There is a special level of embarrassment saved for those moments when you realize you have unintentionally broadcast a personal idiosyncrasy to the general public and are suddenly forced to defend it so you aren't admitted to the closest mental health facility.
I am repeatedly faced with the unsettling truth that my life is a sham. No matter the lengths I go through to appear like a sane, functioning member of society, there is one undermining and undeniable fact:
I am a weird eater.
Not a picky eater. God, those people are annoying. I can say that because I dated the King of Picky Eater Land and making fun of picky eaters is the prize I won for those grueling years of my life.
You're dying for details, aren't you?
At Taco Bell there could be no lettuce on whatever he ordered. Like none. At all. One time he unwrapped his burrito for The Mandatory Food Inspection and found a sliver of lettuce inside; we had to get back in the car and get a new burrito.
I am the type of person who, if I ordered a hamburger and received a cabbage milkshake, would just power through the shake. Confrontations - and most social interactions - are not my strong suit.
However, I am not a picky eater; I am a weird eater. My weirdness manifests itself in 3 distinct levels of awesome.
Level 1: When I Say Organization Is a Way of Life, I Mean It.
When confronted with a bowl of fruit salad, most people react this way:
I am not most people.
A girlfriend and I were splitting a fruit salad at brunch one day because we wanted to save our calories for the bottomless Bloody Marys. We were mid-conversation when she suddenly stopped eating and stared at me in disbelief.
Unconsciously, I had done this to our plate:
She gave me a lovely psychological dissertation on the need to have control over minor things in life when one is avoiding dealing with bigger issues...blah, blah, blah.
Little did she know, she had only caught me mid-act. Had she let me continue on to fruit salad harmony, the plate would have looked like this.
Why yes, there is an equal number of fruit pieces in each color-coded category, thankyouverymuch. This way you can eat in a circle and have an equal amount of each fruit at the end instead of a plate of cantaloupe with nary a strawberry in sight. THE HORROR.
And people are surprised when I tell them I analyze data for a living.
Level 2: Order Sits at the Right Hand of Our Holy Father, Organization
I am a terrible conversationalist during dinner. Mostly because I am so busy. After organizing comes the prioritization of foods. [It's at about this point you're probably thinking to yourself, "Wow...I have really got it together. This one's a nutter." You're welcome.]
My goal is to make the last bite of my meal a forkful of the most delicious item. There is one flaw in this plan. I married my husband.
Early on in our dating career, my husband made an epic mistake. As he was finishing up his salad course, his fork strayed onto my plate and took a heaping pile of blue cheese and bacon lardons I had meticulously avoided. My anticipation level for this grand finale of porky saltiness was on par with the release of the final Harry Potter novel (hey, you already think I'm insane so I may as well throw nerdy into the ring too).
To be fair, he thought I was eating around those items because I didn't want them - hence, fair game. The scars on the back of his hand serve as a constant reminder to not interfere with my dinner routine.
Level 3: Portions Bring Us One Step Closer to World Peace
At the end of each meal, Michael's plate looks like a crime scene. An experienced investigator could recreate a play-by-play of Michael's meal by examining the bloody clues left behind. You could return my plate to the cabinet because I ate my portion of food. Every last drop.
Whenever we eat out, my to-go box is an exact replica, in miniature, of the meal I had (Level 1 and Level 2 of my food insanity help drive this). I am not left with a monster pile of green beans, 2 bites of a steak and the hint of mashed potatoes served. If I opened up a to-go box and saw those proportions, you might as well shoot me in the face because what's the point of living another day?
Which leads me to yesterday.
For Mother's Day, The Bean and I visited the local coffee shop to split a slice of cake while we sipped on coffee and gabbed about our girlfriends behind their backs.
The cake was enormous and I knew I would need to take half of it home.
Have you been paying attention Dear Reader? Which of these do you think were my leftovers?