Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

cheeseburger rehab

It didn’t start out to be a day of self-reflection or denial. It was just an ordinary Wednesday…nothing special. I got my usual four hours of sleep, and woke up to my husband’s voice whispering in my ear. He had snuggled close and said I was cold…like a vampire…which made me laugh. I’m not really a vampire, but I’ll let him wonder if the coincedences are just too much to ignore. The truth is, although I do like a nice rare steak now and then, I would much rather have a cheeseburger than a fresh vein any day. In fact, I wanted a cheeseburger today.

Problem number one: Car trouble.

My daughter’s car died the other day. It was the second vehicle in three days that needed to be towed, and I was not feeling the love from above. I have the worst luck when it comes to cars…but then again, I have several kids driving, so that probably just makes the odds that much higher for disaster. So sure…I was down a car. Two if I count the truck that had just come back from being serviced and promptly died on the way home. (This is a story for another day.)

This leads straight to problem two: Carjacking.

And no, I wasn’t carjacked by a stranger. My husband took my car to the office because my daughter was forced to take his car to school. This left me without a car.

Ordinarily, being without a car might not have been so terrible. I don’t always leave during the day…but the simple fact that I couldn’t leave during the day heightened my overall need to leave. I suddenly wanted a cheeseburger with every fiber of my being.

Problem three: No cheeseburger for me.

I don’t know what it is about food cravings, but for some reason you can eat enough food to satisfy several days worth of hunger, but if you don’t get the object of your desire, you may as well have eaten nothing. You will still be hungry. Ravenous even. I was prepared to chew the leg off a cow to get my burger! (Perhaps this is pushing the whole vampire thing a bit far…but work with me for a minute.) Nothing in my house was going to satisfy the urge for a juicy, flame broiled cheeseburger. Not even the actual burgers I had in my freezer. Those did not come from a fast food burger joint, and therefore did not count. Besides, you actually have to cook frozen hamburgers, and who wants to do that?

Right…me either.

I decided to go for a bowl of cereal…just to take the edge off. But the edge would not soften thanks to whomever chose to leave the cereal box cracked open enough to let the contents go stale. Stale cereal does not a breakfast make. I couldn’t even give it to the dog in good conscience. I ate a few pieces of cheese and took a nap, hoping to sleep off the hunger.

I dreamt of cows flipping burgers in a silver diner and woke up even hungrier.

My son went off with a friend while I was sleeping, so I texted him to bring me back food. This whole stranded thing was for the birds…the loony birds!

My son, the same child I carried for nine months…cared for…nursed…supplied video games and cell phones for, had no desire to fetch me food. I was forced to forage through the cupboards, and the refrigerator, for something to eat.

One bag of popcorn, three pieces of cheese, a bowl of stale cereal (that wasn’t good enough for my dog just a few hours ago) and a fortune cookie (left over from the last time I got take-out) later, I was still jonesing for a damn cheeseburger. (And if you must know, I wanted the Diet Coke and apple pie from McDonald’s too!)

I finally gave in and pulled the frozen hamburgers from the freezer drawer and fired up the pan. I pulled out all the toppings I could find in the fridge and made the best of it. I slapped some ketchup on the one dried out bun left in the package, and added a slice of onion I found wrapped in plastic in the back of the refrigerator. It wasn’t fast food by any stretch, but it was better than nothing. And it might have even tasted good, but I ate it so fast I’m not sure I noticed.

As soon as I swallowed the last bite of my homemade cheeseburger (minus the cheese that I’d already eaten earlier) my son called to say he was stopping at McDonald’s after all, and did I want something. Figures. He got me the Diet Coke and an apple pie and I was somewhat mollified.

I would like to say, all’s well that ends well, but the sad truth is I’ll have to go through this again tomorrow. And probably Friday too. I probably should have gone to the store for groceries when my husband got home, but I’d eaten so much today, I couldn’t bare the thought of food.

Oh well…there’s always the case of ramen noodles in the pantry.

Until the next time…I’ll be foraging.

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