I did three things today that I would not have done 5 years ago:
- I ate grilled cauliflower.
- I ate raw tuna.
- I did both 1 & 2 willingly, and I enjoyed it.
If you’ve forgotten/didn’t read my recent post about being a complete and total schlub during college, then perhaps you’ve never seen me in my glory years. Here’s a photo, just to acquaint yourself:
You see that one in the back there, holding the duct-taped tower of Fresh n’ Easy Mexi-beer? No, he’s not part of an after-school recycling program for handi-capable youth. That’s me at a wizard party (the person with the largest beer can wizarding staff at the end of the night is both the immediate winner, and in the more metaphysical sense, the ultimate loser.) Needless to say I was simultaneously winning by several cans while also totally losing at life.
Anyway, does that look like the face of someone who would eat cauliflower? Or raw fish? HELL NO. You know why? Because both of those things are disgusting. And stinky. Seriously, you couldn’t pay me to eat cauliflower! Well, not back then.
(On another note: why don’t college dorm rooms have scales included? Come on, if I had known I looked like this I would have maybe perhaps stopped drinking so frequently. So here’s some advice to future dorm dwellers: on the day you discover that you can roll faster and farther than you can run, have one of your friends kick-start you down a hill and roll on over to your nearest Target, where bathroom scales are readily available. I believe you can find them in the self-denial section, right in between full-length mirrors and jeans with elastic sewn into the waistline.)
Sorry I’m so full of tangents today. I did just drink some coffee, and we all know what that does to me…
So back to what I was talking about earlier!
- The cauliflower.
- The raw tuna.
- The fact that I enjoyed it.
Until college I was probably the unhealthiest person alive. I didn’t eat anything green. I didn’t eat anything that resembled the idea of “green.” I would only eat green if it was covered in batter and deep-fried, and even then the green had to be either artificial or hidden from sight (preferably both). Seriously, the healthier it was the less I wanted it. I don’t think I ordered a salad at a restaurant until I was in my twenties. In fact, a friend from back home and I used to rag on people who’d order salads. Granted, this is the same friend who once joined me for an entire day at the Country Buffet in the mall because (a) we were bored, (b) we were craving macaroni and cheese on top of pizza on top of meat loaf, and (c) it was Create Your Own McFlurry Thursday. (Don’t worry Kaytlin Carlson, I’ll take our secret to the grave!)
No, we were not pregnant. But I’d like to argue that the cravings of bored teenagers who live in podunk, rural, hot & humid midwest farm towns are far superior to any woman who’s with child. Unfortunately we lived in the greater Seattle area, so no such rules applied. We were just disgusting human beings.
It wasn’t until winter break of my freshman year at college that I did something completely irrational: I became a pescetarian (no meat… well, except fish). You see, my roommate at the time had watched some PETA videos on Youtube and decided almost immediately that he would not partake in such filthy and inhumane practices. Well fan-fucking-tastic. Now I’m gonna get fat ALL. BY. MYSELF. Thanks a lot, roommate! So naturally I had to do it, too. (And I did watch one of those PETA videos just to get in the mood. It helped a lot with the decision.)
I didn’t even really like fish (maybe it correlates with my dislike for lady-bits), but the video didn’t really cover sea-life abuse, and ignorance is bliss. It also turns out to be quite delicious, especially when paired with a nice white.
However, one can only eat so much fish before transforming into a metallic blob a la Alex Mack. To avoid the side effects of mercury poisoning, I slowly came to realize that I had to eat other things. No meat? What else is there. Oh yeah, greens.
Here’s how my still going-strong veg-head status came to be (in bullets, of course):
- I’m not going to eat that baby bush. First of all you shouldn’t kill infant plants, it’s wrong. Your plate looks like a pile of garden genocide. Oh, that’s broccoli? Well fine, I’ll try it. (Then) Ew gross get it away from me.
- Julienned carrots? What am I, a rabbit? Pass.
- Either everyone in this cafeteria sharted at the same time, or someone’s eating brussels sprouts. No thanks, I’d rather die.
So it turns out, I didn’t really enjoy nature’s bounty in the raw form. That’s probably because it tastes like dirt. But, I had to keep trying:
- So you’re telling me that not only am I no longer allowed to put hot dog chunks in my Velveeta Mac, but you want me to replace them w/ steamed broccoli. You are the most fowl, disrespectful, untrustworthy human being — Okay fine. That’s decent.
- Step 1: pile a bunch of nature shit on a plate. Step 2: smother it in Ranch. Step 3: call it a salad. Enjoy.
- Nope, I still won’t go anywhere near the brussels sprouts. Do I look like an idiot?
To get to my point: as I ate vegetables more and more, I was slowly able to tolerate them. I found some that I really enjoyed, like asparagus and eggplant, and experimented with different ways to cook and present them. It turns out, the more you eat something, the more it doesn’t suck. They say it takes trying something you don’t like 14 times before you like it. (I’m not exactly sure who “they” are, but I’m assuming they’re the people who sell things that nobody wants, like Campari or shows with Joy Behar.)
And you know what? Nowadays I’ll spend up to $12 at a restaurant for a salad. And I’ll like it, too.
I still won’t go anywhere near brussels sprouts though. The damn hippies can’t completely hoodwink me.
To conclude, this may or may not be my friend Kaytlin from the Country Buffet. (But it is.)