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the swimmer

About a year ago, I started experiencing knee pain in Zumba. After a few weeks, the knee tenderness would go away. But then it started happening more frequently. I started yoga around this time, in an effort to find a less weight-bearing form of exercise. But yoga, with its one-leg standing poses, isn’t that easy on the knees.

So I started thinking about incorporating swimming into the mix. Swimming is pretty compelling as a form of exercise, given that you aren’t bearing weight and your sweat washes right off of you. Unfortunately, swimming laps also requires that you wear a racing swimsuit. To be frank, there are a lot of hobbies I’d try if it wasn’t for the clothes. Like ballroom dancing (mid-heel t-straps), or soccer (shin guards), or surfing (wetsuits with mock turtlenecks). But I’m 35. It’s getting real real. Time to put the vanity away and focus on preserving my remaining cartilage.

When I tried to put my vanity away, however, it resisted, mightily. I looked at all the one-piece Speedo and Tyr swimsuits on Zappos and Amazon. In terms of style and sex appeal, the suits ranked one step above the mom suits in the Lands End catalog. Every time I get the Lands End catalog I flip to the swimsuits and force myself to stare at them hard. Then I make a pact with myself that I will give up swimming altogether before I wear a swimsuit with a skirt attached to it.

The subject of one-piece swimsuits is a touchy one in our family, ever since Tom insisted that I wear a one-piece swimsuit to Tate’s baby-and-me swim lesson. I had mentioned to Tom that I hoped other moms would wear two-pieces because that’s all I owned. And that’s when I learned that I had married William Bennett.

“Yoona!! You can’t wear a bikini to Tate’s swim lesson. You just CAN’T. PLEASE. Think of Tate.” Think of Tate?? All I DID was think of Tate. I was getting my hair wet, wasn’t I? I looked at Tom as if seeing him for the first time. I was both offended by the implication that my bikini days were over, and annoyed by my husband’s conventionalism. I was so angry about the whole thing that I considered showing up in a monokini with cutouts and a ruched butt seam in the back. But in the end I just skipped the lesson.

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On my laptop, I came back to the ugly racing suits every couple days. For two whole months. Finally I broke down and bought a two-piece Tyr. When I tried my suit on, I was pleasantly surprised. From a distance it looked like I was wearing a black sports bra and black men’s briefs, but that was preferable to the one-piece suits, which appeared to be cut solely to emphasize back fat. The bottoms of my two-piece did not cut into my sides and the top had a sporty appeal, even if it made it apparent that my chest is as flat as a board. For a second, I wondered if I should shove some cutlets into the top. But I shook it off. I was an athlete! (Fake) boobs would just create drag and slow me down. In any event, I had bigger problems to worry about, like my swim cap.

The first time I wrestled my swim cap onto my head, I pulled it right off and fished the packaging out of the garbage can to check the size. Clearly I had inadvertently bought a child’s cap. But no. Adult swim caps only come in one size, and that size is entirely too small for my head. My cap is so tight that when I put it on I swear I can feel my eyes bug out. Generally speaking, the ugliness of my head inside the swim cap was shocking. When I looked in the mirror, I inhaled a sharp breath. The swim cap, with all my hair tucked inside of it, confirmed something I had long suspected. And that is, that if I ever lose my hair, I am totally fucked.

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The swimming. Right. The first time I got in the pool, I looked at the geezers in the lanes around me and felt bad that I was about to smoke them. Then I made the mistake of taking a breath every four crawl strokes, right out of the gate. Why would I do that? No idea. I may have thought that’s how everyone did it, since the only time I’ve really seen swimming is during the Olympics. By the end of the first 50 meters I was clutching the side of the pool as if it was a raft in shark-infested waters, and sucking wind so hard that my wheezing was audible over the lapping of the water. The lifeguard sitting in the chair above me alternated between carefully monitoring my situation to determine whether I needed CPR, and looking away, to save me further embarrassment. As I struggled to compose myself, the geezer in the next lane splashed me while doing a flip turn.

Since freestyle was so hard, I tried a few laps of breaststroke, and 100 meters of backstroke. When I went to pull myself out of the pool at the end of my swim, my arms gave out from under me and I was forced to paddle weakly over to the ladder. My lats were on fire, and my shoulders felt like someone had pulled my arms out of their sockets. This wasn’t the kind of soreness that settled in after a few hours. I felt it as I GOT OUT OF THE POOL. I’m no doctor, but I don’t think exercise is supposed to create that kind of immediate physical pain. I’ll have to write Michael Phelps to confirm.

