Julie, The Anorexic

Full disclosure: I read a LOT of crap magazines.  I get People, OK, In Touch, Life and Style, and Us Magazine.  This is not the full list of magazines I read, but these are generally the ones with no precious little redeeming content.

Today in one of them, I believe Us Magazine, there was a picture of the latest America’s Next Top Model winner. I can’t remember her name, but she’s 6′ 2″ and 120 pounds.  Apparently she’s the one whose waist Miss Jay encircled with his hands. There was no text to say that she loves to eat (the usual line of bologna), which I found… refreshing. That said, she reminded me of Julie, the anorexic.

I met Julie when I worked for Ovens of Brittany in Madison, WI.  I started off as counter help, then moved into the bakery.  I wasn’t baking off, I was in production, which was nice because I didn’t have to be to work until 4 am.

I can’t really remember when Julie started.  I’m sure that having failed at graduate school, moving to WI to live with my “boyfriend” and then realizing that was a bust, combined with menial, low-paying jobs was fairly pre-occupying.  Adding insult to injury was the pace at which I was gaining weight after having lost 30 pounds.  Clothes didn’t fit, I couldn’t get to sleep, my boyfriend made me miserable, I had no life.  Yep.  I was ripe for a needy friend.

I call Julie an anorexic because she was one.  At 6′ and something, weighing in at 125 pounds, and with diet that seemed to consist primarily of alcohol (not pot, it made one hungry), she was seriously undernourished and certainly underweight.  In order to earn her 1/8 of a cup of chocolate chips (which I’m pretty damned sure is something like ONE TABLESPOON), she had to run 5 miles.  She would do this even with stress injuries.  Mind you, my pathology was quite the opposite.  We were Jack Sprat and his wife.

I should have, thinking back on it, had a pretty good idea of what to expect when she invited me over to dinner.  You’d think my synaptic relay would have considered that anorexics really don’t eat.  However, I went with all the best intentions.  When I showed up she was so happy to see me.  After a while, I had the nerve to ask what we were having for dinner.  Deer in headlights!  Swear to God, true life story.  She was stunned because, apparently, she hadn’t considered the dinner part of dinner.  Yes, I was surprised.  No, I don’t know why.

At which point I took it upon myself to look into the cupboards and fridge.  There was nothing in the cupboards (apparently related to Old Mother Hubbard), and in the fridge there was: one lemon, a very brown half-head of lettuce, some ketchup, pickle relish, and a gallon jug of some kind of Earnest and Julio Gallo’s finest white wine.  If I were Rachel Ray, I could have whipped up a salad dressing using the wine, lemon, ketchup, and relish and simply poured it over the wilting, dead lettuce remains.  I’m not Rachel Ray.  I looked at her as if she’d lost her mind and stated I would just go home to eat.

Wherein she decided we should go out to eat.  This is where you use your predictive powers to figure out that I’m an idiot.

I don’t know where we went, but when it came time to order –no surprise here — she wasn’t hungry.  Sigh.  Great.  So I ordered dinner.  Nothing fancy — I’m not into the whole appetizer, dinner, dessert and drink thing.  Oh, she was drinking.  Once my meal came, I started to eat only to realize she was STARING at me.  She was going to sit and watch me eat.  It felt…dirty.  It was weird and gross and uncomfortable.  Then she had the audacity to ask me how it was — she wanted me to describe the taste, the texture, my pleasure at eating.  YUCK.  I couldn’t.  I actually could not eat dinner with her there.  I just stopped.

HAVE YOU SEEN ME?  I’M NOT SKINNY AT ALL.  I EAT.

Needless to say, she drove me home.  In retrospect, I realized that it was a date.

Moral:  Don’t let a conflicted anorexic take you out to dinner.  It might just put you off food.

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