Three Meals and a Son


A bowl of porridge, plate of Thai noodles and steak meal dinner have never proven so challenging before… I came out the other end smiling last night, forgetting to make a toast to the first 3 meal day I’ve had since April.

If it sounds like a bit dramatic, it’s not, and I’ll explain why.

I have recently joined a Social Anxiety social group, and before you cast your doubts and point out the irony, let me point out that social anxiety comes in many shapes and forms. What does this have to do with a 3 meal day? Well, I’m getting there… until you so rudely interrupted (note to self, tell counsellor about interrupting voices in head)…

My social anxiety has basically stopped me from eating porridge.

Well okay, that’s slightly misleading, so I’ll rephrase – My social anxiety has stopped me from cooking porridge, which in turns stops me from eating porridge. When porridge comes pre-cooked on the shelves I’ll be a happy man.

So to me, it was a huge battle won when I stood in the kitchen amongst other occupants, thumbling back and forth, almost forgetting the complex recipe which is 1 cup oaks to 2 cups liquid (milk and water), until the damn thing was cooked. I know it’s hard to relate so I’ve done a little analogy for you to show how it felt for me.

Imagine having to pee into a urinal as a woman, and you’re not alone, and there’re no partitions. (I was going to google a funny image here, but no.)

That was how it feels for me, and I deserve a fucking medal for it for enduring the 10 minutes of social anxiety!

Didnt finish my vegetables

Didn't finish my vegetables

The Thai lunch was the easiest of the 3 challenges yesterday – having only to go through a menu not knowing how to pronounce a single item on it. I did learn however, that’s why they put numbers next to every dish. And now you know.

Then came the steak dinner at my favourite Cafe Rouge. I walked in failing to notice the significance of the journey, already 2/3 ways through my 3 meal day. I ordered an 8oz steak with fries and ate along-side my vegetarian friend (I’m burning in hell I’m sure, but I’ll be damn tasty). I was recommended to best enjoy it rare, not by the waitress (who was pretty clueless because as she explained, she’s new), but by the menu. The only thing sadder than being told how to eat my food by an in-animated object is probably listening to said in-animated object.

As if God or some higher power was putting me to the test, saying “Stan, you do know this is the first 3 meal day you’ve had in many moons? You sure as hell are going to work for it.” I stuggled with the steak knife to carve through the stubborn meat into small pieces, and it took a marathon of chewing before I was able to swallow, before starting on the next piece. I’ve been thinking about going vegetarian for months, this may just be the push I needed…

So I’m sure you’d agree, that was a hard day for me, and as if it wasn’t traumatic enough, I had to complain to my cousin this morning for turning my imaginary son into a geek.

TWKM knows that I have unusual dreams, and last night I had a son. Apparently I was divorced and my teenage son was visiting from uni to ask for advice on what computer parts to get. He showed me this table written in Chinese (after a few seconds of pondering, I announced proudly “Oh I see, this is in Chinese!”) that he’d conducted after consulting my cousin on the current technology. Trying to sound wise I brought up the concept of diminishing returns in the price vs CPU power before telling him “Just listen to your uncle.”

I may not have been there for him most of his imaginary life, but I was a damn proud for those brief moments we had together, knowing that he respected my cousin’s opinions, who shares the odd gene or two with me.

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