I was so traumatized after my first lap swim that I considered quitting, but I’d invested a lot of time and mental angst in procuring the swimsuit and accessories, and I felt I owed it to myself to give it another go. It took me another week to get back in the pool. This time, I put on my swim cap, avoided all mirrors, and walked straight to the pool.

And once in the water, I started to get it. I was gliding through the water with more ease, and began to zone out to the rhythm of the water sluicing through my fingers. The voice in my brain, which sounds like a neurotic and chatty 7-year old girl, started to quiet. I stopped worrying that I’d eaten a one-pound bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs by myself over three days. I stopped worrying that Finn had recently started laughing like Beavis. I stopped worrying that Tate sang the alphabet song using only the letter K. In fact, I stopped thinking about anything but the satisfying feel of the wall when I touched it at the end of each lap.

It felt sublime. Who knows. Maybe there’s a swimmer in me after all.

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how to dress like a hipster

In advance of my kids’ school auction, I was asked to write a little something for parents about how to dress for the event. The theme of my kids’ auction this year is Portlandia, as in, the TV show.

In any given year, dressing for the school auction is anxiety inducing, because parents at my school, being involved and enthusiastic Montessori parents, actually dress up according to each year’s theme.

That’s a problem for me because I hate costumes. I hated costumes long before married friends of ours suggested that the four of us dress up for Halloween as the gang from Scooby-Doo. “We can be Daphne and Fred,” the wife half of the couple chirped. “Tom can be Shaggy, and you can be Velma, Yoona. It will be so perfect!!” Perfect for whom? Daphne and Fred were hard-bodied and attractive. Tom is tall and white and could conceivably be made to look like Shaggy, but Tom was deeply offended by the suggestion. And me! Velma is the nerd who wears a baggy orange turtleneck sweater and knee socks. Why does the Asian always have to be the nerd? It all seemed so unfair, as if they’d suggested that we dress up as characters from the Lord of the Rings and then suggested that I’d make the perfect Gollum.

But this auction is for my kids. I’ll do anything for my kids, except wear a tankini. Portlandia means hipsters. I could throw something together, but what about Tom, who wears suits five days a week? I had never really thought about the components of a male hipster outfit. I started with online research, and found a Wikihow page called “How to Dress Like a Hipster” that included helpful tips like “Be under 30 years old.” Anyway, here’s my take.

Step 1: glasses

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In case it’s not evident from his expression, I had to blackmail Tom into participating in this post. The blackmail went like this. Yoona: “Tom, I’ve fulfilled 12 volunteer hours for the school this year. How many have you fulfilled?” Tom: “I brought the guinea pig home that one weekend and bought the guinea pig supplies.” Yoona: (penetrating stare).

Anyway, hipsters love glasses. The more awkward, the better. I bought these for ten dollars at Lloyd Center and wore them religiously for two weeks until someone at work asked whether they had prescription lenses in them. I would have lied but I was worried that some jerk would snatch them off my face and look in the lenses to discover that not only were they not prescription, they had a cheap film over them that actually inhibited vision. Once people found out my glasses were fake, I got all sorts of unsolicited opinions. One partner was borderline distressed about it. “Why would you wear glasses if you don’t need to wear glasses??” When put that way, I felt sort of dumb about them. But glasses are a solid first step to hipsterville.

Step 2: plaid button down

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Every waiter in town wears one of these. Usually they are buttoned up to the neck and tucked into a pair of high-waisted jeans, but Tom refused to do that. Anyway, the tighter the better. I think the one here is three sizes too small.  Straining buttons are great.

Steps 3, 4, and 5: the hoodie, the hat, the ‘stache

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I wasn’t present when these photos were taken, as I was out of town. I gave Tom and Cuz my instructions and they did a bang up job, but Tom started getting upset so Cuz made the decision to fast forward from Step 2 and started piling everything on at the same time. The hoodie is de rigueur. The hat is usually of the skull cap variation, but you might go indigenous with a highly patterned number. Anyone who doubts my love for my kids should know that I had to visit the costume place on Hawthorne to procure this moustache, and that place scares the bejeezus out of me. For starters, I hate costumes. Also, it’s really cold in there because it’s staffed by vampires.

