Three Depressing Phrases That Did Not Originate With Me, Lockdown Day 58

This morning I read an article in the New York Times, which I continue to check because of force of habit, called “Jane Brody’s Guide to Life in Lockdown.” Jane Brody is in an enviable position during These Our Troubling Times, as she will be the first to tell you:

Among the advantages I do not take for granted, I have a job and a decent income; a comfortable home with no rent or mortgage; a dog that connects me with other humans three times a day; and a stash of nonperishable foods that friends and family have long joked could sustain an army for a year.

The bulk of the article details her daily routine and meal plans; I imagine her intent was to provide ideas and inspiration for the rest of us, but all I read was an outline of the various forms of culinary penance she undertakes, perhaps as a misguided way to atone for her privilege without actually working to dismantle any of it.

Just a guess! Who can really know? I still have rent to pay, so I don’t have all day to figure it out.

Depressing thing the first:

I made a pledge to myself mid-March: Weigh in every morning and keep within a two-pound range, but with a daily treat — a few graham crackers or quarter-cup of light ice cream — to avoid feeling deprived.

I may have developed a mild eating disorder while reading that sentence. If I manage to reach the age of 79 without dying of disease or becoming a casualty of government violence or the planet burning to a crisp and I am this worried about a two-pound weight fluctuation, I hope I have the grace to keep it to myself and that I can get a refund for all my therapy co-pays. If I don’t, then I’m relying on you. Friends don’t let friends write things like this in the New York Times.

“Light ice cream” is depressing at the best of times, and I know I am not the only one among us whose weight has fluctuated by at least two pounds based solely on either a massive shit or a Chipotle burrito bowl, so let’s not fool ourselves.

Depressing thing the second:

Breakfasts alternate between sliced banana and peanut butter; a bowl of spinach, diced roasted veggies and a third of a can of soup heated for three minutes in the microwave, or Cheerios with walnuts, raisins, banana and fat-free milk. And coffee, of course, with a graham cracker.

This is clearly less problematic, but the fact remains that it is impossible to write a sentence that includes the phrase “a third of a can of soup” and not have it sound at least somewhat depressing. I’m sorry.* I don’t make the rules.

A secondary concern is the reappearance of the graham cracker. There are better cookies and better crackers available! You can bake them at home, so as to maintain your iron-fisted control over your food intake! Make a batch of cheese straws and live it up.

Depressing thing the third:

Although one neighbor with no snack machine or no-no’s in his house said he’d lost 10 pounds since his office closed, tales of unwelcome added weight are more common.

We are adult humans; referring to foods as “no-no’s” does not become us.

Anyway, if you want a more pleasant way to spend a few minutes on the internet, the Oregon Zoo took some of their penguins for a hike.


* I’m not sorry.


  1. I’ll gladly accept the depression for Jane Brody this spawns just to hear from KOS! I haven’t posted anything in so long I don’t think I can consider myself a blogger anymore, but I’m always happy to see something from you in my inbox. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to vent my feelings by eating a third of a saltine and drinking 4/5ths of a flat lime La Croix.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When you wrote “Cheerios with walnuts, raisins, banana and fat-free milk…” I was THINKING (in my head): “CHEETOS with walnuts, raisins, banana and fat-free milk.”

    And I was thinking, not bad, not bad.


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