Of Finishing Your Fries

‘Finish your food’.

That’s what our parents always told us.

Or at least that’s what my parents have been telling me since I was little. And so with this in mind, plus the fact that I’m a huge fries-lover, needless to say, I have always finished my fries. Even if they didn’t taste so good, even if I was so stuffed that I could barely breathe, even if they were cold, even if they were leftovers from two days ago. Maybe it’s the guilt or just pure gluttony.  I don’t know. But somehow, some way, I always felt the need to finish my fries. It seemed like the right thing to do. You start something, you finish it.

I never once felt good about forcing myself to finish my fries though. I would feel too stuffed, and I would end up resenting myself, and I wouldn’t even want to hear the word “fries” afterwards. Well, I guess it’s pretty normal to feel that way. If you’re stuffing yourself beyond a certain point, of course you’re not going to enjoy it.

In a way, it’s kind of like forcing yourself to stay with someone. Even when you know he’s not right for you (Yes, come on, you know it better than anyone). Could be for whatever reason: guilt, hope, loneliness, denial, or all of the above. So you keep dragging on and stuffing yourself. The end result? You become more and more resentful, and sometimes it even turns into hatred – towards the guy AND towards yourself.

So, I find myself asking this question: Who really wins from me finishing my fries? Apart from the fast food industry, I can’t think of anyone else, can you?

That’s why I recently decided to try the opposite approach. How about not finishing my fries if I didn’t want to? I gave it a try and I have to say, it did wonders for me. I was able to put a stop to unhealthy relationships and walk away from the men that weren’t right for me. It was probably the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I even managed to – for the first time – stop myself from finishing a plate of fries because they didn’t taste that good. Proudest moment of my life 🙂

I guess what I really want to say is this: Don’t force yourself to finish your fries or stay in relationships for the wrong reasons. Sometimes, you don’t have to finish what you started; you simply need to put an end to it.

#Fry-tip: If you’re planning on not finishing your fries and feeding the leftovers to your dog, you might want to see why dogs shouldn’t eat French fries

Of Fries and Lists

Do you know what you want in a man?  When I was fifteen years old and got asked this question, my answer was something like this : athletic, tall, nice smile, funny, loves animals, not too fat or too thin, and the list goes on and on to describe exactly what I wanted in a man. I must have listed about 50 things!

Ask me the same question now and I wouldn’t know how to answer.

It’s like if you ask me to describe exactly what kind of fries I like. I could probably use adjectives like salty, crispy, or soft. But beyond that, I wouldn’t know how else to explain the exact taste or texture of the fries. Because for me, it’s about the sensation. How I feel while eating the fries, rather than what they are shaped like, or how seasoned they are, or how crispy they are.

The first list I made consisted of all the characteristics and traits I wanted in a man. But nothing about how I wanted to feel while being around him. Ten years down the line, I realized that all these lists are just adjectives, and just because you have all the right adjectives doesn’t mean the total experience will be great.

Ultimately, it comes down to how I feel. When I’m eating fries that I like, I feel insanely happy. I get into such a good mood that I want to smile, sing, and dance all day long. I feel as though all my problems have been lifted off, and my tiredness is completely gone. I just let myself enjoy the fries, without giving a thought to anything else around me. In that moment while eating those fries, I am at peace, and all is right with the world.

I no longer have a list of things I want in a man. But I can say I’m looking for someone who makes me feel the same way I feel when eating fries. And, well, a nice smile wouldn’t hurt 🙂

 

# Fry-tip: You like ’em crispy? http://telestations.com/wordpress/index.php/2012/01/17/how-to-make-crispy-french-fries/

Of Side Orders and Casual Relationships

“I want more”. That’s how I feel every time I eat a side order of fries. You know, those fries that come with the main dish, placed in one tiny corner of the plate. There are literally just ten pieces of fries on the plate, so before I know it, my side order of fries are gone. And I’m left feeling frustrated, wishing there were more.

Reminds me of the last time I felt this way. It wasn’t caused by a side of fries though. I had just gotten out of a longterm relationship and decided I wasn’t ready for another commitment. And so I got myself into what we call a ‘casual’ relationship.

It seemed like the perfect arrangement. No commitment. No drama. No expectations. No stress. Like I said, it seemed perfect. Only it wasn’t. In fact, it was far from that.

Being in a casual relationship is like having someone there, who’s not really there. Whenever I start to want more, he’s gone. As quickly as my side order of fries. And I can’t really demand for more fries now, can I? I had the option of ordering a full plate of fries. But I chose not to. I didn’t want to commit to a full plate of fries so I settled for a side order of fries. But where did that get me? Unsatisfied and envious of other people with their full plates of fries.

