Food paradoxes

I just graduated college, ergo I don’t have to think anymore, Argo no segue.  Here are six of my eating habits that make no sense.

1)Zaxby’s can do nothing to lose my business 

My first job was at Zaxby’s, and despite working 20+ hours a week for two years, I still can’t get enough of their food.  Even the smell of fingerz and friez being permanently stuck in my hair was not enough to turn me off from their food.

To be fair, a lot of stuff got permanently stuck in my hair those days

To be fair, a lot of stuff got permanently stuck in my hair those days

I always hear people say things like “After three years at Domino’s I’ll never look at pizza again!” or “Twenty years as a teacher was enough to make me swear off books for good!”  It makes me wonder if something is wrong with me, because I would work a five hour shift and still order a #Z to take home for my dinner.  I once got reprimanded by my manager because I tried to exceed the maximum amount of food my employee discount could go towards.  I got half off, and apparently you couldn’t spend more than $10.  If you’re quick at math, you’ll realize I was trying to buy over $20 worth of zhicken.

Worst of all is the fact that I know what goes on behind the scenes.  I won’t go into any details, but my intimate knowledge of “cleaning” techniques and the kinds of games the employees play when the cool manager is working should have been enough to make me never touch another fried muzhroom.  I realize this is a very common trend with fast food, but at least with other restaurants I have the gift of ignorance.

This came out when I worked there.  I'm not saying anything else.

This came out when I worked there. I’m not saying anything else.

2)Love bananas, anything banana flavored makes me gag

This paradox does make some sense, as I hated bananas when I was young.  They always made me dry-heave and I could never finish one, despite my mom’s insistence that she LOVED them while pregnant with me and how I used to eat them and how I was breaking her heart or something.  My ears hum when she talks.

Through sheer will power I forced myself to learn to like them, the process of which would make the most pathetic movie montage ever filmed.

montage

Despite my triumph, I still occasionally gag half-way through a banana, having to repeat to myself “You’re better than this!  You can do it!”  There is no combination of words, however, that could get me through, say, a banana popsicle or banana pudding.  I can only put up with the taste of the fruit because I know it’s good for me.  Distill that flavor from the vitamins and tell me it’s desert and I’ll throw it in your face.  Piggybacking off another fruit won’t fool me either, as I zero in on the banana half of any tropical splosion banana mango whatever.

3)My favorite part of Fall is pumpkin flavored food.  Least favorite?  Pumpkins

This is the inverse of the previous entry.  Fall is my favorite time of year, and one of the reasons for that is all the seasonal pumpkin coffee, cake, beers, etc.  I buy them all every chance I get, stocking up on the beer so it’ll last me into the winter when it gets pulled off shelves.  I would burn pumpkin candles year round if the rest of society didn’t find the idea of a pumpkin candle in spring so psychotic.  Instead, I have to suffer through “Linen” and “Clouds”, two things I smell for free everyday.

Oh hey, great, now my room will smell like air.

Oh hey, great, now my room will smell like air.

The thing is, I absolutely hate real pumpkins.  I think pumpkin guts are the grossest thing on the planet and I can’t stand the smell in non-candle form.  When I was a kid and my family carved pumpkins, I would not only refuse to participate but would actually hide upstairs until they were done.  I’m sure this also broke my mother’s heart.

It’s like when you’re in love with the idea of someone but have never talked to them.  Everything on paper is great, and you create a perfect image of them in your mind, but the real thing can never live up to it.  I like the idea of pumpkins, and I like what food scientists have decided they taste like, but the real thing can never live up to the one in my head, smelling like a pumpkin spice latte and filled with Sam Adams Oktoberfest.

4)Cereal can only get soggy on my terms

I’m a big fan of cereal, especially those that claim to taste like things that aren’t for breakfast.  What I hate, however, is soggy cereal.  I know a lot of people love this part of eating cereal with milk, but I feel like I’m in the sane minority on this one.  If I’m eating something with crunch in the title, I want it to stay that way, so I eat my cereal dry.  I can’t tell you how many dirty looks I’ve gotten from people who have seen me do this.  I have no idea when the conference was that decided that everyone had to put milk in their cereal, but I missed it so I’m exempt.

Still, some of my favorite cereal can wreak havoc on the ol’ gums.  Peanut Butter Crunch is particularly brutal, especially when you eat multiple bowls at a time like I do.  My solution?  Eating my dry cereal with a glass of milk, taking a sip with each bite.  It helps with digestion AND doesn’t create the cereal bog at the end of the meal!  I’m aware it’s completely psychotic.

5)Love all hot teas, hate cold tea.  Except peach tea for some reason.  And Arnold Palmers.

This wouldn’t be such a paradox if I hadn’t grown up in Georgia and gone to school in Alabama.  The dirty looks I get for eating dry cereal are nothing compared to those I get when I tell people I don’t like sweet tea.  I grew up surrounded by tea but somehow never acquired the taste.  My dad grew up in Ohio and even he learned to like tea, although technically he’s lived in the South longer than I have.  People who moved to the South from other states will accuse me of not being a real southerner just because I’d rather have water.

The thing is, add some peach flavoring or lemonade and I’m on board.  I have no idea why.  I also drink green tea, black tea, chamomile tea, etc.  It’s as if I only like the taste of tea if it’s hot.  As soon as it’s cold it gets disgusting.  Except I drink cold green tea, so I’m really at a loss for this one.

6)Variety only matters for dinner

Everyone at my last job used to tease me for having the same thing for lunch everyday: a green apple, a can of tuna, and green tea.  They also gave me a lot of warnings about mercury poisoning, but we’re on Earth, idiots.  I’m just as boring at breakfast, having a hard-boiled egg and black coffee everyday, only occasionally treating myself to the cereals noted above.  I mostly do this because it’s cheap and easy, but I also enjoy the routine.  I never really feel the desire to mix things up, giving up variety for convince.

Ask me to eat the same thing for dinner two nights in a row, I’ll throw it in your face.  You want chicken tonight?  I had chicken five weeks ago, try again.  You want to try that new Mexican place?  I had Taco Bell last weekend, and I don’t care if “that’s not the same.”  They’re both spicy and cheesy, too similar.

For some reason I would never dream of being as consistent with my dinner as I am with the other meals.  I’ve tried it before, grilling a bunch of chicken breasts on Sunday and eating them the rest of the week with a salad and some vegetables, and it’s pathetic how depressed this made me.  I was having such a pity party come Wednesday, feeling like my human rights were under attack by the chicken flavored rubber on my plate.

You lied to me George Foreman!

You lied to me George Foreman!

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