November 19, 2013 by briantshock
Thinking back to my college years, I honestly have no idea how I survived. I ate probably once a day, and it was always something terrible, like the Chick Fila or Pizza Hut that were conveniently close to my dorm, or some kind of calzone or burger at the other dining hall. Living on-campus it was almost mandatory to have some kind of dining plan, simply due to the convenience of dining facilities and extreme inconvenience of making it out to a store. However, it was not completely unheard of to take a bus or bribe the privileged few that brought their cars to college to venture off-campus for a half-assed shopping trip.
Going to the grocery store or big box store was often simply an opportunity to go buy sodas. Rarely was food purchased; after all, the dorm mini-fridges were barely big enough to hold all the sodas and milk for cereal, and the freezer compartments were over a minuscule joke. Later when I moved off-campus into an apartment, I lived with a bunch of guys, so naturally the refrigerator was a disgusting mess that none of us wanted to store food that would later go into their bodies. And yet, everybody had a Kroger Plus card for some reason, just in case they did need to buy something more elaborate than a loaf of bread. But this one day at the store, I noticed a deal that caught my eye that I couldn’t refuse; a purchase that would later make me the object of intense scrutiny. I bought a pie.
I believed this to be a completely innocuous purchase. I saw a pie (blueberry), it looked good and it was on sale, so why shouldn’t I buy it? Pie is great, who doesn’t love pie? It made perfect sense. However, when I brought the pie back to the dorm, my roommate turned up his face at it.
“Why did you buy a pie?” He asked, giving me a look like I came in with blood on my clothes.
“I wanted to eat a pie,” I replied, “it looked good and it was on sale.”
He didn’t have anything good to say to this, so he returned to his video game (Kingdom Hearts – damn great game). Thinking that this reaction was an anomaly, I didn’t think much of it, and cut myself a generous piece of delicious blueberry pie and enjoyed it as I watched him beat the crap out of Jafar.
After I washed my one plate and fork that I owned and somehow found room in the mini-fridge for my remaining pie, I got on the computer and started chatting with people. My roommate’s pie reaction was still with me, so I told a few people who were online that I bought a blueberry pie at the store. The reactions were varied, but the spirit of the response was all one and the same, ranging from “that’s a weird thing to buy” to “omg you bought a pie, that’s so funny hahahahaha”.
I still do not understand what the big deal is. It’s not like I was planning to eat the pie in one sitting; quite the contrary! I enjoyed that pie over several days. I may have one time replaced a regular meal with just eating pie in my room, so I will concede that that was probably sort of weird, but I remain steadfast in my belief that what I did was not a strange thing. People should have the right to pie without such harsh scrutiny.
Would it have been better if I offered to share it with people? At the time, I had no interest in sharing this delicious treat with these chastisers. Why do they deserve any of this? I think that would be weirder, actually! You can’t just ask somebody to come over to enjoy some pie in your dorm room with you. To friends, they would just think it was ridiculous, and if I was actually to try to charm a girl by inviting her over to share then it’s undeniably an odd pick-up line and almost certainly a guarantee for failure and continued pie-for-one. This certainly was an unwinnable situation.
The strange thing is, I would definitely agree that buying a cake in this same situation would be strange. To me, cake is definitely a group treat; something to mark a celebration or gathering. Pie just seems like something you eat. You don’t think twice about somebody buying a carton of ice cream to enjoy as a dessert. I guess there are some things I’ll just never understand. Like my pie, I’ll just have to take life one slice at a time.