Triumph Over a Dorito

As I mentioned in my previous post about couponing, I’ve been making some changes in how we eat around here.

Aside from the obvious reasons (Getting married?  The freshman 15 has nothing on you!), I’ve been reading a lot about food — where it comes from, what’s in it, etc.  Let’s just say it has been rather eye-opening.

But change is difficult, and I had to start small.  In fact, as small as a tiny triangular chip coated with a bright orange cheese food product.

Let me be very clear.  I was never under the impression that a Dorito was health food.  I did not, in fact, give it much thought, to be honest.  I just found them irresistible.

When I was in college, my roomie and I would wait anxiously for the Doritos to go on BOGO at Publix.  We would then buy two bags and smuggle them back to our dorm room.  We would fill our plastic orange bowls to overflowing repeatedly, reveling in the cheesy crunchiness while we studied or watched TV.  The bag would never survive the night.

Later, when I got married, I remembered those magical nights and bought the BOGO Doritos once again.  Not surprisingly, my self-control was not much improved, and a bag of Doritos would not last much past the weekend in which they were bought.  My addiction continued…

One fateful day…I actually read the ingredients list on the bag of Doritos.  What was this??  Hydrogenated oils…and MSG??  Be still my soul!

I finally decided to. just. stop. buying. the. darn. things.  Not that I did not love them still — I just didn’t see that the trade-off was worth it.

As of this month, it had probably been a  year since I had eaten any Doritos whatsoever.  A thought of them had not even crossed my mind.

Then, I was out to lunch with my husband and in-laws and ordered a sandwich that came with chips.  Lo and behold, arising from the waitress’s hand was the once-coveted red bag adorned with a fiery logo — my long-awaited Doritos.  I considered whether to eat them or not, but I thought since it was too late to change the order, I might as well give it a shot.  One bag would not kill me.

As I popped the cheesy orange triangle into my mouth…I couldn’t believe what my tastebuds told me.  “Ew”???  They were certainly not as good as I remembered.

“Maybe you really can change your tastebuds…”  I thought. 

And then I proceeded to eat the whole bag of chips.

Next lesson: “You don’t have to eat it just because it’s there…”

A Coupon Mishap… Redeemed

Once upon a time, I was an avid couponer.  I would routinely spend at least 30-60 minutes per week scanning ads, making lists, and clipping coupons.

Many circumstances conspired to interfere with this hobby. 

For one, it became a bit less thrilling as time went on.  Then, the downward spiral of the economy combined with the rising popularity of couponing began to affect the value of coupons that were available.  (For example, when I first started couponing, I could at least once per year find a coupon for 1.00 off chocolate chips.  Now the most common one is 1.00 off 2, and .25 ones have also been found).  Finally, I embarked on a journey to change the way we eat, and it really worked.  We hardly buy the processed foods that are profitable for couponing these days.

In any case, I somehow ended up with almost my entire coupon collection scattered across my office floor in an extremely disorganized fashion.  Even an INFP can only put up with so much!

Today, my long-suffering husband agreed to assist me in organizing the office.  As he sorted through the coupons, I exhorted him to look at the fold of the coupon inserts to see the date they were published.  Somehow, to him, this translated as “Look at the fold of the coupon inserts to see when the coupons expire.” 

Alas, my entire collection of coupon inserts made its new home in the dumpster before I realized what was happening!

On the plus side, my office is now very clean.

Faced with a range of possible reactions, I chose not to freak out in this instance.

I will look at it as a new start.  A chance to begin again and really evaluate how I spend my time and make my shopping lists.  A chance to actually keep things organized.

We will begin by rebuilding the coupon stash and avoiding shopping at regular supermarkets for the month of January.  We will stick to the Farmer’s Market and the health food store, hitting Publix only if we really need to.  And no, chips do not count as an emergency.

2013 beckons…  I’m not much for resolutions, but I saw someone posting intentions the other day, and I like that idea.  But instead of just intentions, I will be more intentional. 

And I think this is a good place to start.

Awake, my soul!

There’s something about the Advent season that awakens me, a cold, brisk wind pushing across my soul.  Maybe it’s the change in liturgy.  Or the change in seasons.  Or just change.

I find myself wanting to write again.  I look for the beauty that swells just beneath the surface during this season.  The anticipation is ripe, full, bursting with color and flavor.

This really has not much to do with Christmas as it is celebrated here.  Not shopping and crowds.  Lights and decorations only tread lightly, leaving not much of a footprint.  No, this is a mystery, full-fledged, waiting to break forth.

In Advent, we wait for what has already come, and we wait for what is yet to come.

And in that sense, Advent is not over yet.  Though Christmas has come, and Advent is another year away, still we wait.

Even so, come Lord Jesus.

Amen.