The moustache cost me $14.00 and is made out of someone’s real hair. Thinking about that for too long makes me want to vomit, but at least you know it’s authentic.

Step 6: the skinnies

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Skinny jeans are a hipster must. We ran into some regional issues with the skinny jeans, as Cuz is from NYC, and apparently in NYC the hipsters only wear skinny black jeans. We tried to buy some from American Apparel for this shoot but NEWS FLASH you can no longer return items for a refund at AA. There goes everyone’s Halloween, I guess.

In Portland you see skinnies in all colors. I am particularly impressed by skinny jeans in raw denim, as they look spectacularly difficult to pull on. These are Tom’s own skinnies but as skinnies go, they aren’t that skinny. Still, every time I ask him to wear them he complains that they hurt when he eats. When you can’t feel your legs or your reproductive organs, just remember that it’s for a good cause. It’s for your kids’ education.

Step 7: put a bird on it

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The joke goes that people in Portland like to put birds on things. We didn’t have any birds in the house except some chicken breasts and this Korean wooden duck but you get the idea. You might even get other animals involved. Like so.

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So there you have it. How to dress like a hipster in seven easy steps. Any questions? I’ll refer you to Cuz.

Tom can’t wait for this auction.

mama’s boy

Finn loves himself some Daddy. They hang out together and watch sports together and wear matching jerseys and generally behave in a manner that leaves me with the uncomfortable sensation that I gave birth to my husband’s best friend.

It’s been this way for years, but enough is enough. The day before Valentine’s, Finn ran into my arms at pickup, waving a doily heart. “I made a valentine, Mama!” We ran to the car and I eagerly spread it out on my steering wheel to read it. Finn’s learning how to write phonetically, but I was up to the challenge.

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“Happy Valentine’s Day Daddy I love you I hope you have a good Valentine’s Finn.” Daddy? What was this sappy drivel? I flipped it over to see if I’d missed the part addressed to me. Nothing. My c-section scar started to itch, like it does whenever I experience a difficult parenting moment.

I peered at Finn through the rearview mirror. He beamed up at me. Where’s Mommy’s valentine, my eyes must have said, accusingly. His smile faltered, and he looked away.

That’s right. Look away, little man. I felt a blackened charcoal briquet in my stomach, slowly burning through the lining. Jealousy. I was jealous of Tom! How beneath me. That settled it. This daddy business had gone on long enough. It was time to remind Finn how awesome his mother could be.

I had the perfect opportunity, because we were leaving for a three day ski trip with my friends Whitney and Pete. Tom was slammed at work and was staying behind with Tate, so Finn would have no option but to pay attention to me, for three whole days. I would be his sun, his moon, his stars.

I started the weekend with a bang by buying him Sierra Mist at dinner on the way down to Bend. Finn loves Sierra Mist. It is scary the things Finn will do for a can of Sierra Mist. He once ate a saucer of green beans for Sierra Mist. But this time, he didn’t have to earn his soda. I sat across from him at the diner in Madras, and watched his eyes roll back into his head when he took his first sip. That’s right Finn, I felt like saying. Mommy is the architect of your happiness.

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At Whitney and Pete’s, there was more spoiling. I didn’t press him to eat veggies at dinner. He got to watch Spy Kids and play Nerf guns with his friend Travis. “Are you having fun, Finn?,” I asked. “So much fun, Mommy,” he said. I gave myself a silent high five.

But at some point, I stopped trying to buy him, and just observed him. This creature, this precious thing, with his big feet and his crooked glasses. On our way up to the mountain, I watched him in my rearview mirror as he talked to Travis. When Trav pointed to a picture of the Mona Lisa in his book, Finn’s eyes got big and he motioned to me. “Mommy, turn down the music.” He turned to his friend and took a serious tone. “Travis. Do you know what’s weird about the Mona Lisa?” Travis shook his head. Finn: “She has NO EYEBROWS.” Travis looked suitably impressed.

I skied behind Finn on the slopes, and tried not to let my terror overpower his delight as he zoomed down the runs. At night, I held him close and felt his breath on my face, and tried not to think that in a year, he wouldn’t want to sleep in the same bed with me, or let me hold him tight.

