Thursday, April 28, 2011

Admitting you have a problem is the first step.

My name is Meg and I have two addictions. Citrus fruit and Johnston County tomatoes. I mean, it stands to reason that my addictions are food seeing how I'm a chef and all.

As far as citrus goes, tangerine and grapefruit make me weak. I can't stop. I'll take oranges or orange juice if I have no other choice, but man... tangerines. Grapefruit. That sweet, tangy, slightly bitter flavor makes everything better. If I keep juice around, I can't help but drink from the bottle every time I pass the fridge. Many a times I have brought home a jug of Simply Grapefruit and find it is gone within two days without ever having had a proper glass of it. It satisfies my soul in a way that nothing else can. Except for a Johnston County tomato.

I grew up in Pittsburgh and lived in Virginia for a while. I never liked tomatoes until I moved to North Carolina. Can you blame me? Good tomatoes were scare in Pittsburgh in the 70s. But now... I live about 2 minutes from the Johnston County line in the Old North State. Agriculture is a huge business here. I mean, just north of where I live is the largest chile pepper farm in NC, supplying nearly the whole state with hot peppers. Our three largest agricultural (food) exports from NC are watermelon, pigs and sweet potatoes. But I digress, back to My Precious. You haven't lived until you've had a German Johnson in mid-August. White bread, mayo, salt and pepper, thick slices of the pink, juicy, slightly oval fruit that's mostly meat and low on the snotty seedy pulpy bits. it's getting warmer now. The days are getting longer. Something inside me is stirring, making me cranky because it knows that I have to wait three more months. An eternity, really. Can I make it? I get sweaty and agitated just thinking about it. But the time will come when I can lay my hands on those tomatoes, my precious precious tomatoes. I'll slice them up, make my tomato sandwiches and scarf it down like a malnourished stray dog while standing at the counter. I'll eat as many sandwiches as it takes to finish that large tomato. Until I've gotten my fix. And them the cycle begins again. Dashing off to the farmer's market, a wad of one dollar bills in hand, spending an hour or two to find who has the best tomato for the best price.

I can quit anytime I want to. I just don't want to.

Monday, April 25, 2011


For all the things I've done in life (and there have been some things) the only thing I have ever been addicted to is Diet Pepsi. It's a little embarrassing.

I'm over it now, though. Just sparkling water for me!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Non-Addictive Personality

People throw the word "addicted" around so loosely nowadays, that I think it diminishes the true meaning. I've been known to say that I am addicted to cheese, addicted to "Burn Notice,", addicted to cuddling, or whatever. But if I absolutely could not have cheese for some reason, I wouldn't steal my husband's last $20 out of his wallet while he slept and walk barefoot 5 miles in the snow to go to La Fondue, so I really don't think that qualifies.
I can't honestly say if I've ever been addicted to anything. I smoked cigarettes for years and tried to quit several times, including a period where I was occasionally smoking on the sly, hiding it from my hubby and my friends. Not quite a betrayal, but borderline. But the final time I quit smoking, I just went cold turkey and never smoked a cigarette again. No patch, no gum, no hypnosis, nothing.  I have had absolutely no desire whatsoever to have one ever since. That was five years ago. So I'm not sure that qualifies as an addiction, either.
Maybe it's for this reason that I totally do not relate to behavioral addictions, such as shopping, or sex. I love both of these activities, but I honestly don't understand how someone becomes a shopping addict or a sex addict. I love to shop. I LOVE IT. But there have been many times in my life when I wasn't able to shop because I needed the money for some other thing, like food, or electricity, or rent. Although it sucked big time, I didn't shop. And I didn't have a fit or anything, I just sucked it up and did it. I am even able to go into a shop that I love and look at things and not buy them. Obviously I am not addicted to shopping, although I thoroughly enjoy it.
 I think a good judgment of whether you're an addict is if you'd betray the person you love the most for the thing you might be addicted to. What short-circuit causes otherwise normal people to become addicted to something? I have no idea.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Topic for the Ides of April

This last one isn't so popular. Let's start a new one for the Ides of April: Addictions.

BTW, the Ides of April is not the fifteenth, but the thirteenth.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

"Picture It"

Picture it: Texas. August 1998. A sticky hot air had been born that morning, giving way to an even hotter afternoon. There I was, minding my own business as I drove down the street, when suddenly a neon arrow as big as a building glared out at me like my friend Gladys' front teeth. The sign was pointing at a window just below it. There, painted in bright red letters, were the words, "Drive Thru Liquor Here!" It was the darndest thing! I swear!

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Happiest Baby on the Block

When my daughter was under a year old, but not a newborn anymore, she generally never cried. She was just happy. Content. Glad to be a live and kickin it. Sometimes, she would look bored or sad, but generally, wouldn't cry.

She cried so rarely that I can only remember her crying on a few occasions:

1. I gave her a a piece of avocado to eat. She tasted it and cried. It turned out to be rock hard and not at all ripe.

2. She occasionally cried for a minute or two when I put her to bed.

3. She cried for a minute when I put her coat on.

So, basically two minutes of crying a day, if that.

When she was a newborn, her father and I used to joke about "The Baby Wheel of Fortune". It just seemed completely random, when she was happy or sad or angry. She'd cry. She'd laugh. She'd sleep. But, after a few months, it changed. One day her father said,

"You know, it seems like the wheel of baby emotions has just been stuck on 'happy' for a few months now."

"I know," I said. But I didn't want to jinx it! So, we rarely spoke of the lack of crying in our house. It just was. I rarely spoke of it to friends with children, because I didn't want them to get jealous or suggest there was something wrong with her. Also, it's not the most polite thing, when someone else's kid is screaming, to say,

"You know, my baby never cries."

It's actually hard to fit it into any conversation without sounding like a complete jerk. So, I never mentioned it. But it was the darndest thing. Sometimes, you're just lucky.

Friday, April 1, 2011