April 25, 2006

Better Understanding of Food Misconceptions in America through Annoying Various Members of my Family

Place: At work, on my phone.
Time: 12:15 PM


JESSICA (the engaged brother): I just wanted to see if we were still going running.
ME: Um, I thought so…

J: Because, it’s like, fifty-two.
ME: I know; it’s cold.

J: Sooo…?
ME: You don’t want to.

J: Um.
ME: But you don’t want to bail.

J: Yes.
ME: I can go to the gym again, that’s fine.

J: OK. I still want to run, though, so we’ll go Wednesday. It’s supposed to be sixty-five.
ME: It’s fine, we’ll go tomorrow.

J: No, I mean, I’m not pussing out, because all I’ve been eating is crap. You know what Mom just got us for lunch?
ME: What?

J: Dairy Queen.
ME: Why?

J: Because it sounded good. So now I’m going to eat that—
ME: Hold up. Nobody’s forcing you to eat that shit.

J: There’s nothing else in the house!
ME: And you got no legs! (singing) “OR! No brain!”

J: (singing) “Nice! To meet you! Hi! MY name is….”
ME: (no longer singing) Johnny McEatsalot.

J: The only healthy food around is Subway, and I’m broke.
ME: Subway is like five bucks. How much did you spend on the Dairy Cramp?

J: Like five.
ME: See? Or Arby’s has salads.

J: They’re not much better for you.
ME: YES, they are. Don’t use dressing. That vineyard one is tasty.

J: If I’m gonna spend the money, I want to at least enjoy the food.
ME: And then bitch about all the “crap” you’ve been eating later.

J: It’s not like I eat Dairy Queen everyday.
ME: It is, actually.

J: I DON’T! I’ve had it ONCE since they opened.
ME: Yes, but you eat some crap food LIKE IT every day.

J: When’s the last time I had a burger?
ME: We grilled last Saturday, dude.

J: I mean before that.
ME: I don’t know, but that’s an average of a burger a week, isn’t it?

J: I don’t usually eat them!
ME: Wait. You said five dollars?
J: …yeah?
ME: That would buy half the store. What all did you get?

J: Two cheesburgers. (pause)
ME: And?
J: Fries.
ME: Right.

J: What? I need something besides just cheeseburger!
ME: Besides the other cheeseburger?

J: You don’t get it.
ME: No, you don’t get it. It’s too much food. Fries have no nutritional value. If you want to eat them because they taste good, then fine—but don’t bitch to me later about how “the scale never moves”.

J: This isn’t why. I never usually eat Dairy Queen.
ME: It’s not JUST—

J: I gotta go. I’ll see you on Wednesday.
ME: Okay.

J: I don’t usually—
ME: I know. Whatever. Wednesday.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Place: My apartment
Time: Last night


ME: So. I’ve given up junk food.
AUNT SUE: Okay.

ME: And candy.
AS: O…kay.

ME: So. Just saying.
AS: Do I have to, too?

ME: No, just Nazi me if I try to cheat.
AS: Okay. (pause) Can I ask why?

ME: Because it’s healthier, and I’m trying to break a plateau, and I eat too much of it anyway.
AS: So you’re not eating candy for the rest of your life?

ME: Well, no, but for now, anyways. For the next month, to see if it helps.
AS: And how has it been working out?

ME: Fine, actually. I feel a lot better.
AS: You’re not craving anything?

ME: I’ve been taking the multivitamin, so actually, no.
AS: I couldn’t do that. I’d crave chocolate.

ME: Well, really you’re just craving sugar.
AS: No, I crave chocolate. If I want chocolate, and I eat a Jolly Rancher or something, it doesn’t help. It’s chocolate I want.

ME: Fine, it’s a particular taste and sugar. It’s not like you crave some vital vitamin in the chocolate.
AS: Chocolate does have nutritional value, though.

ME: The only chocolate that has any positive element for your body is dark chocolate. So if you’re having a craving and you can kill it with a Reese’s peanut butter egg, you weren’t craving nutrients. You were just craving the taste.
AS: But cravings tell you when you’re missing something.
ME: They can, yeah, but when I crave meat, my body wants iron. Doesn’t mean I have to eat steak—I can eat spinach or chicken or take a pill. You have to eat with your brain.

AS: So I think I want chocolate.
ME: Yes.
AS: I think I need chocolate.
ME: YES!
AS: I need chocolate.

ME: (sighs) And sometimes what your body thinks is a craving is actually a fix. An addiction.
AS: My body is addicted to chocolate?
ME: Uh, you think?
AS: And when I don’t have it, my cravings are—
ME: Withdrawal.

AS: I suppose I don’t crave coffee then.
ME: “Coffee cravings” are caffeine addictions. There’s no way to sugar coat that.
AS: Except with chocolate.
ME: Focus.

AS: But I do like the taste of coffee.
ME: So if you are seriously jonesing for a latte, a decaf one will suit you just fine?
AS: Um.
ME: A decaf latte with no sugar?
AS: Oh no.

ME: Coffee’s an acquired taste we get used to so we can enjoy the caffeine. Chocolate’s a lot easier; with all the sugar in it, we don’t have to learn to like it.
AS: And there’s that whole ‘endorphin’ thing.
ME: True. Coffee may contain drugs, but chocolate messes with your brain.
AS: Food is evil.
ME: This is what I’m saying.

AS: And devious.
ME: Yes.
AS: And sexy.
ME: You’re not with me anymore, are you?
AS: I think I want to need some chocolate now.
ME: Enjoy.

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