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Monday, April 23, 2012

The comfort of food

Where to begin.  This weekend was interesting.  Saturday was good.  We got to take some friends to our favorite burger joint and then a vegan bakery.  Nice combo eh?  That's what high cal days are all about.  After they left and we were kind of hanging out with no real plan the Mr mentioned it wasn't a big thing but did I notice the bathroom faucets were leaking.  I said yes, agreed we needed to get on that but it wasn't huge so we'd put it off for a few weeks.

Sunday we slept in, a rare luxury these days.  I rolled into the bathroom and when I went to wash my hands, I noticed the water was coming out a little quicker than I remembered from the faucet.  "La la la.  I don't see you.  I have no plans today and you certainly aren't part of my day of nothing.  I plan to eat a fiberlicious breakfast, workout early so we can have the entire day to ourselves so pffft"  (Yes, I talk to faucets)  Then the Mr rolls into the bathroom and when he comes out he asks if I notice the water is worse.  *Plugs my ears*  LA LA LA.
A few trips to the Home Depot later and a local hardware store all tell us that the man that will be our savior is apparently closed Sundays but hele on over Monday and if he doesn't have it, no one does.  So this is how my bathroom has looked for the past 2 days:

I get to wash my hands and brush my teeth in the bathtub.  Jealous?

We decided if the Mr was going to go to the faucet man on his lunch hour that we'd better do a drive by.  It would require driving past my old high school.  I like to drive by on occasion to reminisce so I was curious to see if the rumors for the plans for it had come to fruition yet.

As we got closer, I lost my breath and burst into tears.  

It was gone.  My entire high school career was now a pile of rubble guarded by a bulldozer and fenced off from the rest of the world.  Memories flooded back to me...spotting my friends waiting outside for me as I walked up or waiting outside of the door of the art room gossiping about snobs that walked by with their noses in the air or screaming the name of a cute guy that just passed by only so we could see his face one more time before he disappeared in the sea of people.  Or trading Poison or Guns and Roses posters from the latest edition of BOP or Metal Edge in study hall, getting kicked out of study hall for being too disruptive or giggling over how outdated "Our Bodies, Our Selves" was.  Gone were the stairs in the Math/Science section where Glenda fell and "broke her butt" my sophomore year.  Gone was the locker of Mike B. where I got busted by him for slipping a note in there from my friend and as he smirked I said "it's NOT from me!"  Gone was the 2nd floor stairs where I would pass notes with my best friend between classes and give one last shout goodbye as I got to the top when she got to the bottom.  Gone was the cafeteria where we watched MTV and ate horrible cafeteria food but found that half hour break from academia to reconnect and talk about what was going on in our day.  Gone were the hallways that we used to follow teachers aids we had crushes on and pretend we were doing something else when they caught us.  Gone were the home ec and print shop classrooms where I spent time with my favorite teachers that encouraged me to be my best self and that I did have talent as long as I continued to hone it.  These things will always live on in my memories and the school notes I keep in a shoebox when I'm in the mood to revisit how dirty and crazy we were in those days.  But there is something different about not having that physical building there any more.  It's like you could pass by it and feel that familiarity and there was comfort in the feeling it would always be there.  But it won't.  Nothing is sacred any more.

I needed to be surrounded with familiarity from my high school days and that meant a trip to the pizza place that was basically a food group for me back then.  Back in the day I could've gotten a medium and ate 3/4 of it or all of it depending on how fast I ate it.  But Sunday, we split a medium (which a nutritionist told us was absolutely acceptable) and given I'd already planned dinner, I knew how many calories I had to work with and it was well within the limits.  As the Mr put the pizza in the car, the smell of that pepperoni pizza enveloped me and it smelled like high school.  I remembered slumber parties with my best friends and eating a pizza in my room or going to another friends house and eating it there.  Or stopping by after school for a pop on the way home on rare occasion.  I remembered having a small crush on the namesake grandson on the football team for which the pizza place was named.  I remembered giggling over many a pizza from that place on the phone with friends.  Some would say since this wasn't a high cal day that I failed.  I didn't.  Was I using food for the wrong reasons?  Yes.  But ask me if I care?  I knew damn well what I was doing and it didn't blow my day by any stretch.  As a matter of fact, I did a little extra cardio just to make sure.  At that time, it wasn't a matter of if I wanted that pizza.  I needed that pizza.  I needed to be surrounded by that taste and smell which are now the only tangible piece of my high school years other than yearbooks full of people I rarely associated with.  I needed comfort and I wasn't going to feel guilty about indulging in that comfort because I knew it was for one meal.  I know that pizza could never bring back what I lost yesterday but for 20 minutes, it felt like old times and I needed that more than I needed to project the image of a healthy blogger saint.  

