I periodically wonder that I never became bulimic.
Today I am pretty much 100% convinced that bulimia is one of the ten worst ideas you could possibly have. Just such a very, very bad idea. Please don’t do that. Just, don’t do that, really.You will end up spitting blood.
But still, when I was younger, I can’t believe that bulimia didn’t strike me as a way to counter my natural propensity for vanity with my profound, passionate love for food. It never did. Instead I just eat a really high protein diet, and regulate my cheat days, and go to Physique 57 three times a week, and run, and think about food all the time.
I read somewhere – I’m pretty sure it was Steven King’s On Writing – that the test of an alcoholic is that when you ask him how much he is going to drink, the instinctive response is “all of it.” All that is available. And that when an alcoholic sees someone walking away from a half full glass of wine, he wants to run over and say “finish that, finish that, aren’t you going to finish that?”
Whenever I see women staring at a piece of cake, saying “oh, that is too big, who could possibly eat all of that?” my instinctive response is “me. Me, I will eat that. Give that to me and I will eat it for you, me, me, me. I will eat that. Me.”
Periodically people decide that my food obsession must be a terrible thing. And they want to help me not think about food. Like this commenter:
As far as diet is concerned, if you eat the right things, you won’t crave things like ice cream cake. My 130g+ of protein seems to keep me away from craving junk food. Couple that with lots of apples, bananas, and other good fruits, your body won’t crave fatty foods as much. I used to love junk food, but now I have no urge to eat it.
That sounds awful.
One day I’m going to write a novel about a futuristic dystopia where food is outlawed and everyone is incredibly healthy and only eats pills, because that’s the worst thing I could imagine. The hero is going to run an underground macaron speakeasy.
I understand rationing when you want to eat junk food if you want to be (or appear) fit. I just don’t understand why you would not want it. I mean, eating delicious food is something really, really, really pleasurable that – unlike something really, really, really pleasurable like heroin – will not completely destroy your life.
I am a little obsessive. But food is my only real obsession, and it gives me unbelievable pleasure to sit around looking at menus and thinking about events where I’m going to eat delicious creations.
So. You cannot imagine how much I have been looking forward to the opening of the new snack bar at Henri Bendel.
I checked in with Ashley almost every day to make sure that we had RSVP’ed. This was the invitation. I stared at it a lot:
“Have we RSVP’ed? You’re sure we RSVP’ed? I like the way she has a bow in her hair. And cake. They made candles shaped like H and B. Like Henri Bendel. Hah! Hah!”
Ashley began patting me gently on the hand and reminding me that we had RSVP’ed, collectively four times, and implying if we did it anymore the publicists would think we had Alzheimer’s.
And then the day came and oh, my God, it did not disappoint.
I accidentally went in the exit and climbed over a rope to get in, but I didn’t care. I just climbed right in. Little ropes can’t keep me out.
Seriously, this Snack Bar was insane. There were chocolate covered potato chips. Is there a more delicious combination than chocolate and potato chips? You know what, I’ll just answer for you. No.
I don’t know. Maybe there is. There are a lot of foods I’ve never had. I’ve never had blowfish, for instance. Or a human heart.
I ate a chocolate covered potato chip. It was very, very good, but now that I have considered, it is possible there are better things, just things I don’t know about. By the same token your favorite color could be plihhghf – it’s just plihhghf won’t exist on the color spectrum until 2050.
I think I’m trying to say it was a very nice chocolate covered potato chip and I wish I could have eaten 75 of them.
Oh, and these truffles. These truffles. Oh, my goodness, these truffles.
Also, these. What were they? I don’t know. Happiness made out of chocolate and caramel, I guess:
Want to know what is on the menu at the Bendel Snack Bar? So you can go in and buy boxes? Here are some samples:
Ooh La La Oreos: chocolate sandwich cookies drenched in Belgian chocolate
Bendel Bears: Gummies coated in dark and white chocolate
Brown & White Skinnies: Thin wafers of dark and white chocolate
NYC Trash Mix: Crisp cereal, pretzels, pecans mixed with white chocolate
Short & Sweet: Whole grain shortbread cookies with espresso and chocolate
The only sad thing about this grand event was that there were all these fashion people around, not eating. What were they doing there? They kept taking these miniature bottles of water labeled Bendel. I felt I had to hover, staring at all the sweets, sort of moving my finger-tips around in front of the truffles, but not touching them, like I was casting a magic spell.
Incidentally, you’re probably never going to read one of these reports/Very Secret Diary entries that runs “I went out and talked to people and made new friends and was totally normal about everything.” It’s just not how I roll. I don’t even know how people do that. I thought you made friends by carefully observing others’ movements until you felt safe saying something about a dinosaur being Karl Lagerfeld’s mother and, if they didn’t laugh, never talking to them again and moving into a trailer outside the local liquor store so you could be closer to your real friends, Jack Daniels and Jim Bean.
It’s really fortunate my dinosaur-Karl-Lagerfeld joke has played so well over the years.
Some men with bow ties ate some truffles, but that was it. I think they were talking about beach houses? Also, they talked about how tempting it all was, and how they could not, possibly, eat. Why were they there? Why were they there?
I wished there weren’t other people there. Then I could eat as many truffles as I wanted and no one could judge!
It made me think about that episode of the Twilight Zone, where that little man just loves books so much, but everyone keeps interrupting him when he tries to read (and, I think, in the saddest televised scene ever, his wife asks him to read her some of his favorite poetry, and he looks so excited, and then opens the book to find that she has inked out all the words. Why did he marry her? Who inks out words in books? Why did she hate him so much? Had he had an affair? Recently? Do they not touch on that? Why wasn’t he an English teacher? There are so many questions at work in that episode). Anyhow, a nuclear apocalypse happens (wiping out everyone except him), and he says “time enough at last!” and stacks up all the books he wants to read and then his eyeglasses break.
It’s a really dismal episode, but I always thought that man also miscalculated, because after a nuclear catastrophe I think you’d spend a ton of time dealing with radiation sickness. There would not actually be a lot of time for reading. Especially if you had to fight those weird land-crab hybrids H. G. Wells predicted.
But. If there were a nuclear apocalypse, I would like to be in the Bendel Snack Bar and I would eat all the chocolate potato chips without anyone being there to judge.
It would be glorious and beautiful and I am going to break into Henri Bendel at 2:00 in the morning so I can make this dream a reality. Basically, this post was just to let you know, so you can meet me there. Bring your own dinosaur joke. And your own chocolate. You cannot have any of mine.