Saturday, 28 April 2012

Food Fetish

I am one of those people who is always concerned about her weight.   I’m a woman, so I can’t see that this statement would come as a shock.   No matter what is going right in my life, if I have put on weight I feel as though my entire world is crumbling around me.   After much analysis, I have come to the conclusion that I am addicted to food.   Simply put, I just can’t get enough of the stuff.   And let’s face it, I somehow don’t think that I am the only one with this problem.

When I actually stop and think about it, my entire day revolves around food.   When I wake up in the morning, my second thought is “What shall I make for breakfast today?” (My first thought is, “Gosh, I need to empty my bladder!”); when I get to class, I am counting down the minutes until lunch-time; when I get home, I am planning what I’ll make for supper; when I’m in my yoga class, I am fantasizing about the meal that I have waiting for me in my flat; and (worst of all) when I am eating, I am feeling guilty about the amount of calories that I am consuming.      

The frustrating thing is that food, unlike other addictions, is not something that you can cut out of your life entirely.   You are faced with it a minimum of three times a day and, if you’re like me and have to cook your own meals, you are constantly having to think what there is in the fridge for your next meal.   So in other words, you heroine addicts out there should consider yourselves lucky!   You can go cold turkey and, after many weeks and much therapy, you can live without the stuff at all.   Us food addicts, on the other hand, have to confront our demons every time we step foot in the kitchen.

Frustrating, isn’t it?   But before you start breaking out in hysterical sobs or curling yourself up into the foetal position with chocolate smeared across your face, I think that I may have a solution to our woes.   The trick is to try and find a healthy balance and keep everything in moderation.   There are very few people out there who can live without life’s indulgences – and if they can, they are either super-human robots or else binge-eating when nobody is looking.   We need to stop being so hard on ourselves and need to start realising that a piece of chocolate cake every once in a while isn’t going to kill us. 

So next time you get on the scale and see that you have put on a kilogram or two, please don’t starve yourself for the next week.   You and I both know that it will only end with you stuffing your face full of potato crisps once the week is up – and hating yourself for doing so.   Instead, why not go for a walk or make a meal-plan of healthy dishes for the week ahead?   Most importantly, do not sit and feel sorry for yourself as this will solve nothing!   I for one am definitely going to try and take my own advice and try and resist the urge to strangle myself every time that I can’t fit into a certain pair of jeans.   Because at the end of the day, if you have put on a bit of weight, nobody needs to know that the pants you are wearing are a size bigger than usual.   And as long as you are aware of it and trying your best to fight the tummy-monster, then that's all a person can ask for.   After all, 0 is not a size and a healthy person is the happiest person of all.               

Friday, 20 April 2012

Cookie-Cutter Love

 Something that not many people know about me, is that I absolutely LOVE watching trashy reality TV shows.   Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Jerseylicious, Toddlers and Tiaras – I live for the mind-numbing twaddle that fills up every episode of these less than intellectual masterpieces.   But there is one show that I was a fan of above all others, so much so that I even managed to convince my mother to spend her Friday nights watching it with me.   I am, of course, referring to ‘The Bachelorette’.

We started with season 5 – where Jillian Harris played the role of the Bachelorette - and were immediately hooked.   I mean, how could you not love a show that shoves a whole load of random gorgeous men in a house together, and lets an equally gorgeous women send them home until she finds her husband-to-be?   It has suspense, romance, heartbreak, and some great eye-candy that kept us coming back for more.   So naturally when the season ended, we were thrilled to hear that a new season of the Bachelor would be taking its place - with one of Jillain’s discarded love interests staring as the Bachelor himself nogal!  

It was probably about half-way through this season of The Bachelor, however, that my mom and I began growing disenchanted with the programme as a whole.   Not only did we discover that Jillian and her fiancĂ© had split up within a year, but all of the girls on The Bachelor seemed like clones of one another.   There was no diversity, they even all had the same long straight hair, and we started to wonder why the show didn’t include a broader range of contestants.   The same was true for season 6 of The Bachelorette, and I struggled to remember if we were seeing new guys or if they had merely re-cycled them from Jillian’s season.  

It is for this reason that I was very interested to hear that ABC - the creators of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette – are being taken to court for racial discrimination.   The two shows have run for a combined 23 seasons, and never before has there been a “person of colour” in the central role.   A law suit is said to be filed by two black men who auditioned for the show, but were excluded from the “normal” auditioning process.   Executive producer/creator Mike Fleiss claims that the show often tries for ethnic diversity, but that “they” (members of other ethnic groups) “don't come forward”.  

I am not sure whether this law suit is going to result in anything drastic, but hopefully it will make people think twice when watching these sorts of shows in the future.   Race and ethnicity aside, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette follow a definite stereotypical view of what is deemed “beautiful” by society.   Those featured on these shows are always sculpted to perfection and one is given the impression that only if one looks like this, will one find love.   Or maybe the American public just doesn’t want to see normal-sized people canoodling in hot-tubs, who knows?   Either way, I’m glad that I’m not the only one who has noticed the producers’ tendencies to follow a specific 
cookie-cutter method of choosing contestants ... fingers crossed that the rest of society will see it too.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Growing Pains

When people read this post, they’re probably going to say that I am just being too sensitive and making a big deal out of nothing.   But this is something that has bugged me for a long time and I simply have to see whether or not others have the same problem.   Why is it that there are some older people who feel that it is OK to comment on a younger person’s life, regardless of how insulting they may be.   Take today for example: A man in his 60s, who I have never spoken to before, comes up to my table and asks my classmates and me where we are from.   When I respond with “East London”, he says “Shame!” and dismisses me completely.   Upon seeing the angry expression on my face, he laughs and says “Now now, don’t take offense!”  

