Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I'm Positive the Calories Don't Count If the Voices In Your Head Tell You To Eat Something

I'm not the world's best bargain shopper. I cruise the sale racks, and I pay attention to the prices on the shelf tags, but I don't clip coupons and I don't read the circulars. Mostly, this is because we don't subscribe to our local newspaper, since its main purpose seems to be to accelerate global deforestation. When I realized I was only using it to cover the dining room during art projects, I cancelled our subscription.

(This is where you refrain from telling me in the comment section that there are websites where you can print out coupons. I know. I have Inappropriate Purchasing Disorder. If I come across a coupon for Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies, I'm buying the damn cookies. Ditto Cheetos. Ditto "snack cakes", Cocoa Puffs, and any number of other things that I wouldn't normally buy, but will now because I have a coupon. Theory #1: coupons are a tool of Satan. Theory #2: it's possible that I'm not too bright).

At the grocery store last week, I found myself in the potato chip aisle. Not intentionally, of course. I must have blacked out somewhere around organic produce because one moment I was selecting an eggplant and the next thing I knew I was in the chip aisle, and two bags of Cadbury Mini-Eggs had found their way into my cart in the interim. As I beat a speedy and virtuous retreat out of The Aisle of Sin, my eye was caught by a brilliant orange shelf tag posted by my very favorite, highly addictive Parmesan 'n Garlic potato chips. SALE! 2 for $5!

Voice in Head: You can't pass that up! What a deal! You can put them in the cupboard and save them for summer BBQs!

My hand reached out involuntarily and popped two of those suckers in my cart. At that price, it's just irresponsible not to buy them. Then I grabbed two more bags. I hesitated, put one back and got a Jalepeno 'n Cheddar instead. We had friends coming over that night, and I knew that my friend's husband loves anything spicy. I was buying them for him. Because I'm a giver.

I left the aisle feeling quite virtuous. Because three bags of chips is totally reasonable, but four is not.

[Sidenote: Turns out I like the Jalepeno n' Cheddar version just as much as the others. The one or two chips I sampled "to be polite" while our friends were over turned into twenty, plus two handfuls. Delightful slow burn of spiciness with a rich, mellow undertone of cheddar.]

Yesterday I was sitting by the front window unsuccessfully trying to sketch a new garden plan on graph paper (Dear Fussy Little Squares: Piss Off. Yours, Jenn) when the Voice in My Head piped up and suggested that a handful of Parmesan n' Garlic chips would be just the thing to cure my late-afternoon munchies. I opened one of the bags and ate a modest handful. Ohhh, the superb zing of garlic! The sharp bite of parmesan! Heaven. I dumped a few more into a small bowl and savored them.

They were gone way too quickly, and sure, I felt a pang of guilt as I unfolded the bag for the third time. This may be overdoing it, I thought. I briefly considered just licking the intoxicating flavor off of a few more chips, thereby saving myself most of the calories and fat grams, while maximizing flavor, but I didn't really relish explaining to Tom why there was a whole pile of soggy potato chips in the trash can. Besides, I wasn't even planning on copping to eating most of a bag of chips anyway. I was counting on blaming the kids for eating the chips and counting on his man-brain not to remember that the kids hate that flavor.

I spent the rest of the evening with the winning triple combination of unquenchable thirst from eating the equivalent of a half a cup of salt, ferocious parmesan-garlic breath, and shame.

Until I remembered that this is officially PMS week.

Voice in Head: Oh, PMS, you poor thing. Perhaps a few more chips would settle your stomach...

8 comments:

Susan said...

Yeah, I don't have that excuse anymore...and I studiously avoid the mini eggs because they have been the downfall of many a spring diet. Yes, them, not my lack of will power - those little pastel temptressess in cellophane...

smalltownmom said...

Now I'm hungry.

Lora said...

You lost me at the coupons part. :)

Rose said...

Hilarious! I read this while shoveling hummus in my mouth with whole wheat tortilla chips. Healthy! Hummus! wHole wHeat!! RigHt!!

Meg said...

Potato chips...well, any kinda salt snack like that.. are my weakness. I have to put chips in a bowl then lock the back in a cupboard waaaaay high up so I can't reach them easily or I will eat the whole thing. (Not that I actually do that, but I should) Note to self: Eating a bag of baked cheetos is just as bad as eating a bag of regular cheetos.
Whoever said a serving size of TWELVE PIECES counts as an actual serving? Stupid dietary information people!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I've had the same voice in my head...not a helpful voice, either!

Nana said...

That "voice in the head" has gotten me into more calorie trouble than I care to admit. My "voice" is a chocoholic and has absolutely no consideration for my overall health.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I operate just like you do with coupons.

Cadbury mini-eggs are my favorite candy evah!