It's about 12:30am, and I'm getting a bit peckish. I'm scheduled for the next late-night bar shift, so it'll do me good to sleep in late tomorrow (today, technically) to have energy for work. So instead of sleeping off the munchies till they can be satisfied with a hearty breakfast, I head downstairs to get a snack.
So I head for the fridge. I am grateful to see it full, because many do not have that luxury. But I find myself with the first-world dilemma of having to weigh so many options against one another to make the best choice. I dismiss the easy option of leftover spaghetti and meatballs; some carbs with some starch and some protein to put a nice discomforting rock in my stomach that forces me to sleep on my side like a pregnant woman is the opposite of my current food goal.
There's some leftover rainbow trout in a Tupperware container, but the idea of late night leftover fish is a little nauseating, no matter how delicious it was at the time and how delicious it will be when my mom makes it into fish tacos, or whatever.
There's a bowl of brightly colored, hard-boiled Easter eggs, but something about going to bed with gritty yolk teeth and sulfur farts deters my appetite. The little drawer has cheese and deli meat, but there's nothing to stack them on because my brother already wiped out our supply of crackers before I could.
My mouth waters at the sight of pickles, but I'm already not drinking enough water as it is. Snacking on what was once the world's most innocently healthy vegetable before humans came along and shot it up with enough salt to wipe out a slug colony would not a hydrated sleep make.
Lettuce--no. Parsley--no. Peppers--no, I will not wake myself up with pepper burps. Cilantro, onions, radishes--no, no, no. I'm starting to lose hope. There isn't much left, except for some salad mix and some celery, but who would just snack on that--
Before I can close the refrigerator in defeat, I return to the celery. I had bought it a while back, because a Bloody Mary just isn't complete without a celery stalk. I usually keep celery in the fridge for this very purpose, because nothing ruins a Bloody Mary night--who am I kidding, a Bloody Mary morning--than a lack of edible decor.
A strange and mildly upsetting realization dawned on me in that moment, as I was standing in the kitchen in the middle of the night, barefoot in my yoga pants, glowing in the chilled yellow light of the refrigerator: celery is not exclusively used for Bloody Marys. That would be like using lemons only as a garnish for fancy dinners, and ignoring the potential for lemonade or lemon drop shots or shitty lemon-flavored candy. How many times had I just glossed over the presence of celery because I wasn't drinking at the moment? I snack a lot, like, probably too much, so I'm at the fridge more than I should be; my mom keeps blaming the energy bill on my brother's computer, but I'm pretty sure it's because I always have the fridge open. I have gone in that drawer on a number of occasions. For fuck's sake, I eat salads often enough that I should have noticed the celery lingering there in the front corner of the drawer at least once. But no. Celery has been like the awkward, gawky girl in high school who was following her heart and being herself, all the while praying that it was enough to get the cute boy she liked to pay attention to her.
...There's no point to this story. I'm not going to wrap it up with some metaphor about noticing the little things, and this isn't that moment when I turn my life around and quit drinking. I just felt really dumb. There is some consolation, now that I'm eating the celery, that I also realize celery is really fucking boring unless it's drenched in ranch dressing or peanut butter. I chose the latter.
**Addendum: I managed to fit farts, burps, and poops into this post. I therefore dedicate this post to my dad, who is the champion of all three.
4/23/14 6:08 pm
This entry has been so well received, and I thank you for that.
To celebrate, I went out and bought the fixin's for Bloody Marys.
It really is celery the way god intended.
The Fresh Prince: Bel Air, probably.
Brown pickles: From this article about a young man in Australia who contracted a rare parasite from eating a bunch of slugs. Otherwise known as the least-sexy ailment ever contracted from nature.
My Booze Salad: This list of variations on the Bloody Mary, because people don't know something amazing when they have it. Fuck, I'm super thirsty now.