Why not just order a new plate of fries, you might ask. Well, the tricky thing with having a side of fries is that they leave you feeling ‘almost’ full. Which means I’m still craving for more fries, but I know I won’t be able to fit another plate into my stomach. So although I was in a casual relationship, it occupied a lot of my time. I didn’t even go on dates. What’s the point? Even if my casual relationship left me wanting more, there was no space in my life for ‘more’.

So, what to do if you find yourself in a similar situation? Well, first you need to figure out if you’re the kind of girl who can make do with a side order of fries, or if you’re a plate-full-of-fries kind of girl.

If your answer is the latter, then do yourself a favor and cancel that side order of fries. Get a whole plate for yourself, you deserve it.

If you’re the former and don’t mind having fries on the side, then that’s fine too. But here’s what you need to understand: it is only a side order. That means on that plate, the highlight is actually the main dish. Side orders are, as the name suggests, meant to be taken on the side. So make room for the more important things in your life – the main dish. You will stop feeling unsatisfied once you stop making your side order of fries a priority.

As for me, I’m not really sure yet which kind of girl I am. Maybe I am secretly hoping that my side order of fries will magically upgrade itself into a full plate. But one thing I do know for sure is this: fries are meant to be enjoyed – whether you’re having a side order or a full plate. You’re supposed to feel good and satisfied after having fries. If you’re not enjoying your order of fries, that’s your signal to do something about it. There are plenty of fries out there, why force yourself to eat fries that don’t satisfy you?

Of Stale Fries and Old Lovers

This one’s dedicated to someone I love dearly. A girl who’s beautiful – both inside and out. I only wish she would realize it someday.

“People always leave”, proclaims Peyton Sawyer. And perhaps that’s true. But what’s also true is, sometimes they come back.

I’m sure each of us has had an old fling or lover who came back, or wishes to come back into our lives. I don’t know about you, but I always tell myself never to go back. Of course, what I tell myself and what I actually end up doing are sometimes two different things.

When an old fling showed up at my front door with a bag of fries as a peace offering, I couldn’t turn him down. When an old lover called and told me how much he missed me and wanted to see me, I found myself giving in. I allowed myself to go back. Sometimes just for a day. Sometimes for a few weeks, or months.

None of these ‘comebacks’ ever lasted. But I did learn a very valuable lesson: there’s no saving an old relationship. The way I see it, old relationships are like stale fries. There’s no doubt the fries were absolutely delicious to begin with. But at some point, the fries went stale. They get all dry and the flavor is lost.  And as much as I try to make these fries taste good again – microwaving, re-frying, adding more salt and sauce – the reality is that once fries have gone stale, they can’t be brought back.

It took a lot of courage for me to finally let go and come to a realization that my old relationships can’t be rescued. But you know what? It’s okay. There are plenty of delicious, freshly-cooked fries out there, waiting for me to enjoy. After all, life is too short to eat stale fries.

#Fry-tip: If you’re not sure what to do with left-over stale fries, here’s an idea: http://griffinshoneycom.fatcow.com/wordpress/?p=5501

Of Greasy Fries and Self-absorbed Men

I hate greasy fries. Don’t you? The taste is unpleasant, and the grease always stick to the fingers and hands. Yuck. But why am I talking about greasy fries? Read on. You’ll find out in a minute.

Not long ago, I became acquainted with Max, and I was drawn to him like a moth to a flame. Unlike other men I knew, Max was very open with his feelings. He liked to talk about how certain things made him feel.

At first, I found it to be endearing that a grown man would open up to me like that. He would talk for hours and hours. Mainly about himself. About how unfair his life was. How everyone was always against him. How everything was going wrong. Whenever I tried to cheer him up or change the topic, he would simply interrupt me with another story. Max was always talking about himself – he was self-absorbed in that sense, but I didn’t mind. So I resorted to just listening to him in silence.

But after our conversations, I always felt heavy. As though something was weighing me down and I couldn’t shake it off. I listened to his stories anyway, and this went on for quite some time. Until I started to feel unhappy for no reason. I started having negative thoughts that I normally wouldn’t. And I would sink into various episodes of depression over nothing.

Being a positive person by nature, I started to wonder what was happening to me. I distanced myself from Max to do some self-reflection. And to my surprise, during the time I spent being apart from Max, I felt happier and more like my usual cheerful self. That’s when I realized what was going on.

Here’s where it comes back to the greasy fries. When you eat ’em, there’s no doubt that your fingers will become greasy. The fries absorbed too much grease, and that grease just sticks to everything. Just like Max, who was too self-absorbed in his own negative emotions, and they were sticking to my hands and fingers. Anyone who’s had grease on their fingers can tell you that grease doesn’t go away easily. Same with negativity. It could stick to you for days, and even after washing your hands several times, the stench lingers.

The remedy? There’s only one way. Wash your hands off of greasy fries and self-absorbed men. As tempting as they may seem, both are bad for your health and leave you feeling sick inside.

