For the last few Saturdays, my husband and I have done our normal routine of going for a run and heading to the Batignolles bio market. It’s a joy finding new summer vegetables for our morning smoothies. It’s also the perfect time to say hello to Madame Mustard and check-in on the seeds we dropped off a few weeks ago.
Madame Mustard is a lovely woman who takes her job seriously. Like all the other stands at French markets, and at small shops in general, Madame Mustard takes her time with each customer explaining the herbs and flowers she sells and how to care for them individually. A lot of the time when we are at her stand, she will be too busy to even chat – or it will take her a moment to even remember who we are.
Initially I took this the wrong way – I’m naturally a sensitive person who takes things very personally and would create this complex each week. I can barely speak to her, when I do I sound silly and choke on my words, it’s hard to practice the French art of seduction as I start to break a sweat the closer we get to her stand. This then makes me again fear that she is uninterested in kale. Then like most things that I create a complex about, they really aren’t a big deal. The last few weekends, we’ve been able to say hello to her and she’s been very friendly and was excited to see the photo of the few kale plants I’ve been growing on our small window ledge. Unfortunately she’d hurt her shoulder and has been unable to plant the seeds but promised it was next on her list.
Today we again headed to the market and as always I bought parsley, mint and my ritual wheatgrass shot from her stand while my husband started chatting away about the best conditions for growing rosemary. After about two or three minutes, she looked at him and asked, “Are you the kale man?”
Of course he’s the kale man! What other two English speaking people are prancing around the market in their running clothes? Trust me: very few.
He laughed and said, “Yes! That’s me!” (and secretly thought to himself ohh la la, we just spoke to you last week and the week before and the week before that)… “That’s my wife right over there.” I waved and walked over as she told us she’d planted 30 meters worth of kale this past week! A second set of seeds are in the ground! I’m not sure how many plants there are in 30 meters but in a few weeks, we’ll head out to her farm and check everything out.
So lesson learned today: Madame Mustard is not against me or The Kale Project, she just doesn’t quickly remember everyone. And I need to stop creating these complexes around the entire situation.
And now my husband is “the kale man.”