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The Bungle Years: Sophisticated college dining

They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. By that definition, I must be the most insane person in the world when it comes to dinnertime.

What will happen is that, around 6:30 p.m., my body will notify me that it is hungry. I will head to the pantry and notice that the only thing I have is a jar of peanut butter and an empty bag of Apple Dapples. I will then open the fridge, only to find several empty bottles of fruit juice. After failing there, I will go to the cupboards and see that I have several jars of Ragu tomato sauce and boxes of spaghetti sticks. I will think, “I guess I could make spaghetti.” But then I will remember that all of the pots my wife and I were given at our wedding are still in a box. Disappointed, I will head back to my room.

Then, about 15 minutes later, my body will be like, “Hello! You still didn’t eat anything!”

I will then reply, “But, body, there wasn’t any food. I checked!”

Then body will say, “Yeah, but that was 15 minutes ago. Just imagine how much food could be there now!”

And me, thinking with the same rational mindset of a second-grade boy who is trying to get a girl to like him by throwing rocks at her, will head back to the kitchen to see what I can find.

After repeating this cycle for about an hour, I eventually find myself dipping uncooked spaghetti sticks into Ragu sauce.

It’s no secret that college students skip a lot of meals, and when they do eat, it’s mainly crap. Still, there has always been something that has bugged me. Occasionally, there will be a nice, established adult who will be concerned about the health and nutrition of a college student he or she knows. He or she will decide to help us out by buying us some food, but what does this concerned individual buy every single time? RAMEN! RAMEN FREAKIN’ NOODLES!

“Wow, why, thank you, Mrs. Jenkins, for giving me the one type of food I can actually afford. That was so nice of you. An entire box full of it, too. What is that, like, $3 worth of food? How graciously generous of you to supply me with enough sodium to inflict me and my posterity with Type 2 diabetes.”

I honestly don’t know what they’re thinking when they get that for us. “Oh, look here at the bottom of the shelf! It’s ramen noodles. Isaac loves ramen noodles! He eats them all the time!”

I eat them because I have to, not because I want to.

Luckily for me, there are some very nice elderly women who live in our apartment complex who enjoy cooking but don’t have anybody to serve their food to. As I have gotten to know them, I have gotten a feel for their schedule. This way I can “happen to be walking by” about the time they are about to finish cooking dinner.

“Wow! I just happened to be passing by, and I noticed that something smelled absolutely delicious in here! What is that? Tortellini! No way! And it looks almost as good as the women who made it!” (Followed by a huge sincere smile.)

I think one of the women is starting to catch on to my scheme, though. I’m not sure what to do to get her to like me enough to want to give me food. Perhaps I’ll throw some rocks at her.

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