There’s this young woman that lives in my neighborhood. At one time she and I had some mutual friends but I never really knew her. What I do know is that occasionally I run into her and she’s greener than me.
It’s always at some off peak shopping hour when few shoppers are around. She’s always modestly dressed, with dark, unprocessed, natural African American hair. Her complexion is clear like she never had a pimple, a scar or a cut in her life.
Last week she had a cart full of veggies. I looked down at my cart. It was maybe 2/3 veggies but I had to throw in some donuts cause I have a sweet tooth! Ok, maybe sweet tooth is an understatement. I actually had 3 different sweets in my cart when I glanced over at hers.
Hmmm, ginger root and apples. She definitely juices and that probably satisfies her sweet tooth. I looked back into my cart. Donuts, Jamaican Bulla cakes (which aren’t that sweet but they are heavy) and cookies. Not to be eaten all in one day all by one person mind you, but I decided to chuck the cookies at the last minute before putting my food on the conveyor belt.
As I loaded my groceries onto the belt I noticed she was right behind me. When she began loading her giant carrots onto the belt I handed the Bulla cakes over and told the cashier I would leave them out. The cashier was excited to get them cause she wanted to ring them up for herself. “I always wanted to try these” she said full of glee. I watched her tuck them in a shelf under her register and softly whispered “goodbye”.
I convinced myself my purchases weren’t that bad. After all I spent most of my time in the supermarket loading my cart in the fruits and veggies aisle. I decided these feelings were irrational. The Green Black Lady wasn’t judging me I was only judging myself. She doesn’t care and ultimately I have myself to answer to about my health.
I paid for my groceries and noticed some guy already bagged them for me. I was tipping him when I saw her do it. It was the thing that sent me into a small shame spiral for the rest of the day.
The Green Black Lady took out her reusable bags and bagged her own groceries!
I was devastated. In my haste to get to the supermarket at an off peak hour and jet back to my computer I forgot to bring my reusable bags.
I was crestfallen as I walked home. Perhaps the only way I was green was with envy. Sure walking is “green” and reusing my plastic bags is too but I was supposed to get home in a hurry to blog more about Black people going green. So what treehugger.com said most people are hypocrites when it comes to green living. That wasn’t supposed to be me. Not when it comes to the things I already know to do.
After a day or two of eating donuts I realized sugar’s not the boss of me and we can all make positive changes in our daily lives anytime we want. It’s not about how we don’t measure up to the next person. This site was never intended to make people feel bad about themselves because I think that’s too negative a place to start from when change is the goal. I think it’s important to be informed so you can make positive, informed decisions.
By the way those donuts tasted awful. I never bought them again. And I know I don’t have to either. You and I can both make a greener, healthier resolution any day we want. That day could be today.