Thursday, April 13, 2006

lettuce give thanks for this bounty I'm about to consume

A few weeks ago, while out for Thai with a friend, I elicited a few head shakes by ordering dinner with my proprietary blend of self-effacement and high-maintenance demands: "Hiiii, I'm going to be a little difficult here. Sorry (shrug) -- neurotic. Okay, I'd like the seafood grilled, without oil. That's no oil. No fat. And steamed broccoli, please. Also without oil. Sauce on the side. Thank you. Make that extra broccoli, thanks so much." (I always wrap it up with an apologetic smile -- 'I know I'm a pain in the ass. Please don't drizzle ipecac on my meal.')

When the food arrived my friend's eyes grew wide and she breathed, "Wow... there's enough food on that plate for three people." Indeed, the broccoli was piled high; it was just what I'd wanted. I told her, "Give me 15 minutes," and I tucked in.

When it was all over she stared at my empty plate and shook her head slowly. "I wouldn't believe it if I didn't see it with my own eyes." To which I replied, "Yeah, not the first time someone's said that to me. How 'bout some frozen yogurt?" It's possible this friend only hangs out with me for the freak value.

A few nights ago I met my family for dinner at the same Thai restaurant and ordered essentially the same dish. My Mom and my sister offered me bits of their own coconut soups and noodle dishes, but I politely declined, stating that "Really, I'd like to be alone with my vegetables now."

And then yesterday, when I met John for lunch before heading home for the Passover seder, I loaded up a styrofoam container with an admittedly obscene quantity of salad bar veggies. I did so in anticipation of a fattening meal many hours away; lunch would have to keep me full for a while with as few calories as possible. John has known me a long time; this wasn't the first time he'd watched in amazement (and a little bit of disgust, though he claims to love me just the same) as I scarfed down more comestibles than his 6'2", 185-pound body could ever pack in during a single sitting.

As we were wrapping up the meal, chit-chatting about some recent drama in my love life, his gaze suddenly softened and he said to me, "Honey, give me your hand." I reached across the table and he cupped my paw between both of his, squeezing gently with a tender look in his eyes. "There's something I need to tell you."

"Oh, shit," I thought, "here it comes. We finally make nice like old friends, and I get a little loose-lipped, and finally he's going to break and run, tell me he can't handle the idea of me with other men. I knew this would never work. I shoud've known you can't be friends with an ex."

John continued, "In the last six months or so -- since about the time you came back into my life last fall -- I have not..." and here he paused and swallowed hard. I held my breath for two seconds while he collected himself.

"In the last six months I have not... um... eaten as much salad as you just scarfed down in the last eight minutes. That really was amazing. Really, just... I honestly don't know where you put it all. Just thought you should know; I'm inspired."

And then we busted up while I slapped him on the arm and scolded, "What the hell are you trying to do, give me a heart attack?" and he shot me his trademark 'Gotcha!' grin and we both enjoyed a hearty laugh.

But I sort of have to wonder... could I be a vegeholic?

28 comments:

I-66 said...

Yes. You're a vegeholic.

Homer Simpson: "I'm a rageaholic! I'm addicted to rageahol!"

Now where you buy vegehol, I have no idea - but I'm pretty sure it's at Whole Foods.

...welcome back, sardine :)

sparkles anonymous! said...

I'm a fruit-a-holic.

Also, salt. Mmmm, salty pretzels...

Vixen said...

That's a new one I haven't heard before. Vegeholic....funny!

Marci (aka Baby Banana) said...

Oh I hear you! I am a vegeholic too, what is it about vegeholism that prompts people to think you have a problem?

Barbara said...

I never heard of anyone who OD'ed on broccoli or salad. Don't think too much applies here! Happy pesach!

Velvet said...

Yes...you are a crazy girl!

Sarah Jayne said...

In O-town there's 2 restaurants that serve these ORGASMIC salads... honestly.. I could keep on eating.. and eating.. and eating...

But I would have to see you in action to know for sure if you're really weird.

Shafa said...

Vegetables are for rabbits.

Washington Cube said...

What you're doing sounds normal to me, so I guess I shouldn't answer.

Janet said...

I have the same problem, except this encompasses fruits as well. Subway hates me.

And I'm sure that my friends are sick of me ordering veggie pizzas with extra stewed tomatoes, onions and peppers. But then, I'm not too worried about bikini season either.

Yeah for vegeholics!

Champion Hand Washer said...

Having once worked in the restaurant business, I wouldn't worrk about ipecac. I'd worry about spit.

'I know I'm a pain in the ass. Please don't drizzle ipecac on my meal.'

Rothko said...

There's nothing wrong with being a vegeholic, I reckon. I do think you can turn orange if you eat too many carrots, though. So be careful of that. Be careful of turning orange.

playfulinnc said...

I love to "tuck in" with some veggies. Just carry Bean-o, and you're fine!

(I agree with Cube...this sounded so normal to me!)

Hey, John's a clever guy. I was starting to feel anxious for you...

smallpricklyfruit said...

"...chit-chatting about some recent drama in my love life,..."

Succinctly put. Brevity be thine Apsara.

Anonymous said...

Um, how do you know how much John weighs?

He sounds like a fox. Is he?

always write said...

'Crazy like a...' I will admit he is tall, dark and goofily handsome. Or is it handsomely goofy... At any rate, he's tall, which makes him useful in a crowd.

The weight was an estimate. Was I right? 'Cause I'm totally ready to quit my job and take up with the carnies.

Anonymous said...

Oooohhh! He is a fox! Too bad it sounds like he's freakishly tall.

I'm guessing your weight prognostication was within a couple of pounds.

But he'll probably lose some muscle tone as the Balco investigation develops.

East-West Girl said...

A friend of mine had the palms of her hands and bottoms of her feet turn orange once from eating too many carrots - she was eating something like 2-3 bags of baby carrots a day... it can happen!

i think you're normal too. wouldn't categorize it as a 'problem' in any way! and who doesn't love the neurotic restaurant patron from time to time? makes for good variety.

glad you're back!! :) veggies and all.

Dora said...

Personally I don't feel I have had a complete meal unless I have scarfed down a salad(dressing on the side) and at least 3-4 veggies with my meal..and there's nothing wrong with asking for what you like, at least you do it with a smile.

Cancer Sucks! said...

You speak as if being a vegeholic is a bad thing. I envy your colon.

Paulo said...

Seriously? You're allowed to say "I envy your colon?" on the Internets?

Speachlessy yours always,

~Paulo

always write said...

Hey -- we should respect ILLD for being brave enough to say what he feels. Perhaps today he feels constipated. This is a safe space, Paulo; it's okay to admit that you envy my colon too. Come on, let's hug it out. Theeeeere you go.

;)

Phil said...

We are very similar in our eating habits, except replace your requests for "non-fat" with "fried, and "vegetables" with "meat" and that's me.

Chairborne Stranger said...

You crack me up. Too funny.

Cancer Sucks! said...

Ms. Always Write.
Although I envy your colon, I am not particularly enamoured with your Islets of Langerhans.

always write said...

Meh. Nobody's perfect.

Neil said...

uhm, more please.

Buffy said...

I ate shite for years. Then I tried the whole Thurmond thing. Who knew veggies were so great. I seriously crave broccoli and peppers now.