How could I not take offense?   He just insulted where I come from!   How would he like it if I looked at him pitifully when I found out that his name is Osbourne Pinkerdoodle?  This, my dear readers, is not an isolated incident.   The worst is when an older person discovers that you are single.      Now I don’t approach people I barely know and ask them if they are happy in their marriage.   Of course not, that would be invasive and beyond rude.   But oh no, obviously the same rule does not apply when it comes to older ladies questioning young single girls.   It appears that society has no issue with relative strangers probing and prodding you as though you are some mutated lab-rat, trying to figure out what exactly is the cause of you being without a mate.   When they come up with no definite answer, more often than not they settle with the conclusion that you must have a birth defect and are probably covered in hairy warts ... Either that or you’re just too fussy.

And then there’s the pet-name calling.   I remember getting seriously reprimanded in high school for blowing up at my creepy Biology teacher who insisted on calling me “sweetie”.   I’m not getting upset over some cute little granny calling me “dear” every now and then, but I get extremely irked when I am having an argument with an older person, and they patronize me by calling me some cutesy name.   Is this because I am ridiculously short and am thus seen as adorable?   Or perhaps it is the freckles across my cheeks that remind them of children featured in Enid Blyton books.   Whatever the reason, a guaranteed way to make an angry Karen angrier is to patronizingly call her “baby-cakes”.   Yes, this has indeed happened.       

I guess what this all boils down to is me disliking the fact that older people seem to be able to get away with whatever they want to, and do not realise that they are actually being extremely insulting and rude.   If I were to act in the same way, it would be seen as me being nosy and disrespectful.   I feel as though as a young (and very small) girl, I am never taken seriously by both older men and women alike.   Unfortunately, I know that this is something that is never going to change and so I may as well get used to it.   Who knows, maybe I’ll remember this and try and be a sweet and respectful old lady who minds her own business.   But chances are, I’ll be sticking my nose in where it’s not wanted and embarrassing the hell out of my grand kids.   Ah, revenge is sweet!  

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Road Rage

When a person uses the term “road-rage”, I immediately conjure up an image of some beefy man with a baseball bat smashing in the windscreen of another person’s car, while the driver sits cowering in the front seat.   There is spittle flying, a lot of swearing, and probably death metal music playing in the background.   It is for this reason that I was shocked and appalled when a passenger in my car accused me of having road rage.   “What?!” I asked incredulously, whilst hooting at the stationary taxi in front of me and muttering curse words under my breath.   “Seriously,” my passenger said to me as we manoeuvred around the stopped vehicle and she made an apologetic gesture to the driver.   “You should really think about trying to control your anger”.  

And that was when it hit me.   Just because I do not physically assault the people that annoy me in traffic, doesn’t mean that I am any less affected by road rage than the guy with the baseball bat.   In fact, the more I think about it, the more I realise that 9 times out of 10 I have a bad mood due to something that has happened whilst in my vehicle.   It is possible that this irritation may have increased with my move to Cape Town.   Whilst I love this city dearly, I still cannot get over the fact that the roads and parking seem to be a bit of an after-thought.   Never before have I had to wind through narrow streets that are treated as one ways due to the cars lining up on either side of them.   Before leaving the house, I literally have to plot my route and decide in advance where would be the best place to park.          

Just the other day, for example, I was put in a foul mood whilst trying to park outside the bank.   All I wanted to do was park, draw money, and be on my merry way, but clearly the transportation Gods had other ideas in mind.   The parking lot was clearly designed by a philosophy student as opposed to an engineering major, and it had as much functionality as a VCR in 2015.   In order to get into said lot, one has to wait for another car to leave.   However one cannot merely reverse to make space for departing car as there is a queue of other cars behind one’s vehicle.   To add insult to injury, there is a parking attendant who uses the “car tap method” to direct you.   “What is the ‘car tap method’?” I hear you ask.   Well, it is a system that involves the man in the orange vest tapping on your car every time he wants you to move.   I felt my irritation rise as I found myself in a parking two-step, with the car attendant tapping to keep beat.   Needless to say, the situation did not end well, and a few choice words may have been exchanged with said orange-vested man.

This incident leads me to wonder where I would be if I were a physically violent person.   Probably locked up in a small cell somewhere, being charged with murder for violently tapping a parking attendant to death.   My point is, is that maybe I need to try and stop being so aggressive whilst driving.   After all, the only person who is getting riled up is me... and the person who is in the car with me!   So I have decided to take steps to minimize my road rage.   

Step 1: avoid using my hooter at all times.   Unless of course when stuck behind a stationary taxi.   Or truck.   Car.   Bicycle.   Wheelchair. 
Step 2: keep the curse words to a bare minimum.   At least while there are children in the car.

Step 3: avoid car-tapping parking attendants at all times.   This will prevent the possibility of ending up in prison.

... On second thoughts, maybe I should just give up driving altogether!