When I was younger, I could eat anything I wanted. Now I can eat, like, only seven types of food. Food is complicated. It’s time to ruminate about different topics in the world of food.
Eating healthily. It’s so difficult to eat healthily. Or at least, it’s difficult eat healthily and not have the same diet as a gerbil. I am amazed that while I try to eat healthier, I don’t have a goddamn clue what to eat. Carbs? Bad. Protein? Bad. Fat…FAT?!?! Fat getting inside my body, yeah right. Forget everything that sounds bad, even good stuff like apples are not as healthy as people once thought. We live in a world where there are no healthy foods, just foods that are less poisonous than others.
I’ve attempted to eat healthier, but the nutrition facts on boxes aren’t helping. Does anyone know how to read nutrition facts? What exactly am I looking for? I note the serving per box and the calories, but what the hell comes next? There’s vitamin B, B6, B12….If I have two servings of B6, does that equal one serving of B12? The content amounts are all in grams, which might explain why drug dealers are so skinny. Although I start out wanting a breakfast, I end up trying to solve an algebra problem.
I know nothing about the ingredients. Riboflavin, Thiamin, Niacin – what kind of Pokémon characters am I eating? Just tell me a box of Frosted Flakes = 19 Krispy Kreme Original Glazed and a Spicy Without and I’ll understand.
Expiration dates. NRA, the Boogey Man, Chris Brown. None scare me as much as an expiration date does. Once my food reaches that doomsday, the world becomes a dark and futile place. I open up my refrigerator, which has become a freak show full of teething baby corn, mooing hot dogs, and a talking Mrs. Butterworth.
The most anxiety-provoking victim of the expiration date is obviously milk. I’ve never pulled the plug on someone, but I imagine it’s the same feeling as when I dump out my expired carton of milk into the sink. When I go shopping, I try to coordinate my cereal’s and milk’s expiration dates, just so I can let them live happily together I’ve chucked them both, recycling in peace.
Thinking about expiration dates gives me an existential crisis. What if I have an expiration date? When will it be? What if I’ve long passed the date and am currently rotting, yet kidding myself that I’m still ripe with awesomely goodness.
Ice cream. I no longer find joy in eating ice cream. Every time I go to Ben & Jerry’s, I feel like I’m ordering creamy, sugary globs of guilt. I’ve tried to feel good about myself eating ice cream, telling myself things like, “You deserve it” and, “It’s not going to hurt,” but it doesn’t make me feel any better about what I’m putting into my body. I tried going to the make-your-own non-fat yogurt ice cream stores, but I always screw up the toppings. I may make my ice cream too healthy, paying $14 for one scoop only to realize there’s a parsnip in my chocolate; or I get too paranoid about my toppings. I put four gummy bears on top, but a few bites in, I count eight gummy bears. My paranoid self can’t see the delight in more sugar, rather I worry that the bears are humping in my ice cream.
Whereas the self-service ice cream process makes me neurotic, having someone serve me ice cream brings out the cynical asshole in me. Like it’s the one place where I walk into the shop, and without knowing the server, I already don’t like his/her face. I grumble about the smallest things like “Oh, he put the Cherry Garcia on top of the Rocky Road. He should’ve known I wanted the Cherry Garcia as the bottom scoop so that the cone will contain all that Cherry goodness. How does he not know that? Idiot!”
It’s not as if the server doesn’t have any redeeming qualities. For example, in middle school, when a server gave me five scoops for a small cone, I thought he was a God-sent angel. Now, I get five scoops when I paid for small, I think what a dick. Because, while I only wanted two scoops, it’s not like I’m not going to be downing all that ice cream in one attempt.
Free samples. The best reason why I feel the need to eat all five scoops is not because I’m a fatass, it’s because it’s free food. Who doesn’t like free food? Isn’t that what half the Brown lectures and events are about? I’ve eaten more stale crackers at these talks than during the rest of my life combined, just because it’s free. Free food doesn’t always present itself in these scenarios. Sometimes you have to earn your food. You have to put on a performance, like when a person’s trying to sell you his/her specific product. When local merchants give out free samples at the supermarket, they feel the need to share a story about the product.
This is where my acting comes in:
Step 1: Once he/she begins talking, nod your head as if you care.
Step 2: Whenever he/she mentions the product, look down at the product or any labels/words corresponding to the product at the little table to once again to show that you care.
Step 3: Follow up their monologue with a question about their product: So you’re telling me these dumplings are made from homemade dumps? Why? To show you care.
Step 4: Say, “Thank you,” start walking away, take one step back towards the table (make sure he/she is not selling anything else you may have missed) and continue on.