Back in the Hi Life Again

hi-chewI don’t know if I have discussed how I am a food hoarder in this blog. Even if I have, it’s been a while, so let’s go there again. I hoard food. I have no idea why I do this. I didn’t have siblings, so I never had to fight over the last piece of chicken or extra dessert. I had enough food to eat at all times, and my family was financially stable so there was never any fear of me not being able to have food.

And yet, I hide food, particularly candy, so others won’t take it from me. Maybe it does have to do with being an only child. I don’t like to share. So, there we go. Self-diagnosed. One issue down, a million to go!

So I recently came upon Hi-Chew at Five Below. I was shopping for some stuff for my kids’ goddamn Elf on the Shelf, aptly named Cookie, to “bring” to them. Don’t get me started on the Elf. I hate it with a passion and I hate whoever invented it and I hate parents who don’t hate it. Upon seeing the cases of Hi-Chew, it took all I had within me to not buy out the entire stock. I purchased six packs of it, intending to keep two for myself and give four to the boys.

Not familiar with Hi-Chew? I wasn’t either, until about two years ago when my kids bought it from the concession stand at a baseball tournament. I thought it was gum, at first. Its consistency can be described as somewhere between gum and taffy, or maybe a really chewy Starburst. But it’s really the flavor that makes the candy so wonderful. It legit tastes exactly like whatever flavor it’s supposed to taste like. For instance, the grape flavor takes exactly like grape juice. The mango flavor, exactly like mango. The snozzberries taste like snozzberries. It doesn’t taste like that generic candy fruit flavor that every other kind of fruity candy has.

I read up on Hi-Chew on its Wikipedia page, and there’s a few things about it that I wish I hadn’t read, particularly with regard to its ingredients. But good news – it’s gluten free!

Anyway, my Hi-Chew is now safely stashed in my usual hiding spot and I will be DEVASTATED if it is discovered. I have a grape and a mango. Soon, my kids will also have these flavors, as bestowed upon them by Cookie. Or …. since they aren’t expecting them … Cookie may gift them to me!

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Deep Thoughts … about Chipotle

  • Why, at 8:00 at night, is the goddamn Chipotle line still out the door? My blood sugar is probably about 70 right now and there’s a pretty good chance I might not survive the wait. But, if I get back in the car and go somewhere else, I’m also probably going to die. Eff it, I’ll just tough it out. 20 people have walked in behind me so if I bail now and decide to un-bail, that’s 20 more people in front of me.
  • At least 3/4 of the people on the food line have spacers in their ears. This grosses me out. I “dated” a guy who had huge spacers in his earlobes and it somewhat repulsed me. I still “dated” him. The one time. And then I broke it off because he was a crazy straight edge and he also said he was in love with me after one day. And the spacers didn’t help his case.
  • My husband hates Chipotle because he thinks that hipsters like it. Yes, that is his entire reason that he hates Chipotle. Don’t ask me.
  • People who call it “Chipolte” (pronounced Chi POLE tay)
  • People who think they’re being funny when they pronounce it like “Chi POT ul”
  • The a-hole who orders six burritos. I hate that guy.
  • That onion, though.
  • Your last bite of meat is almost always skeevy.
  • Guac is extra, in case you didn’t know! But $2 extra for a big thwack! of guac just doesn’t seem right. That only looks like about 75 cents worth.
  • Seriously. It’s tomorrow and the onion is still with me. Every time I burp, I taste it. Despite the gum, Altoids and basically any food I can think of to try to cover the taste of onion, it prevails. The onion has won. “So, don’t order onion,” you say. HOW? I ask. It’s in the corn salsa. Little flecks of purple rancid onion. It cannot be avoided. Because listen, I am not giving up the corn salsa. The corn salsa is everything.

Only Child Residual Issues

One surprising little factoid about me: I am an only child. Most people are shocked when they learn this, and usually make a remark like, “You don’t act like an only child.” What I take that to mean is that I don’t act like a selfish, spoiled brat, which is the stereotypical only child M.O. I take that as a compliment, because I assume that’s how they mean it.

It’s true, I didn’t pick up many of the traits one would associate with only children. But, I didn’t walk away unscathed from my lack of siblings. The older I get, the more I notice that I have extreme hoarder tendencies. One of the biggest categories of my hoardage is food. I think it all centers around the fact that I never had to share when I was growing up, and dammit, if I buy dark chocolate Almond Bark from Trader Joe’s, my kids better keep their grubby little hands off it.

I have stashes of “my” food all over the kitchen. It’s not in super secret places. It’s mainly in the back of the fridge, behind other stuff. So it just takes a little bit of effort to uncover my stuff. Usually, however, no one bothers to go that far. At work, I have drawers full of snacks, probably enough to last for a couple months. I recently moved desks and I found two separate large bags of raw almonds from the bulk food store that I didn’t know I had. I have more Crystal Light flavor packets than I will ever drink.

And I honestly think this all stems back to the fact that I had no competition as a child when it came to snacks. If a bag of Doritos entered the house, I was fairly certain that I could leave the house, go to school, come back, and no one would have eaten all the Doritos while I was gone. Anymore, I don’t have that same assurance. And my love for snacks has not diminished over the years; if anything, it has increased.

So yeah, I might not have become a navel-gazing, self-absorbed brat, but I’ll be damned if there aren’t four boxes of Bottle Cap candy in the kitchen cabinets that are off-limits to my kids.

Ways to Immediately Gross Me Out

I don’t know why any of you would want to do such a thing, but if you are looking for the fast track to grossing me out, here are a few that will do the trick in a jiffy.

Describe the cause of a paper cut

Nothing gives me the heebie jeebies faster than hearing about someone getting a paper cut. I can feel the paper slicing through my own skin, every time. Bonus points: show me the paper cut.