So, the weekend. I don’t think I reminded him of anything he doesn’t already know. But our trip together reminded me how awesome my son is, even if he does love me second best.

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finn and trav

a good cry

There’s a lot to cry about these days.  The headlines are lurid, devastating.  Bad news after more bad news.  And it’s increasingly hard to be shocked by it, or to feel something real.

I don’t cry often.  When I do, it’s not pretty.  I watch movies where the heroine is crying and her face is all soft and sympathetic and lovely in its vulnerability, and I think, I want to cry like that.  But I don’t.  When I cry, I look like a monster whose face is melting off.

I don’t cry when I’m happy.  I didn’t cry when my kids were born.  I still feel badly about it.  I felt love for the little goobers, but mostly I was shell-shocked, as I’d been throughout both pregnancies.  I barely knew where I was.  Added to the fact that I had an unplanned c-section with ten-pound Finn, and then another c-section with Tate, it all leaves me feeling like I should have a third kid to have a childbirth do-over, with the pushing and the tears of joy, and all the rest of it.

Tom’s dialed into his emotions and secure in his manhood and what that means is he’s not scared of a good cry.  Sometimes I’ll come downstairs and find him sitting alone in front of the TV, crying.  It might be Notting Hill.  Or a Red Wings win.  My Dog Skip.  The ESPN special about the Fab Five.  The Biggest Loser.  Love Actually.  I’ve seen Tom cry in front of Love Actually every December for the last twelve years.  A particularly devastating episode of CSI: Special Victims Unit.  The Olympics.  GOD, the Olympics.  He cries nonstop during the Olympics.

I envy Tom.  I wish I was more in touch with my emotions.  I guess it’s not crying that I crave, but the depth of feeling that leads to crying.

I once stepped into a small, dark church in Florence, put a coin into the light box, and was wrapped in the otherworldly glow of this.

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As far as art goes, this painting is really uncool. It’s by Pontormo, and he is a Mannerist, and one thing you learn very quickly as an Art History major is that you can’t ever admit to liking Mannerist art. Caravaggio made the Baroque ok.  But not Mannerism.  I mean, you can’t even like it ironically. It’s like saying you like Nickelback or Juicy Couture. I’m no scholar, but what I learned in my High Renaissance classes is this: Mannerism took the beauty and refinement of the Renaissance and forced it into grotesque places, by elongating proportions and using lots of pastel.

But man, you can’t control what speaks to you. Standing there in that cold, dark church, and seeing this thing as people must have seen it in the 16th century when people died young and often, I felt a rustle in the cold air around me. I felt religious. I felt MOVED. I sobbed my eyes out.  Who knows why.  But it felt amazing.

I cried for an ugly painting.  Why can’t I cry for something real?  I must be pent up, overdue.

I eagerly await the deluge.

the lentil soup project

I really like lentil soup. I’ve liked it since I had my first bowl of it in Istanbul, which is a d-baggy thing to say, like when people come back from Italy and say they won’t eat pizza anymore because it wouldn’t be as good as the pie they had in Naples. Go back to Naples then! Who’s stopping you? But anyway, it’s true: they have spices in Turkey that people don’t use much here, like Aleppo pepper, and I’ve searched for years for a recipe to recreate the magic of my first lentil soup experience, and never gotten even close.

But that’s all in my past. I’m a mom now, and don’t have time to waste on perfecting my own culinary experiences. I just want to cook things that my kids will eat. After pick-up last week, Finn and I stopped in at a coffee shop across the street from his school, for a snack. He ordered a pumpernickel bagel and I ordered a cup of lentil soup. “What’s that?,” Finn asked, as I tucked into my bowl. “Lentil soup. Want a bite?,” I asked, hopefully. After three bites, Finn hooked his hand around the bowl and pulled it in front of his face. After a few more bites, he told me that the soup was “incredibly delicious,” a phrase he has used only once before, in relation to Twizzlers. I looked down at the bowl full of protein-rich lentils and vegetables, and tried hard not to wig out. Then I politely approached the owner of the coffee shop for her recipe.

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I either didn’t telegraph my desperation loudly enough, or the woman had never known the misery of having kids who were picky eaters. Either way, the owner didn’t give two shits about my malnourished kids and she wasn’t about to share her recipe. She told me, dismissively, that it was “just lentil soup with vegetables.” But I can be insistent when the situation calls for it, and I decided that my kids, and this soup, called for it. So I kept pushing her for details, and finally got one: roasted tomatoes. I bought another bowl for Finn’s lunch the next day and said “thanks” while adding the “for nothing” silently in my head.

