I recently came across a familiar situation where I was faced with the opportunity to not do something I didn’t want to do. Toss in a little bit of having to do something I needed to do, but am not generally good at – and you have the makings of yet another blog post.
Let’s see how I fared, shall we?
In case you don’t know, I suffer from many “issues” one of which being I have a very unstable stomach. Food, which is supposed to be my friend, can in many ways be my worst enemy. Not only do I have the pudge-potential syndrome, I also have the irritable bowel one. Food choices are critical to ensure I do not end up writhing in pain for days. However, food is also my go-to mood adjustment device. Happy? Have a cupcake. Sad? Eat an entire bag of potato chips. Enjoy camaraderie? Scarf down enough Chili’s chips/salsa/ranch to feed a small nation. Totally depressed? Eliminate food altogether – which is clearly as harmful as eating too much.
[If at this point, you are thinking I need some sort of therapy – please, please refrain from suggesting that road which has been traveled ad nauseum. ]
This bit of background leads us up to the other evening when I was having dinner with some folks I am very close to. Food issues already range from the comical to the serious over the course of my life, so the fact that I have dire choices I am faced with making three times a day plus in between snacks only enhances any sort of meal-enticed environment around others because I then have to throw in the fact that I believe my choice must not offend or upset anyone, in anyway possible.
For many reasons, one of which being I had recently had the stomach flu – considered akin to a near death experience for IBS folks, I was not feeling all that great when I arrived at the dinner. It was soon revealed that we would be dining on good old fashioned steak and potatoes. No other choices offered.
I immediately thought, “Ouch – red meat on an already fragile stomach? Nope, cannot do it.”
Which was immediately followed by, “Fuck. This means I have to say something about it. Fuck.”
For just about anyone else, the solution is simple – state that you cannot eat the steak but would be delighted with the baked potato and be done with it.
If you have read more than one blog post from me, you also know I do not consider myself anywhere near the realm of normal. Telling someone that I am unable eat what they have prepared or don’t like the way they cut my hair or think the brakes they installed are not quite right or disagree with them over anything in general can be as difficult for me as brain surgery is for a statistician while at the same time producing some sort of self induced traumatic esteem injury.
[Again, if you have that tiny little urge telling you to suggest therapy for me – please don’t, pretend you did and simply allow me my eccentricities.]
I gave it a try anyway and said that I would not be able to eat the steak due to my stomach still not being totally healed. Whew! Look at me – gonna be tummy cramp free!
Then, when dinner came and my plate was being loaded and even though I’d been very clear that I was not going to eat steak – I was offered steak like parishioner is offered communion. I, again, said, “No, thanks. Remember, my stomach?”
The steak was held out in front, hovering in the air like a Matrix special effect by a pleading host.
“Are you sure? Just a little bit won’t hurt you will it?”
Did I maintain my commitment to my internal organs and refuse to eat the steak?
Or did I crumble like a tin can under the weight of an 80 ton tyrannosaurus rex crashing through the jungle on its way to a veggiesaurus slaughter?