Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Eating Disorder

I will admit it here:  I have an eating disorder.

Unless a food comes with a specific set of instructions, or it's painfully obvious how to consume it (like, um, soup), I do not possess the innate ability to know how to eat it.  I'm not worldly that way.  Now, I'm not talking about recipes and how to cook something; I'm talking about the proper way to eat some foods.  Examples:

I never knew I was supposed to remove the shell from a shrimp before eating it.  I hadn't eaten much shrimp as a kid/teen and had only watched other people eat it.  I knew something got pulled off first - which I assumed (correctly) was the legs - but I completely missed the part about removing the shell.  Are there instructions about that?  No.  So for several years, I pulled off the legs and ate the rest.  I learned of my mistake one Christmas when I was eating shrimp with my brother.  I was about 35 at the time.  I innocently asked him what he was doing:
Matt:  Pulling the legs off?
Me:  No, after that.
Matt:  Peeling off the shell?
Me:  Are you supposed to do that?
Matt:  !?!?
Me:  I didn't know you were supposed to do that.  I always just ate the shell.
Matt:  You're lying.
Me:  No, watch.  (pop shrimp in mouth)
Matt:  I'm gonna barf.
I knew Kevin wanted me to eat a little healthier and I knew he loved Asian food, so one time early in our relationship, I stopped by a Chinese restaurant on my way home from work and ordered edamame to go.  On the walk home, I thought I would start eating, so I just popped a pod into my mouth and started chewing.  Let me ask again here:  Where are the written instructions on how to eat edamame?  Answer:  Nowhere!  After 15 minutes of chewing, I finally had to pull the stringy pod out of my mouth and toss it.

"How does Kevin eat these things?", I marveled.  And looking at the container in front of me, I wondered how on earth I would be able to finish all of them when it took me 15 minutes to just eat ONE.
Kevin (laughing):  Oh my God, you don't eat the pod!  You eat the soy beans inside!
Me:  Well that would explain why the pod is practically unchewable.
Kevin:  (laughing too hard to speak)
Me:  Well how was I supposed to know??
While perhaps not really the same eating disorder as shrimp and edamame, I ordered calamari on a vacation in Cancun in 1998.  Based on the sound of the word, I thought calamari was pasta.  I mean come on:  capellini, fusilli, spaghetti, CAL-A-MAR-I...   I mean, it ends in an "i" - sounds like pasta to me.  Admittedly it looked a little weird when it arrived at the table because it didn't look like it had marinara sauce on it, but I started eating it anyway.  The look on my face immediately gave me away.  I'm trying to chew the mouthful I had:
Me:  God this is just awful!
Chad:  I was surprised you ordered it in the first place.  I didn't think you would like squid.
Me:  (spit!)
If there are other foods out there that need to be accompanied with instructions or directions, please let me know.  Or should I simply just check myself into rehab?

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