A couple days later on a day off, I got to work. I researched lentil soups online, and broke out my cookbooks. The good news was that there were lots of recipes for lentil soup. The bad news was that none of them included roasted tomatoes. I rejected the recipes with cumin and other extraneous spices, and focused on the ones that included bacon. I settled on the recipe from “The Best Recipe: Soups and Stews,” and modified it to include some roasted tomatoes.

I gave the soup a taste. It wasn’t Istanbul, but it was pretty great. Rich, buttery, warming. Still, I was nervous when dinner time rolled around. Getting a kid to eat something once is one thing–getting a kid to eat something twice is a freaking miracle. I couldn’t be certain that Finn would eat my lentil soup, even though he’d loved the one he’d had before. I placed a bowl in front of both my kids. Tate ate his up along with four pieces of baguette with butter. Finn finished one big bowl and asked for another. Cuz and I gave each other silent high-fives across the table, while maintaining outward calm.

I’m not making any promises. But my kids ate it. And even if yours don’t, you’ll have a pot full of delicious soup that you can have all to yourself.

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Lentil Soup with Roasted Tomatoes

Adapted from The Best Recipe: Soups and Stews, serves 12 (you can halve the recipe)

4T vegetable or olive oil

8 oz. bacon, diced

8 cups chicken broth

1 cup white wine

2 large onions, diced or chopped fine (my kids are likelier not to pick vegetables out of their food if the pieces are tiny, but maybe yours don’t care)

4 large carrots, chopped fine

2 T minced garlic

2 cups dried green or brown (not red) lentils, rinsed and picked over for stones

2 cups roasted tomatoes, chopped into rough chunks (recipe follows), or 2 cups canned, diced tomatoes with juice (fire roasted work great)

2 t chopped fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1-2 T red wine vinegar, or to taste

Directions

1. Heat oil in a large stockpot or cast iron casserole over medium-high heat. Cook bacon until fat has rendered and pieces are browned and crisp.

2. Throw in the carrots, onions, garlic, thyme, bay leaves and a few grinds of black pepper. Saute for 3-5 minutes, until softened.

3. Throw in the lentils and tomatoes, and “sweat” the lentils by sauteing for 5-7 minutes.

4. Stir in the wine, stir until dissolved.

5. Pour in the broth along with two cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until lentils are softened.

6. If you like a creamier soup, you can blitz 3-4 cups of the soup in a blender and then pour it back into the pot. Or you can leave as is. Stir in the vinegar at end. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

7. Enjoy with a crusty baguette and a salad! Leftovers are great for lunch.

*Roasted tomatoes: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Halve five roma tomatoes and put them, cut sides up, on a cookie sheet. Melt some butter and brush the tops with butter. Sprinkle with kosher salt and a little pepper, if you like. Roast them on the top rack until they turn brown and bubbly–took 25 minutes in my oven.

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juiced

What I love about the idea of a cleanse is the promise of rebirth. What I hate about a cleanse is that I seem constitutionally incapable of completing one. After watching Tom go on a food-based cleanse in early January, I felt bitter. Did he think he was better than me? He isn’t better than me, I muttered to myself. But how to know for sure, unless I completed my own cleanse?

I’d done a cleanse twice before, and failed. How to guarantee success this time around?  I looked inward, hard. I don’t fail at things often, but that is only because I don’t do things that I think I might fail at. My yoga teachers might tell you that’s why I fail to progress. What was getting in the way of my cleansing success? I could think of two hurdles right off the bat. The first was the sheer duration of a cleanse. I felt that I could not help but succeed, if I could somehow cut down on the length of time to completion. The second hurdle was my utter lack of willpower when it comes to food. Forced to make my own liquid meals in a house full of food, there was no chance I’d make it. I’d need to avoid my kitchen altogether.

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So that’s how I chose a three-day juice cleanse. I remembered that long ago, my friend Kim had extolled the virtues of the juices at Portland Juice Press—in particular, a milkshake-like drink that came at the end of each day’s ration of juices. I researched the company online. Six juices a day, for three days? With daily delivery to my house? How hard could that be?