To you old high school, I'm thankful I took pictures on your steps last Fall and pics with my friend when she was in town one last time.  Thanks for the memories and I'll always remember you the way you were when I went there, not how much you changed in the years since.

Do you use food to bring you back to a happier time in your life?  If you do are you able to do it in moderation or can that trigger a binge for you?

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  1. Wow, that must have been a shock to pull up to a pile of rubble. Fortunately, I can still drive by my grade school and jr/sr high and they look a lot the same. Glad you were able to relive some precious memories.

  2. I remember when they knocked down my jr. high. It was so sad for me.

    They call it progress. I'm not as sure.

  3. I don't have nostalgia foods, but I also cannot have just one of anything. Potato chips and french onion dip are a huge trigger and I will finish off a whole bag and container then run my finger around the bowl to make sure I get it all. I am better off not having it at all. And weekends are the worst, even if I make it through Saturday without destroying a weeks worth of eating there is still Sunday.
    My husband being gone 22 hours a day doesn't help (works nights 12 hour shifts with 2 hour commute time then sleep) and because of that boredom and depression this is a real struggle. But I continue to soldier on and try to have only bad moments and not entire bad days.
    Your inspiration, whether it is good, bad or ugly makes me a happy follower of yours because you are real and honest and have your own bad moments. Its how you handle them and come out the other side that provide the inspiration (and humor!).

  4. Food is a comfort. I can smell something and it will take me back to another time and place. I'm reading the previous comment, and I have the same problem with chips and dip. Now that I practice portion control and never eat regular chips and dip (but do occasionally imbibe in LITE ones), I wonder what made me stop eating before? I mean I wasn't eating because I was hungry. I never really let myself get hungry. I wasn't a person who could eat huge amounts at any one time, but I simply ate constantly. So when I was eating chips, why did I stop? Probably because the bag was finally empty. I certainly never concerned myself with how many calories or how much salt I was consuming!

    Sorry for your sink fiasco. But that IS a pretty sink! This weekend hubby took it upon himself to clean our very filthy shower and toilet. What a wonderful guy. They look like NEW! I really need to keep up on those better, we live in the country and have very HARD water with lots of minerals and the lime, etc. deposits build up so fast. YUCK! Nice to have it done and SO NICE that he did it.

  5. My high school lunch consisted of a bean burrito from the lunch truck, a Charleston Chew candy bar, Dorito's (nacho cheese, cuz that's all we had-back in the day) and a soda. Every day for 3 years and skinny as a rail!! Thanks for taking me back, I wandered the halls of my old school, mentally, as I was reading your post. Patsgal~

  6. My old high school, an all girls, Catholic school with the church next door and the Sisters of Christian Charity convent behind it, later became a nursing home. Then, like so much of my fair city, it became nothing after Katrina. It's still boarded up, just sitting there, in all it's glory, with windows that are large enough to drive a bus through, baseboards 18 inches high, ceilings high enough to reach heaven. Empty. Somehow that feels even worse than it being put to rest and bulldozed. I do relate to how you feel. *hugs* For me, food was not a big part of my memories (unless somehow the smells of freshly baked bread and donuts wafting from the cafeteria before school could ever be replicated). Oddly enough, what does it for me is driving to the end of Canal Street and getting on the ferry for a round trip. Whenever we'd be late for school, rather than enter first period late, my friends and I would take that ferry ride, getting in one last smoke (ugh) before school, feeling BEYOND cool for having skipped one class. lol