Even more bonus points: show me a surgery scar and attempt to describe the surgical process for as long as you can until I either run away or faint.

Peel away a bandage

On a similar note, I don’t need to see what’s underneath your cast. Or even your Band-Aid.

Ranch it up

Waft an open bottle of Ranch dressing under my nose. I will commence dry heaving immediately. Can’t stand the stuff. My kids love it. When they have Ranch on their salad – or veggies – I basically handle the dishes with an extreme amount of caution. If a drop of ranch so much as touches me, I will basically attempt to amputate the body part affected with the heinous creamy glop.

In case you’re wondering: no, I do not like Cool Ranch Doritos. Gag.

Have Bad Breath and be a Close Talker

It’s messed up that we can’t smell our own breath most of the time, because most of us would be horrified at the smell we were giving off. If you smoke, drink alcohol, drink coffee or eat garlic/onions, or a salad with a hearty helping of Ranch, don’t fucking breathe on me at any time. Especially if you are a close talker. Back ‘er on down. Personal space: it’s for everyone.

Throw Up

Something about seeing/hearing/smelling vomit makes me want to vomit. I don’t feel like I really need to justify myself here. I’m usually ok if I see it on TV because I know it’s not real and I can’t smell it. It’s when multiple senses are engaged that evokes my gag reflex.

And??

I’m sure I could come up with more, but those are good for starters.

Peachy

“Moving to the country, going to eat a lot of peaches.”

-George Washington

I love peaches in the summertime. Especially when they’re good ones from the farmer’s market – not the crap you get at the grocery store. I always make a peach cobbler at least once in the summer – and then, because the rest of my family hates peaches, I eat the whole thing myself.

But please tell me – is there anything more gross than watching someone eat a whole peach? I can’t even stand myself when I do it. First of all, you can’t avoid making a weird mouth noise when you bite into one. It’s not like an apple. There’s a juice situation that needs to be controlled. Then, no matter how much of a vaccuum your mouth is, juice tends to dribble off the peach, down your hand, and onto whatever surface you happen to be eating on. I usually have to have a pile of napkins nearby, and go through at least three per peach.

Slicing the peach can mitigate some of the mess. It at least eliminates most of the mouth grossness. The juice is still a problem with peach slices, however.

Once I am finished with my peach, I need a full wipedown. I have to wash my face and hands to clean off the peach residue. It’s almost like I revert to toddler-hood in how messy I am with it.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that a good, Clockwork Orange-style torture technique would be to force someone to watch me eat a peach. It would be so horrific, it would definitely make even the most hardened of criminals pledge to reform.

The same goes for me and salads, but for entirely different reasons. If you are so unfortunate as to be with me when I order a salad at a restaurant, you may as well order yourself another beer, because you are going to be there a while. I might be the world’s slowest salad eater. Also: Chinese food. Painfully slow. Inevitably there is one ingredient in the dish that I don’t eat, so I pick whatever ingredient it is out of the dish, and ensure my bite of food does not contain any shreds of said ingredient. It’s a process that goes something like this: pick, pick, stir, bite. Stir, pick, pick, bite. It will infuriate you if you ever see it in action.

I feel bad for my husband, sometimes. I really do.

Curry no favor with me

curryI’ve tried it multiple times, given myself a few years to breathe, and tried it again. And it’s still true.

I do not like curry.

To me, it tastes like the inside of a childhood friend’s house. No, they weren’t Indian. Rather, they were some kind of new agey white folks. There were some definite hippie tendencies there. It was the 80’s, so it was neither the original hippie movement nor was it the current hippie movement, it was a netherworld of hippiedom. It was the time of excess, and this was a simple home that smelled of curry. I didn’t really enjoy going to this house because of its underlying odor, and the fact that they only served “healthy” snacks like apples. As a child who grew up on pop and Doritos, I didn’t understand why they didn’t have an entire cupboard dedicated to my heroine, Little Debbie. I think one time, they had oatmeal raisin cookies, but of course it was comprised of grains and seeds and honey and was barely sticking together. I feel like they were gluten-free before anyone knew what gluten was.

Aside from tasting like a natural foods store, I don’t care for the color. The yellow tricks my brain into thinking it should taste like mustard. I can only handle one yellow condiment/sauce in my repertoire. And I don’t really care for mustard, either, just for the record. An inventory of the weird things I like and do not like food-wise will certainly be a future topic.

I have nothing against Indian food, which I know is typically curried up. It’s just that I haven’t found anything that I like, other than those pastry things that have potato inside? Except when they have curry in them.

The reason that I bring this whole curry thing up is this: I was just tricked into eating curry again. I went down to grab lunch and there was a “curried chicken salad” on the menu. I looked in the case and saw what I assumed to be regular chicken salad, all mayo’ed up with bits of celery sprinkled throughout. Boom. Sign me up for that. However, I was looking at tuna salad – that’s a big bait and switch right there, and it happens to me more often than I’d like to admit – and the curried stuff was back behind the scenes. By the time I realized, it was too late, and there were two choices at that point. Go back and see if I could give back the yellow nasty stuff, or woman up and eat it.

I went for the woman up option. And bleh. My opinion remains the same. It has probably been about ten years since I last tried it, which I believe was at a wedding where they served only Indian food (and this was not an Indian wedding. Hard to explain, just accept it and move on). I was a sport and went with it, because I was starving and there were no other options unless I wanted to eat pita all night. However, I believe that I am old enough now that I don’t need to try things just to expand my horizons. I’m quite content with where my horizons are, thank you very much.

Now I have the unpleasant aftertaste in my mouth, which I am currently trying to obliterate by eating a bag of Cheetos.

So, no, curry is not for me. Not in this decade, and probably not in the next decade.