… like I had arrived. Not a Romaine fan myself. We usually purchase baby spinach for our salads (unless we are trying to impress guests). It is really good for you and keeps longer than other greens.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janis, I did the same thing when I was younger, so I understood how it came to be that out of all the other shoppers I was the one she approached. I didn’t mind being asked, but the conversation went… sideways… and then ended on such a goofy note. We like baby spinach, too. I haven’t bought it in a while because somehow I think of it as summer food.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Zazzy, why thank you! I don’t go looking for interesting conversations, but they find me. There’s something about my vibe that seems to unleash the off-beat in other people. And hence… I have blog posts because of it!

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  8. I’m totally convinced there is something about the produce aisles that induce odd conversations. Truly, the only strange things I’ve ever seen or heard in groceries stores happen there. My pet theory is that the periodic misting somehow disorients people and peculiar thoughts pop out of their brains. I have to confess my world is a slightly less entertaining now that the vast majority of my produce is delivered via my weekly CSA box.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah, so it your theory is: blame it on the mist! Sure, why not? This young woman didn’t seem to be slow or drugged, just overwhelmed by the plethora of lettuces in front of her. It was a funny conversation that I’m sure was a result of the veggie mists around us. What else could explain it? ๐Ÿ™„

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    1. Elen, she was polite when she approached me and seemed to understand what I was saying when I was allowed to finish my thought. I was in no hurry, so I waited. Of course, if she’d have let me finish my first sentence then none of the rest of the conversation would have happened– and there’d be no blog post as a result. ๐Ÿ˜ž

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret, around here we’re getting romaine again, but there are signs in the stores explaining what happened earlier this year. I’ve no idea why this girl didn’t know how to shop for lettuce, but I saw her in the rest of the store and she knew what she was doing there. So make of it what you will. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

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  9. My comment is similar to Janis’. I used to always look for a mature, kind looking woman to help me with my grocery questions. Now that I am ‘mature’ myself, I sometimes get asked to help others. But it is usually to help reach something on the top shelf…and never a question about produce (or Twinkies)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Donna, people talk to me. They always have. It’s the darnedest thing considering I’m an introvert not looking for conversations. I think you nailed it as to why this particular shopper looked to me for answers– I’m mature and seemingly still with it enough to know a thing or two. Except about Twinkies, of course.

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  10. HAHAHHAHHA!!! Oh trying to speak across the generational gap. Good on ya for trying anyway…. (and I THOUGHT romaine was the current bad boy of the lettuce clan and you have verified it.) I’m glad I stuck to plain old lettuce when I bought some recently. Although Romaine does look more tasty. But it’s too expensive for the likes of me..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Embeecee, I did try to explain the lettuce department to this young woman, and I think the revelation that there are tags on the shelves was a big breakthrough for her. ๐Ÿ™„ I don’t buy romaine very often for the reason you mentioned. It’s expensive around here– while head lettuce or green leaf lettuce is more reasonable.

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  11. Reminds me of when my daughter moved into her first apartment and called me “Eek, mother. My apartment has a kitchen.” She’s still not exactly sure what to do in a kitchen although I did attempt to teach her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jan, we can’t all know everything! Good of your daughter to be so honest. To me, a kitchen is a magical place where the food resides, so I’ve always been fond of them. Hope your daughter learns to love hers along the way. You tried.

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  12. Gotta love conversations in the produce department. I always enjoy having to explain that no, my rhubarb isnโ€™t red celery and yes, I picked it up intentionally.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Iโ€™m glad you mentioned sheโ€™s in her 20s, otherwise I wouldโ€™ve thought you were talking to a ten year old. Sounds like her dad had probably given her very specific instructions/ detailed description too… I donโ€™t eat much lettuce of any variety, but at least I can read shelf tags ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Interesting reading the comments too! Weโ€™ve had several frozen berry recalls in Australia, and now Iโ€™m very wary of them. Gonna stick to fresh berries when I can get them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pistachios, I can’t explain why this young woman didn’t know about reading the tags on the shelves, but she didn’t. The whole conversation was different, but kind of entertaining in an odd way. I bet that you’re right about her father being very specific.

      I’m going to avoid romaine lettuce for a while longer, but so far *knock on wood* our berries, fresh and frozen, have been ok. ‘Tis always something.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. This was hilarious and it reminded me of how many times I have been asked for advice in the vegetable aisle of the market. People just don’t know their veggies. Young people even less so.