  7. I haven't been by mine in eons...but sometimes I'll pull it up on Google maps just to see if it's still there. And I did NOT have happy memories of mine, I was miserable in High School. My nostalgia is mostly for the first few years of our marriage and everything that was happening then. I don't have food memories of those times, though...My only food trigger from HS is Jack in the Box tacos. They are just the most disgusting, probably made from cat food things but honestly...they are like a bullet train to HS for me. Fortunately we don't have a JB in our state, but when I visit my ds at college I'll sometimes indulge in them. Always planned, always worth it. So sorry about your place being gone, what a shock that must have been. (hugs)

  8. This is a test, this is only a test. In the event that this comment actually posts, you can rest easy.

  9. OK, I figured it out. Was signed into the wrong gmail account.

    Recap: Sorry about the shock of finding your high school gone. I'm impressed that in going for comfort food, you still gave a thought to the calorie consequences. I don't use food to bring back memories, but sometimes when I'm cooking or eating the recipes that my grandmother taught me, the memories do come back--especially the smell of her oatmeal cookies baking. Trigger foods? Chips and dips can induce a feeding frenzy, but fortunately don't very often.

  10. Awww! This made me want to cry! I couldn't imagine how that must have felt for you. My junior year of high school was one of the most memorable times in my life, and there have definitely been days when I wish I could go back and re-experience it. Granted, mostly all I did in high school was skip class and smoke pot, so most of my memories aren't really connected to the building itself (I really have no clue how I graduated on time!), but there really is nothing quite like reminiscing on those amazingly fun times! When the hubs and I went to visit family for Easter, we spent a good part of our trip telling each other about our high school days. It was fun and sad at the same time. Hugs to you!

  11. That is SO sad!!!! My high school looks nothing like it did when I went there...and where most of my best memories were at the Jr. High School it is now a dilapidated continuation school. It's hard to let those physical ties to our memories go. :-( Thank God they can't take the music away!!!!

  12. Our tub faucet has been leaking for about a month, so I can feel your pain. I just don't want to deal! My High School is still standing, but my college dorm was torn down and renovated almost 2 years ago. I had the same reaction. I cried, I wandered around the outside of the building reminiscing, it was SO sad. The wall that we used to sit on was torn down, and that upset me the most. It was a place where my best friend and I would sit for hours and talk until the wee morning hours. When I told him it was gone, he was just as upset. I'm so sorry your weekend was crappy.

  13. Thanks so much everyone. It was certainly not the best feeling in the world. It's not like I loved going to school or something but the memories of helping make the day more bearable by having different friends come in and out of my life depending on the year or just the feeling of how every little thing was the most important thing and so life changing when you're going through it yet so not important looking back. There are other memories like friend betrayal or heartbreak at a dance that I don't mind getting bulldozed but thankfully there were more good times than bad.

  14. I have no love loss for my high school so I can't relate there but it's so interesting how we relate food to memories. I'm not sure certain things bring back 'happy' memories necessarily but memories all the same. Now that would be interesting to explore.. all the foods you have an emotional tie to. Gosh, I think I could write 20 blogs about that (and a therapist would have a field day!!). Love that you're keeping it all in moderation.

  15. I'm sorry about your high school. :(

    I read a magnet the other day and thought of it when I read about the pizza: "Have you ever noticed that 'what the hell' is often the right decision?" I've had that a few times myself and always emerged the better for it.

  16. Awww that is so sweet and I understand how you are feeling I think if my old HS was missing I would feel the same way!!

  17. So sad about your high school. :( I think it's impossible to separate food from the memories and feelings we have attached to it. I often see people writing about weight loss talking about how you need to do that, but that's part of the whole experience of eating and sitting down to a meal. I don't think you have to justify getting that pizza at all--you didn't go crazy, you ate a reasonable amount, and you're allowed to do that.

  18. They didn't tear down my high school, but they closed it. I think it's some magnet middle school or something now. I felt bad too - it was 4 years of my life where I made some great friends and lots of memories. I don't have any food related things like that, but I do still use food for comfort, though I try to avoid that. I'm sorry you had a rough day, I hope things get better for you!


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