Mostly Whole Wheat
When I was in law school, the building I lived in was owned by the school and everyone who lived there was a student. The apartments weren’t the nicest — they looked like the apartment Robert Blake lived in on Baretta — but this was San Francisco, and I was paying $600 a month for a place that would have gone for $1500 on the open market, so the two-burner stove, spongy carpeting, and steam heat radiator were a fair trade. One day in my third year, I was in the lobby waiting for the elevator and my classmate Rudy came in with several bags of groceries on a moving cart. This wasn’t unusual; we were in the middle of the city and usually had to park at least a couple of blocks away so people were always hauling stuff in and out on those carts. Rudy and I were friendly, though not what I’d call friends. We lived in the same building, worked on Law Review together, and took a few of the same classes. We would often make small talk about things of mutual interest, like the Restatement of Employment Law or Celebrity Deathmatch. On this day, I happened to notice that one of his bags contained five loaves of bread. Ordinarily, I would not comment on what food a person is buying or eating because I think that’s rude, but Rudy lived alone and I guess I was surprised by how much bread he was buying so I blurted it out before thinking.
“That’s a lot of bread.” I said.
Rudy’s face immediately went dark and he said nothing. I better fix this, I thought.
“Hey! Do you ever go to the farmer’s market on Wednesday?” The farmer’s market was held across the street from our building.
“Yes.” He still looked mad.
“There’s a baker there who sells bread.” Oh my god, shut up about the bread already. “I haven’t tried it, but it looks really good.”
He didn’t say anything, the elevator arrived, and we rode up in silence. After that, he was never friendly towards me again.
You never know what’s going to offend a person, is my point.