#Fry-tip: Want to know how you can avoid greasy fries? Check out this post: http://fifteenspatulas.com/tag/how-not-to-get-greasy-fries/

Of Fancy Fries and Men

I realized something today. It started with me dragging a good friend of mine to ‘Everything with Fries’ – a nice restaurant where the fries are known to be superb. Never mind that my friend, let’s call her Milou, had just gone to the gym and she might not want to indulge in junk food. As a die-hard fries fan, I was determined to set foot at this restaurant and try out their delicious fries. Being the good friend that she is, she agreed to accompany me.

My order of fries arrived and sure enough, it looked good. I snapped a few photos and beamed with happiness, thinking to myself how lucky I am that I’m about to taste the wonderful flavors of these golden-colored fries. And they were not just regular fries, mind you. They were seasoned with garlic and herbs. Mmmmm. My mouth was starting to water.

Then I slowly picked up one fry and put it in my mouth. I picked up another, and another, and another. But something didn’t feel right. Or rather, it didn’t feel good. Sure enough, the fries looked great, and they were seasoned well. But to me, they just felt cold and crispy, and I found myself not enjoying them as much as I thought I would. How could this be, I wondered, as I kept stuffing the fries in my mouth, hoping I would enjoy it at some point. I looked around the restaurant and other women seemed to be enjoying their plate of ‘fancy’ fries. Except for me.

After quite an attempt on my part, I gave up and said to Milou, “these fries aren’t that good at all. I would eat McDonald’s fries over this any day”. Milou smiled, as if she had already guessed what I was feeling, and said “you see, sometimes you can go for the most fancy, good-looking things, but in the end you might not get that comfort that you get from McDonald’s fries.” I thought about Milou’s wise words and realized how true this is, not only with fries, but men as well.

See, sometimes you can be with the most refined, sophisticated, classy man, and not feel good about it even one bit. Sure, he looks good, dresses well, and drives a nice car. He is the man that all the girls would line up for. But somehow, you’re just not feeling it. And that’s absolutely okay. It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you for not wanting what everyone else wants. It just means you have a different taste. The kind of fries you like might not be fancy, but for you, they’re the most delicious fries in the world. And that’s more than enough.

So forget about what you ‘think’ you should like, and just go with what you like. For me, it’s back to good, old, comfortable McDonald’s fries. For now at least.

Of McDonald’s French fries

Every woman has that one man who’s just around the corner. He is often not our first choice, but a fall-back option. We call on this guy when we’ve run out of options, and needless to say we can always find him there. He is equivalent to McDonald’s French fries, which can easily be found in any corner. And if we can’t find it around the corner, we can still get it delivered to our doorstep.

Now, let me set one thing straight: there’s nothing wrong with this guy, in fact he’s probably a decent man. Just as McDonald’s fries are good, but it’s just not what I would choose to have everyday for the rest of my life. But of course, being the greedy girl that I am, I still want it there in my life. Every time I walk pass a McDonald’s, I am happy to know that I have the choice of walking in and ordering some French fries. I may not end up going inside a McDonald’s to order fries, but I feel good knowing that it’s always there. Same with this guy. I like having him around, I like receiving good morning texts and good night phone calls from him. Hell, I even indulge in it from time to time. But the bottom line is he’s still a McDonald’s French fries. Sure, he satisfies my hunger and cravings every now and then, but I think it’s safe to say I’m looking for something more exquisite. But until that something comes along, why not enjoy the McDonald’s fries, I tell myself.

But then I wonder, does this make me a bad person? Am I taking advantage of the poor, innocent McDonald’s fries? Well, I’ve given it some thought and I guess the answer is yes and no. The fact is that McDonald’s French fries know exactly what they are, which is why they try to lure us in with deals and offers. Likewise, I’d like to believe that this guy knows that he can’t be more than my fall-back option in desperate times. Sure, he wants me to stop having other fries and only stick to McDonald’s French fries, and he tries hard to pull me in with his ‘offers’. But deep down he knows that won’t work, so he makes do with being my on-call guy.

What I’m trying to say is : The McDonald’s French fries already knows he’s not your first choice. But from time to time, he can get a bit delusional. My advice is to set him straight by reminding him that he is a good person and that you like having him around, but you don’t see a future with him. You might think this could cause him pain, but trust me, in the long run it’s better than promising him that you’ll eat only McDonald’s french fries from now on (when you know damn well that isn’t true). Set some ground rules about your so-called ‘relationship’, so that there’s no confusion and false hopes. Once the rules are clear, we can all enjoy our McDonald’s French fries, free of guilt.

#Fry-tip : If you’re in Singapore, you can indulge in McDonald’s French fries 24/7 by ordering online from this link http://www.mcdelivery.com.sg/McDelivery/Homepage.jsf

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