Sometimes the universe delivers a mischievous, little, foot-in-mouth moment to clearly illustrate how fallible we are. Perhaps it’s meant to humble, help, or humor, but when it happens, we remember how thoroughly capable we are of making asses of ourselves.
Maybe I should just speak for myself?
My moment, yesterday, went like this…. I was standing in line at the takeout counter of a raw food restaurant awaiting the arrival of a delicious, healthy, and appallingly expensive green juice. It was approaching 9 PM, and I hadn’t eaten in several hours. These hours and those that preceded them included teaching three heated yoga classes, riding my bicycle across town twice, and going to the gym, among other hunger-inducing activities, the most basic of which is life.
I was approaching hangry—an intense level of hunger that borders on growing angry fangs. I wasn’t really up for small talk. I really just wanted to inhale a bag of kale chips, chug my juice, and get home, where I would then have a proper dinner. So, really, the raw food was an appetizer for a 20-minute car ride, followed by my nightly routine of circling for a parking spot in Boston’s South End. Doing this without sustenance was, in the moment, unthinkable.
Hey, aren’t you Rebecca? A friendly voice asked.
Yes. Hiiii! John, is that right? How’s your summer going?
I responded with all the remaining cheeriness I could muster, grateful my brain had retrieved this fellow yoga teacher’s name from a mental archive of studios where I once taught. As a side note, I left said studio upon deciding I didn’t want to sign a non-compete. This is a niche topic for another day, but my belief is this: non-competes are never in the best interest of a teacher/entrepreneur. Ever. I do not sign them. Ever. It’s possible this memory contributed to my edginess. (I’ve changed his name to John because he is an innocent, nice man, who does not deserve to be outed here by a too-hungry lunatic).
The exchange that followed was altogether benign, except when John enthusiastically asked, So, are you a raw foodist?
Me? Oh, god, NO. I’d be way too thin and angry for that all the time.
I punctuated this with a little too much conviction, and the pause that followed was awkward. John looked down at his slender frame and opted to make light. Please excuse the pun.
Ha! Looks like that’s what I’m working with….
Now, commences the back-peddaling. The apologizing. No, no, no, you could never be angry. The effacing myself as a cranky yoga piglet unworthy of a virtuous raw food diet. That’s what happened. I felt terrible. I’d insulted his diet, which in the yoga world is serious stuff. It wasn’t intentional, but it was the equivalent of calling his baby ugly.
It wasn’t intentional, but it wasn’t untrue. It is how I feel. I love raw food. Adore it. Swoon for it. It’s delicious. The health benefits are manyfold. But, it would be unwise for me to eat that way all the time, never cooking meals above 115 degrees and subsisting largely on fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and sprouted seeds. I suspect my body would too often feel deprived, and my fangs would too often glint in the sunlight. I respect the choices of those who eat raw as a lifestyle, but for me, it’s too restrictive. For women, I also believe it’s too often rife with the danger of disordered eating.
I drove home feeling the small social gaffe in the pit of my belly, or maybe it was hunger? I couldn’t wait to get home and put something other than my foot in my mouth. A nice hot meal, I hoped.
A recent working lunch at my desk: steaming hot kale soup.