It’s time for everyone to stop being afraid of carbs. Carbs are going to be our saving grace in the weeks to come. Trust me. Here’s how I’ve come to this conclusion:
I woke up earlier than usual this morning and immediately called my best friend. He’s one of the funniest people alive and I figured having a little chat to get the day started wouldn’t be a bad idea. As expected, he delivered.
Our kiki began with him asking the following question, “Did you have to get under your desk when you were a kid, in case there was a nuclear attack?” I thought for a moment and to my surprise recalled that, “Yes! I did! It only happened in Kindergarten, but yeah, I did.” We chuckled over the charming futility of that exercise and he recalled another nuclear moment. “At the time, I remember asking my mother how I would find her if there actually was a nuclear attack. She replied that I wouldn’t be able to find her because she’d be dead.” Did I mention we share a particularly dark sense of humor?
Still in bed, I figured I should look at the bad news before I began my day. I poked around on my iPhone and got to my usual news provider. Thank God for the New York Times. Seems like the editors share my pre-battle fatigue. Prominently displayed in what would normally be a “breaking story” section was an article about rye bread.
This was not from the food section. There was no recipe involved. In fact, it wasn’t just about rye bread, it was about marble rye.
My eyes filled with tears of nostalgia. Was I really going to start Friday with a Seinfeldian throw-back? Yes. Yes I was. The article, though brief, reminded me of the important things in life and that, no matter what happens, I’m a New Yorker. New Yorkers have grit, we have a sense of humor, we’ll fight for the little things (maybe not always the little people, but definitely the little things). The brief anecdote detailed an impatient New Yorker’s quest to get, you guessed it, what he perceived as the last available marble rye. Very Seinfeldian. Then, he did what New Yorkers do best; he got into an argument with the deli guy over semantics.
He wanted his rye cut in two pieces. The deli guy acknowledged the request and said he’d slice it. The customer freaked out, saying it had to be cut. The deli buy said he understood. He would slice it.
This story ends with everyone getting what he wanted. But here’s why this anecdote made me so happy: I completely understood the customer’s horror. A sliced bread is a loaf that has been vertically cut, by a loud machine, into toaster-ready slices. A bread that is cut in two pieces is just that, two hunks of bread that are definitely not toaster-ready.
As I read the article, I became more and more agitated that the counter guy didn’t understand the request and that a whole marble rye would be wasted. Outrageous! I recalled several of my own encounters at deli counters that ended in tears and recriminations because my bagel had been unnecessarily toasted, or a sandwich had been loaded with soggy, unripe tomato. Horrifying!
And then it hit me. For the first time in weeks, I wasn’t worried about Trump. I wasn’t worried about our government. I wasn’t worried about a North Korean millennial who spent over $75,000 on imported cheeses last year. I was worried about the kind of stuff I normally worry about and over which I get absurdly worked up! It wasn’t even 9am yet and I felt secure in the knowledge that my morale would stay intact and my birthright of righteous indignation would live to annoy another day.
That marble rye provided a much-needed break with reality, but also provided a much-needed break back to reality. My kind of reality, where delis are jousting grounds and sandwich construction really is cause for a display of OCD control issues.
I’m eating rye bread today. I’m eating rye, or any other kind of bread I can get my hands on, every day until this insane alternate reality we all inhabit is a faint memory. I’m dedicating myself to carbs, which apparently remind me exactly who I am, until 2017 is nothing but a punch line. I suggest you abandon your paleo-protein-vegan whatever for the time being and join me in my salute to what we all know (I don’t care what your diet is) is normal.