We’ve all seen the ridiculous commercials. The ones that say, “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” We laugh. We chuckle and make eye contact with someone around us (or our dogs- no shame in that) and think of a time or two when we may have been a little cranky because we hadn’t eaten in what felt like days. We nod with smiles.
I will be the first to admit. I have dabbled with having hanger issues. Majorly.
To be fair, I grew up with my mom always having snacks. There was always some chocolate or granola bars in her purse at all times. Now, I totally get it because she was always prepared in case she felt the low rumblings of hanger coming on. I think it must be a hereditary thing. But five or six years ago, I was a young punk who thought she knew everything. (I didn’t, by the way)
I wasn’t a mom--I didn’t need snacks in my super cool clutch. That would be ridiculous. I didn’t have kids. I was way too cool to carry food around. I would just buy some, right?
Let’s paint a scene for you. It was Belgium say five or six years ago. The boyfriend (now husband) and I were exploring Brussels walking around like the tourists we were. It was winter, but the cold was comfortable because we were walking everywhere. We had this awesome map that basically pointed in directions of attractions to see, not distances. So, the journey to see the Atomium began hoping it was a good 20 minute walk because the arrow said, “That way!”
If you are wondering what the Atomium is, it's the picture at the top… it is silver balls put into a cool shape. I know there is an impressive backstory to it and in my normal state of mind, I would’ve thought it was the coolest thing ever. But, I was not in a good state of mind on this day.
The five mile walk to the Atomium was on a Sunday. Did I mention that everything is closed on Sundays throughout most of Europe? No stores, no restaurants, nada. Unless it’s a major tourist thing. So, the first mile of the walk was great. We chatted. We laughed. We enjoyed being young adults without a care in the world. Then, the hanger took over. Nothing was open. I lost my shit.
Around mile three, I was melting beyond reason. Sarcasm stopped being funny and I was slightly unpleasant to be around. Desperation hit and the only thing open was an awkward middle eastern coffee shop. We walked in, desperately hungry and soo American to buy a croissant and coffee. All eyes were on us. Conversations stopped. Nervous sweat dripped down but my stomach didn’t care. She had one mission. I ordered the croissant by pointing to it with my gloved finger, and I was given a buttery croissant. I devoured it without shame or dignity.
Can we talk about serving sizes in Europe? They are ridiculously small and you have to pay for ice but that's a story for a different day. While the croissant helped, it mainly dulled the hanger attack.
After refueling, we continued another two miles to the Atomium and at that point I didn’t care. We bought two shot glasses (which we still have) and took our silly pictures. I didn't smile. Every tourist there annoyed me. My now husband was the hero of the moment, pretending my shitty attitude didn't ruin his day.
Same day fast forward a handful of hours. Dinner. It was a disaster. It was at a Chinese food place where they only spoke Mandarin and French. Cool. That did us no good whatsoever. I attempted finding words in French because I know Spanish. The most I could make out was shrimp. So, we ordered what we hoped was real food and devoured it.
It didn’t go over well.
So, long story short--always carry snacks. No one is too cool to have snacks because when that moment comes where you feel yourself changing into a monster, you’ll be prepared and the hero of the moment.
Present day: I have multiple snacks at all times. They are in my purse, my classroom, my car, and sometimes even in my pockets. One can never be too prepared when hanger strikes.
Do you have any crazy hanger stories? If so, I’d love to hear about them.