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26 January 2010

The Forbidden

For every man there exists a bait which he cannot resist swallowing.   ~Friedrich Nietzsche

No one would ever call me a picky eater. I'm happy to try anything, at least once. Well, almost. Once I had the chance to taste pigs feet but the jar of floating, liquefied, swollen and bloodless pale pink feet made me want to hurl. However, within reason of course, you ask me to taste and I will indulge you. It seemed almost unimaginable to me that anyone or anything could forbid me the taste testing opportunity. Some religions and eco-conscious thinkers consider it a grievous sin, sometimes with the penalty of death, to eat of a certain animal or food. Knowing that, I never once thought that I would be put in the most uncomfortable position of having to give up my most favorite food item - and not, mind you, for religious or political reasons, but because my body decided that it would become allergic.

After a steady yearly series of headaches, it was discovered, much to my chagrin, that I was allergic to peanuts. Not in the deadly way, where a kiss on the lips of a peanut eater would send me into anaphalactic shock and on to the spirit world, but I would suffer an incurable headache for days as my body tried to rid itself of what it was now considering toxic to my system. I did not ask for this. I was not consulted about this. Peanuts have been a regular and delectable part of my food intake my whole life. In fact, fresh ground peanut butter, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter cups, PB & J's, peanut filled pretzels, most thai food and fondue oil went from my all time favorites to the 'do not even think about eating' list. Being the optimist that I am, I happily found substitutes that didn't just merely give me an alternative ingredient but ones that I loved. Almond butter - freshly ground, beats just about any type of nut butter. Cashew, sunflower seed and tahini rock too.

I was now, headache free and loving life. Well almost. It's not that easy to give up a favorite food. What one cannot have, one wants even more. I assure you, well, at least I'd like to say that I assure you, that if eating peanut butter meant almost instant death, I'd be more inclined to adhere to a strict regime of trying to stay alive. But since that is not the case, I have these irresistible, unstoppable, crazy-person peanut butter binges. I have my freak outs and my low points where I indulge, successfully blocking out all internal warning alarms going off in my head. I'll jam 3 huge spoonfuls of peanut butter into my mouth, relishing in my sinful indulgence. I'll order a large chocolate ice cream with PB chunks in it at Baskin Robbins. If the coffee shop is out of everything but PB cookies, I'll buy 3. Yes, I am a peanut-butter-holic. I'd never be able to tell you why I do this except that I can now easily put my self in the shoes of addicts, understanding perfectly now, the undeniable sadist urge to do whatever it takes to get my fix, at all costs. Now, I'm only hurting myself with this PB addiction and the days of headaches that follow but I cannot stop myself. Let me just say, I-know-it's-wrong. And if my body suddenly decided to add bacon, maple donuts, chocolate and coffee to the allergic items list, I would not hesitate to secretly binge on those too.

Of course, after the secret binges, my headaches come on fast and strong. As I'm wallowing in my own self created misery, there is a tiny part of me that is sinisterly happy and full of forbidden peanut buttery memories. Remember the old bible legend about Adam and Eve? I feel Eve's pain. If apples tasted like peanut butter but were forbidden, I'm sorry but I'd take a bite, too. Call me crazy, say I need help, dismiss me for a lunatic.... whatever, I'm ignoring you! And if you'll excuse me now, I've got to go tempt fate.

1 comment:

  1. I would hate to have to give up peanut butter. And they use peanuts for so many things. I guess it could be done if it makes the difference between suffering headaches or peanut deprivation.
    Thanks for the post.