Alright. Here’s something about me you may not know: I have a really strange immune system disorder. Two especially weird things occur out of this: left its own devices, my white blood cell count is so high that it starts attacking my very own body (mostly internal organs…yikes!) when I am sick. I picture it like this: there are so many white blood cells it’s like Alexander the Great’s Army. They’re attacking on all fronts just to make sure they conquer. Maybe they need something to do. They’re all bored. They need summer camp or Sparta. Sorry, Pancreas. That’s numero uno. Numero dos is that I don’t absorb all the nutrition my food has to offer. That leads to fun problems like leg cramps and the ever delightful anemia. It also gives me very strong cravings in an attempt to compensate. My doctor says go with it. He might not if he saw the below list. I can certainly see the healthful, vitamin-rich reasoning in some. Others… well, who can argue with a little self-indulgence, yes?
1) I am a salty-sweet fiend. Egg & bacon on toasted cinnamon raisin bread? Absolutely. Chocolate covered pretzels? Gimme. Figs/gorganzola/honey? I love you. This all probably does little for my nutrition.
2) I go through phases where I will put balsamic vinegar on just about anything.
3) I used to eat a cup of frozen peas and lima beans (still frozen) while driving to night classes. For years, my mother packed her freezer with frozen peas and was amazed at how quickly I munched through them. I also like frozen peas or limas thrown into a salad (again, still frozen), if not just eating plain.
4) When in doubt, yes, I want pizza rolls.
5) Kashi products and I have a love/hate relationship. I’m very hit or miss with them. The “good ones” (good, of course, in my opinion. Taste is relative.) are constants on my shelves/in my fridge and freezer. I sometimes sustain off them. I love them, I can’t wait to eat them (like the island vanilla wheat cereal I currently have). The ones I dislike become my villains. It’s just… disappointing. I shake my head and tisk at them at the grocery store.
6) If you take me to a street fair, we may be in love by time we work our way through a few of the food tents.
7) I will never give up carbs.
8) Whenever I’ve been thinking I need to cut down on my sweets, someone shows up with donuts. I believe once I said I would give up highly sensitive info to anyone holding me against my will if they just offer a donut. I may have made this claim about a different food, but it certainly isn’t any less true.
9) My kidneys are not one of my organs in peril (I’m actually fairly healthy at the point) and work at a high function. Therefore, I seem to always need potassium. Bananas, avocados, raisins, sweet potatoes: I want these, I need these, I love these, I will steal yours.
10) Quinoia… just Quinoia. (Though, never Quinoia plain.)
11) I go through times of serious anemia. As these times set in, I crave red meat like no other. Please don’t give me any morality speeches here, like Cro-Magnon Man I am just trying to survive. My answer to, “What do you want for dinner?”, is the caveman-esuq, “Meat.” But here’s the problem: I have a fine line between filling my need and becoming ill. A little bit goes a long way. This is probably not the worst thing for my long-term heart health.
12) I’m not sure who drinks more water, me or Brandygirl. We drink water in epic proportions, like we’re camels before an Arabian journey…but we never go anywhere, and we are certainly not storing up this water for future use. We do the same thing the next day. We’ve decided this is why we’re so beautiful.
13) All of these problems (none of which are uncommon)—I don’t feel like eating, I don’t have time to eat, I’m too tired to eat, I don’t want to clean-up from cooking, I don’t know what to eat—are solved with two words: cliff bars. Buy stock.
This morning I had a particular shirt in mind that I wanted to wear (navy blue silk button down with white dots), and realized it is at the dry cleaners. I thought, “Pshaw, this is the kind of thing that happens to adults, not me…wait…” Then I started thinking…uh oh… more than just my constant wearing of cardigans are making me an old lady. Symptoms include:
1) New contacts in my cell phone contacts list are entered by full name. No more nicknames. No more “Lauren S.” or “Tom B.” or person-plus-door-room-number (a very popular practice my Freshman year of college). And thankfully, no more “Guy From Bar X.” Nope: first name, last name, sometimes email. Every once in a while additional, pertinent info. Where has my creativity gone? Am I doomed to never again list someone in my cell phone as “Hot Runningback’?
2) I’m starting to sincerely question the decision most states make—including my very own Commonwealth of Pennsylvania—in giving out driving privileges (it’s a PRIVILEDGE, not a RIGHT!) to sixteen-year-olds. 98% of them make me very nervous.
3) Are people consistently having better looking babies? Because it sure seems that way.
4) I’m starting to do “preventative” things. On my 25th birthday I celebrated in grand fashion by beginning to use eye cream. I have moisturizer with sunscreen now, and I use it every day. If there is any sun at all, I wear sunglasses. I don’t do this because I think I look cool. And I don’t do it for the fashion, though I am admittedly a glutton for accessories. I do it for two reasons—1: apparently beautiful sunshine fades the color of your iris. I’m sorta fond of my blueish eyes. 2: like I said: eyecream. Diligent skincare. If I’m spending all this time and money preventing wrinkles and the look of again, what kind of sense does it make to go squinting into the sun, creating wrinkles. Like I don’t already get enough of that by laughing. One of ‘em gotta go. It’s not gonna be the laughing. Also—heart disease prevention. Realizing that I come from a family with spotty heart health history, I’m doing everything I can. There’s probably more to this story; that’s enough for now.
5) I have become very concerned with things like fuel mileage and tire pressure—I don’t understand them, I’m just concerned over them.
6) When I see kids around during the daytime on Monday through Friday I wonder why the heck they aren’t in school. (I did this a few times over the summer too, forgetting my calendar does not sync with a school girl or boy’s, but it’s more since fall started that I’m sure they should all be inhaling chalk dust.) I’m sure all teenagers are skipping. I’m highly suspicious of young people…err, well, people younger than I am.
7) Whenever someone mentions something about the 24th of any given month, my resounding thought it that’s the day I have to pay my credit cards and student loans.
8) I might be too old for techno. The very family-friendly, workplace-perfect Top 40 (featuring Ryan Seacrest in the afternoons) radio station we play in my office has, for surely unknown reasons, has been playing little blocks of techno around 3:30. I keep yelling, “What IS this?” and trying to crawl under my desk. My high school bf played techno constantly, and it never bothered me. However, he also just recently turned 28, while he is always eternally 17 in my head. So there’s that.
9) I like buying work clothes now. Yikes. At department stores. Double yikes.
10) I’m giving in on things that once felt absolute. I guess there’s wriggle room. This probably stems from two very new ways I’m living my life—1: sometimes the expenditure of energy to fight in not worth being right; pick your battles, don’t argue with fools who don’t matter to you much anyway. 2: life is never going to be the way you had it on paper—sometimes it’s worse, more often it’s better.