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    1. camparigirl, I agree with you that people don’t know their vegetables. I grew up around a wide variety of veggies and fruits, but most people didn’t, I guess. I was happy to help this girl, if for no other reason than that she fascinated me with her lack of knowledge.

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  15. Sounds like my dad before my mum died and he had to do his own cooking for himself… Not sure he’d ever bought any salad.ever.before. Then, though, he loved it – providing it was already washed and prepared and he didn’t have to prepare it for himself!

    Maybe the girl was colour-blind? Not that it’d necessarily make her clueless about lettuce, but… well, it’s a thought. Green and red lettuce. Wow!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Val, I imagine there are lots of widowed men who have never really shopped at the grocery. I love that your dad liked salad, as long as it was easy for him to make.

      You could be onto something with this girl. I thought later that maybe she was dyslexic and reading words was difficult for her, so she was looking for familiar shapes. I couldn’t say for sure how it came to be that she was so clueless about lettuce, but it did make for a memorable conversation.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Erika, I did wonder that. But I saw this woman continue on shopping in the store so I think it was all on the up & up. She just didn’t know her lettuce. Strangely enough.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I *stil* haven’t caught up on my own blogging, but … well, this made me laugh. I had no idea about Romaine lettuce either till I read this and googled.

    I recognise this phenonema you experience – my friend and I call it our nutter magnet. We don’t really mean nutters (although sometimes that can be true), but people who have nutty ideas and with whom we have weird conversations. I met a broccoli girl in the supermarket last night. She was a very little girl out shopping with her mother and carefully corraled in the trolly. But we managed to have a spirited exchange about how didn’t she like broccoli (she *loved* it). We then met up each & every aisle where my great big scary looking boyfriend engaged in face-making, tongue stuck sticking-out & eye-rolling exchanges which had her in hoots of laughter. And he calls me a nutter magnet with such a straight face too …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, I like this nutter magnet concept. It does explain so many of my unsolicited conversations. Apparently I am approachable. I’m an introvert so I’m not looking to chat, but people who need some attention seem to find me and then… well, I have stories to tell.

      I like how your BF kept the little girl entertained. It’s good for kids to notice and interact with real people instead of hiding their faces in smartphone screens– which is something that I see all the time when I’m in the grocery.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Seriously, I always ask a woman older than myself when I struggle with something. They are consistently helpful, nosy, and bossy. Last week I couldn’t find the olives and someone’s granny yelled directions all the way to the end cap she said they were on. “Right now! Now left! Farther! Right again! Look to your left!” Course I had to tell her what I needed olives for, and she looked at me like I was from another planet when I said I eat them plain at lunch. Still, helpful.
    I have also been the older lady, like with the young woman who asked me what the difference is between cucumber and zucchini. I felt like she was way too old to ask that question. I am concerned about the eating habits of young folks.
    We’re so glad the romaine is safe again. We old people need our Monday salads.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joey, I eat olives plain as part of my lunch or as a late afternoon snack with a few crackers. There’s nothing weird about that.

      I like your yelling granny giving you directions in the grocery. We could all use one of them on call as we traverse the aisles. Helpful is good. Especially when the young ones don’t seem to know their rutabaga from their rhubarb. ๐Ÿคจ

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  18. “ME: There are little tags on the shelves below each kind of lettuce that tell you what it is.” ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

    I’m glad you said it because that’s all I was thinking. OMG. So funny.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Akilah, it seemed obvious to me to look at those tags– but, you know, I’m an experienced lettuce shopper. It was a funny conversation in which I felt like a Wise Older Woman imparting my knowledge to an admiring child who really seemed to be trying to understand, of all things, lettuce. ๐Ÿฅ—

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  19. Oh, this gave me a giggle but I’ve also been that girl. In college, I had a job as a check out clerk at Whole Foods and some of the foods that came across my scanner I simply had NO IDEA what they were. It was a good education. I’m now the old lady in a grocery store telling the clerk, “That’s a jicama. No, no not a gala apple, a honeycrisp.”. I still have trouble telling parsley and cilantro apart unless I can smell them (thank goodness for those little signs)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kate, I think we’ve all been that girl at some point in our lives. Having not worked as a check out clerk in a grocery, I’m not sure that I’d know some of the more exotic vegetables or fruits in the grocery, but most of them I can identify. And like you said, thank goodness for those little signs.

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  20. I’m glad that there was hugging and learning, and especially that she now knows about labels at the grocerty store. Next is her frustration when she discovers that not ALL items are so tagged.

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