“Showroom of Perfections” Whole Foods

10 05 2011


Christmas Holidays 2004. Payne is grumpy and I ice-skate and tiptoe in wide circles around his moodiness, careful not to become the object and the cause of his anger – about what? I don’t really know. But I have mastered the art of slithering away from him and to let his bitching glide off me.

“If it doesn’t have your name on it, it’s not personal”- is my new mantra. But when I don’t engage and fight back, he gets even madder. He needs to unload on somebody and today, just for today, I’m not going to be his lightening rod.

Or so I wishfully think.

It’s my job to provide dinner for New Years Eve, so I go off to Whole Foods. At first, everything goes as planned: I load my cart with fish and veggies, brown rice and hummus. A few cartons with rice milk and supplements he requested.

I’m going to make this New Years Eve dinner delicious, healthy and I will be agreeable and only engage in light conversation. Right. This is 12-step speak and it never works. I mean, it works as long as I’m by myself, but as soon as we get together, I am a miserable bitch who takes everything personally.

As I prepare myself mentally for this night, my heart knows better. I hurt inside, I’m nervous and shaky and I know that my dinner will end up where it usually ends up: barely touched on his plate.

“No, no, it’s really great, I just don’t feel like eating much this days” he’ll sigh and push the plate away. I always want to stick his miserable face inside the food I prepared and force him to eat, but of course, I never do. He weighs twice as much as me and I’m not that stupid.

With this recent memory locked in my mind, I scoot over to the bakery department. Oh yeah. I wasn’t planning to, but here I am. This is what I need.

Without even bothering to use the tissue paper they provide for hygiene, I grab a few muffins. Chocolate chips, oatmeal, banana, raisin and walnut muffins, two of each. I stick them in paper bags and bite into a fluffy bran muffin. The taste and the sugar work immediately – I feel encouraged and much less worried about the night in front of me. Whole Foods bakery items are heaven. I load up on flan; organic cream pie and then I notice the “health food” cookies. They are huge and look freshly made. They are expensive and normally, that would make me at least think twice. But I have just refinanced my house – the third time in a year – and what the hell, I can afford this, no?

By the time I reach the register, I have eaten eight or maybe nine of those cookies and have about 20 more of them in my cart.

I pay for our food with Payne’s Credit Card, but I have enough morale and fear left to use my own cash for the binge food he will never see.

All the way home, I stuff myself and revel in the exquisite taste of Whole Foods bakery recipes. By the time I reach my house, I have one measly cookie left and I feel much less excited. I’m stuffed and fat. I manage to store the “normal” food for our dinner in the fridge and use one of he empty bags to vomit into it.

My plumbing has showed some signs of trouble, no doubt from overload. I can’t afford to fuck it up, not during the Holidays where its costs twice to call a plumber. But I’m creative. I can get around this issue; I’m an excellent solver of unforeseen problems – always ready to do what needs to be done.

I tie the bag in a tight knot and set it down by my door in the hallway. By then I’m hungry again, empty and a little dizzy. And I don’t want to have a bag of vomit in my trashcan, so it’s only logical to get back into my car to drive back to Whole Foods.

I plan to deposit the shame-bag outside in a trashcan and get a few crackers to calm down my upset and I imagine, horrified stomach.

The bag plops into the huge can and I wander back into the store. I get the crackers. But then – you guessed it – I’m back in the cookie-and muffins section.

“What the fuck, its New Years Eve. I deserve to eat. I’m underweight anyway. I’ll just get one more of those muffins and this time I’ll keep it inside” I think and off I am.

One muffin. Only one.

“But it’s gonna be like eight hours until I cook for Payne. I’ll be starving by then,” I argue with myself.

“Fuck it. Get what you want. The only think you’ll regret when you’re on your deathbed are the things you didn’t do”.

Yes, exactly, that’s so true. And who cares? I’m the only one who’ll know.

I load up on everything that looks good and this time I pay with Payne’s card. After all, it’s his fault that I’m so nervous.

I make it home without eating everything and settle on my comfy couch. I read the New Yorker, Harpers Bazaar and Vogue while I eat my delicious Whole Foods loot. I pace myself this time – I want to at least get to the last page of Vogue before I have to use another bag.

But then I get to an article about those bitches from Juicy Couture and my blood starts to pump. “Why them? Why do those untalented knock-off chicks with their fake hair extensions and fake lashes get Vogue attention? Why them and not me?”

I eat faster. With my sticky fingers I roam around inside the bags on my couch and – fucking fuck, they are empty!

I get rid of the contents of my bloated stomach into two bags and off I am again. Back to Whole Foods.

By now, I’m quite shaky from so much sugar, but I need more. I’m in the food trance and there is no reason and rhyme to that. Just enough to stay away from the bakery. I fill my cart with oily clams, sushi, soup and bread, cheese and a huge container with salad and make sure to get in line at another cash register. The guy is cute and flirty and even though I’m not in the mood to engage in checkout banter, I laugh when he chats with me.

“Wow. What a healthy eater you are” he looks me over “No wonder you have a body like this. I wish I could eat like you, but I just can’t, no matter how hard I try. The seductions in here – I can’t resist. Have you tried the muffins? Never mind” he laughs as he tallies up my health food fare. “Good thing you stay away from this”

I think about the three bags of vomit outside in the trashcan and blush. He is so cute; of course he thinks that he causes my red cheeks.

“Any plans for tonight?” he winks.

“Oh ya. I’m cooking for my husband” I say and give him my charming “Sorry, but I’m taken smile”

“Lucky guy” he says “Lucky guy”

“Yeah, but he’s pretty cool too” I manage to lie.

“Some guys have all the luck” he smiles with a sigh while he swipes Payne’s card.

“Happy New Year” I mumble while he stacks my purchases into another bag.

This time I don’t make it home. I shuffle the greasy oysters and the sushi into my mouth before I even get to my house.

Again, all of it ends up in the sturdy plastic Whole Foods bag, by this time; I don’t have the energy to deposit my sinful garbage anywhere else but in my neighbor’s trashcan.

I’m so tired. Exhausted and sick and so full of shame I can’t stand my own company. It is only three pm – enough time to take a nap and recover from my abuse before I have to show up at Payne’s house.

I lie down and crawl under my covers. I am shaking now. My heart beats so loudly and my brain pulses with the beginnings of a headache I know all too well.

“God. God if you are there, if you exist: I want a different life. Let me live this time without a stroke or a heart attack and I promise I’ll never do this again. I want another life than this. I really do.”

I fall asleep and when I wake up, I have just enough time to get dressed, grab the food from the fridge and drive up to Payne’s house. Happy New Year.



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