A three day juice cleanse, it turns out, can be very hard. In my baseless optimism and stupidity, I got so excited that I found eight friends to do it with me, including Tom, and scored a group discount. I’m pretty sure it was Gandhi that said, “Why fail alone when you can fail with a bunch of other people?”

The first day’s juices arrived on Tuesday morning at 7:30. I’m a sucker for good packaging and my six bottles of juices were adorable, colorful, and delicious. They felt like collectibles. The first drink of the day, the Shauca, was a grapefruit/ginger/mint combo that woke me up and kept me buzzing until juice number two, the Guru, a magenta beet-based concoction. So far, I wasn’t hungry. In fact, I was very full, from all the liquid. I’m not a good water drinker, and I could see straight off that the biggest issue with the juice cleanse would be the sheer volume of liquid. I peed probably 18 times that first day. I felt light. I felt energetic. I felt purified.

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Juice at work was a cinch. When I got home, though, I had to cook for my kids. I heated up a pan to cook their flank steak, and felt an alarming quantity of drool begin to pool in my mouth. I looked around the kitchen in a panic. I spotted a jar of raw almonds and ate eight. I felt like a cheater, but better the eight almonds than a raw flank steak eaten with my hands, I told myself. While my kids ate their dinner, I sipped on hot water, and thought about the Om sitting in my refrigerator.

The Om is Portland Juice Press’s raison d’etre. It’s hazelnut milk with a healthy dose of cinnamon and dates, and on a normal diet you’d probably reject it as hippie food, but what an Om tastes like after a day of fruit juice is a Cheesecake Factory cheesecake. I sipped on it to make it last longer, and then went straight to bed after a hunger-induced argument with Tom that went like this:

Tom: “You ate almonds?  Ha, you lose.”

Yoona: “You think you’re better than me?  You drank COFFEE.”

The next day, I woke up feeling alert. I ran to the mirror and was bummed to find that I was not visibly thinner after 24 hours of liquid food. I shook off my disappointment and ran downstairs to rip open my next box of juices. I drank three more juices at work and even got through a kid’s birthday party in the afternoon without eating. It helped that two other parents at the party were cleansing. We stared at our kids’ pizzas and bonded over our shared hunger.

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On the second day, my friends and I were in various stages of falling apart. I was highly irritable. People kept asking me why I was doing a cleanse, and I couldn’t remember. Anytime anyone talked to me, I wanted to scream, “Get off my back, OK?!?” Whitney reported headaches and fatigue, and that she had to lay down between clients. Tom called me around 2:00 to yell “THIS IS BULLSHIT!!” and then hung up the phone. Ethan texted me angrily at 7:30 PM that Linds had the gall to make popcorn when he couldn’t have any. Too weak for his Insanity workout, Erskine went to bed at 9:00 PM bundled up in a down jacket. Kathryn also reported feeling cold. Now that they mentioned it, I realized that I was freezing too. I googled it while nursing my second Om. Lowered metabolism while cleansing can make you feel cold, and lead to flu-like symptoms. My teeth chattered in excitement. My cleanse was working!!

Day 3 dawned clear. I dutifully sucked down my day of juices until I got to 5:00 PM. On the calendar was a law firm party. As any lawyer knows, it is impossible to get through a law firm party without alcohol or snacks. I’d never done it before. I’d never even heard of it HAPPENING. Could I do it now? As I pulled on my fancy clothes in my office bathroom, I realized my pants fit looser. Hot diggity! I high-fived my reflection and told myself I could finish the cleanse. After all, I only had 12 more hours to go before I could have food.

Tom and I both got through the party without food or drink. We weren’t even hungry. But it was after the party that we realized that life without food just isn’t that much fun. We had a sitter but nowhere to go, since we weren’t eating. So we decided to own our failure and fall off the cleanse together. We went to a Japanese place and went nuts. When I took my first bite of seaweed salad, the right side of my jaw clicked and felt strange from disuse.

Afterward, of course, I felt remorseful. I couldn’t even complete a three-day juice cleanse! What a loser I was. But then I realized that even my partial juice cleanse had been beneficial. It had reminded me that in my everyday life, I am surrounded by bounty, by choice. And not having that for 2.75 days had reminded me how delicious food is, how fortunate I was to have it, and how lucky I was to be able to turn it down for the sake of a body experiment.

I think I’ll try the four-day cleanse next time.