Oatmeal vs. Pizza

My husband has recently, in the last few months, been getting back into his faith. He is Catholic and therefore can not eat meat on Fridays. This is the catalyst of what lead to the the minor skirmish known as “Oatmeal vs. Pizza”.

photo credit craveonline

It all started when we realized we both worked Valentine’s day. We decided to delay our Valentine’s date until the Friday we were both off of work. We had always wanted to go to this revamped bowling alley nearby. We heard the rumors of virtual reality video games and food there being top notch.

Then we checked the prices.

Twenty bucks for one game of bowling. We were stuck.

We didn’t know what to do for our date until the next day I went to work and my boss asked me what we had planned to do for Valentine’s day and she jokingly said, “Work?” When she discovered what we had originally wanted to do, she gave us tickets to two free games of bowling. I couldn’t believe it, it was kismet.

Everything was set in motion, we would wake up, go bowling, play some video games, eat some great food and let off some steam while acting like a bunch of oversized children.

On the 16th, we arrived at our destination, tickets in my wallet ready to play. We walk in the door to be greeted by a huge abstract sculpture of a bowler. Immediately on the right was the virtual reality we heard so much about, to the left was the restaurant. We didn’t realize, this wasn’t just traditional bowling alley food. This was a definite upgrade and worthy of a Valentine’s date.

We sat down, and admittedly our eyes were bigger than our bellies. The menu had options for someone like me, who is gluten free but misses the gluttony of being able to consume a whole pizza. They had items for him who needed to be meat free on Fridays.

We both ordered pizza, mine gluten free with my usual black olive, pineapple and chicken. His; a large veggie pizza. His pizza was glorious, it had every vegetable imaginable on it from artichoke, to peppers. Mine was presented on a flat pizza pan. His was presented on a metal stand, much like a trophy worthy of the winner of the Triple Crown, gleaming in the dimly lit restaurant, light reflecting off the greasy cheese.

As I was finishing the last few bites of my pizza, I looked up to realize he had only eaten half of it before he was full. This is abnormal for him. I started to not feel well, throat sore and beginning to ache all over my body. Suddenly I didn’t feel up to playing a round of bowling. I looked up badly wanting to join the baby-boomers listening to oldies and celebrating strikes in the alleys. We somehow managed to make it to the gaming area. There I knew I could sit and rest while he had fun playing some of the more physically intense games. We had fun but my body was tired. I was tired. It was time to go home.

His pizza was in the fridge for a couple of days. I was at home sick. It just sat there, tempting me to eat it, but I knew better. The gluten would send my already dizzy head from the cold into a further downward spiral. Avoiding it, I had to look for other options.

Oatmeal and soup.

Because oatmeal is relatively inexpensive I sometimes use it as a treat or eat it when I’m hungry before bed because it doesn’t weigh so heavy on my stomach. Needless to say I consumed a lot of the oatmeal as it was soothing my throat and warming me up while I was running a fever and having chills.

My husband came home from his job hungry. He heated up some slices of his illustrious bread dripping with marinara and veggie goodness. I was sitting on the bed watching some unimportant show on my tablet. Suddenly I couldn’t take my eyes off the pizza. He sat down and when both of his hands were occupied trying to settle in to eat I snagged a piece of artichoke.

It was delicious.

My eyes were on the screen of the tablet again, with me keeping visuals on the location of his pizza in my peripherals. When both of his hands were occupied once more, one holding the plate, the other feeding himself, I stole a black olive slice. He then uttered the words I will never forget.

“HEY! I don’t go dipping my fingers into your oatmeal when you’re eating!”

Yes, because oatmeal is the equivalent to a piece of Italian-American artistry conceived out of convenience and genius.

Yes, because you can walk into any restaurant and they will have entire menus written on their hipster chalkboards about how their oatmeal has components that were free range and raised in a good home.

Yes, because there are hordes of restaurants dedicated to the many various ways you can prepare oatmeal inventively and consistently make new and traditional dishes from it.

Yes, because oatmeal is America’s sweetheart.

NOT pizza.

What is something you and your significant other have had a disagreement or funny moment over?

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When the moon hits your mind…

Most people stress out about finals in normal ways. Some procrastinate, some study consistently after every class doing their reading ahead of time and some people binge eat.

When I get stressed, it manifests in it’s own weird way. Last year around this time as I was registering for classes, stress manifested in crippling stomach pains, a trip to the hospital and two consecutive pelvic exams. I’ve found ways to manage the stress now. Trying to prepare in advance shaves minutes off of preparation time for school. I get my clothes ironed if I’m substitute teaching the night before, and I might even prepare a lunch if I’m teaching the entire day.

Nothing though could prepare me for the current stress dreams. I guess because I’ve been managing my life well the past few months, the stress had to find a different course of action to butt-heads with me.

There is a little bit of explaining I need to do before telling you what happened. Since the summer of 2013 I’ve been gluten free. I’m not doing it as a fad, or as a trendy thing with which to annoy people. I have hypothyroidism, which gluten has been shown to block the conversion of certain hormones needed to help the thyroid perform. The thyroid serves a lot of functions in the body, and mental balance is one of them.

In June of this year one of my best friends had a wedding, her cake was not gluten free, I caved in to the desires of the raspberry filling. This resulted in a tough, week long brain-fog and faint memory loss in which my co-workers said, “You had gluten last weekend didn’t you?”

Now that you have a bit of back story here is what happened somewhere between last night and this morning in the dream realm. I had a dream I was outside in my parents’ back-yard eating with family and loved ones. Suddenly dinner rolls and deep dish pizza pie appeared out of nowhere. I distinctly remember savoring a slice of the deep, fluffy crust (probably a pizza from the “Pi” restaurant in St. Louis which has been the best pizza I’ve ever had in my life). After ingesting this savory treat I moved on to the buttery dinner rolls. By the time I bit into the second dinner roll, I suddenly realized I shouldn’t be eating it. Because at that moment I couldn’t distinguish between a dream and reality I let the morsels roll over my tongue as I gulped the last bite with severe guilt. The feeling was probably equal to that of someone being vegan accidentally eating a dream burger.

When I looked up from the remaining crumbs in my hands, suddenly Angelina Jolie was there. Apparently I was her new neighbor and she asked me to watch over her kids in our back yards as they played with feral native monkeys. Meanwhile, the gluten-guilt was killing me. I had to confess to Ms. Jolie the culinary crime I had just committed with the dinner rolls.

Next thing I knew I was confessing everything to Angelina, about how I shouldn’t have gluten, and was apologizing to her for the error in judgement. She seemed unfazed by the breaded catastrophe, and was more worried about her children playing with monkeys, which is when I woke up.

If it had only been these Monkees, plus a Beatle!

If it had only been these Monkees, plus a Beatle!

Let this be a lesson to those of you younger than I going through finals. Get everything done ahead of time and leave the baked goods where they belong, at the grocery store.

What makes you stressed out? What stress dreams have you had?

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