A new phase of life

I had been told this moment would come, but I didn’t believe it. Until today.

My days as “mad old bald zombie” and “the non-binary deity of spring” appear to be over. Barely an hour ago, as I stood halfway between the berries and the bell peppers in the produce section of my local grocery store, a stranger turned to me and, without so much as an “Excuse me?” or a “Do you work here?” to ease into the conversation, asked me what the difference between a shallot and an onion was.

As it happens, I actually knew the answer to this question. What’s more, when said stranger said they couldn’t find the shallots, I knew exactly where to direct them, both for the “fancy” shallots that come pre-packaged in their own tiny mesh bags and for the “regular” shallots that you can choose for yourself.

The fact that I knew the answers to this stranger’s questions is not what surprised me. Not much anyway. I’m a long way from being an expert on root vegetables. There are lots of questions someone could potentially ask me in a supermarket produce section where the best I could manage would be a shrug of total ignorance. So it’s a little unusual that this stranger happened to ask one of the tiny handful of questions that I really could answer with genuine confidence.

But what really surprised me is that I never, ever expected to become The Person Who Looks Like They Know About Shallots. But evidently, this is who I am now. There were a half dozen other people within easy reach of this stranger at the time, yet they somehow recognized me — correctly — as the one who could actually answer their question well. It would seem that I radiate an aura of allium expertise that is invisible to me, yet instantly recognizable to others.

I will miss being The Non-Binary Deity of Spring, but nothing lasts forever, does it?


  1. I will not be able to not think of you as The Person Who Looks Like They Know About Shallots.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.