January 28, 2012

Confessions of a Mayonnaise Addict

Eating mayonnaise-laden french fries in Amsterdam two years ago. If that photo doesn't say addiction,
I don't know what does. [photo: Leah Shesler] 

There are things we all have to confront in our lives. We must, from time to time, come to terms with the undying truths, for better or worse, which plague our existence. We must reconcile the way we know the world should be, and the way it is.

For some, it's accepting lost love.

For others, it's acknowledging an addiction.  

For Elvis, drugs. 

For Al Gore, it was global warming - an inconvenient truth. 

For Snooki, it was a whole laundry list of things which we don't have time to enumerate right now. 

I too have an inconvenient truth in my life, one which I am only beginning to realize. It's cheap. It's easy to get your hands on - let's be honest, the average college student could get a few ounces of the stuff on almost any street corner these days.  It's an addiction that I plunged into head first without even knowing what I was getting into. It started as just the occasional hit at lunch. Then it found it's way into dinner, then breakfast. It wasn't until I was taking a snack break recently and found myself craving it like a Frenchman craves foie gras that I began to think: do I have a problem? 

Members of my extended family. 

I began enjoying mayonnaise after high school when I lost some weight and began relishing in the foodie trend of taking unrestrained pleasure in fatty foods. Things like pork belly and poutine and the KFC Double Down were on the rise in the food world. I needed my niche. I found it in mayonnaise.

I would eat sandwiches and impatiently wait for that last bite when all the mayonnaise gets pushed to the corner and you just have mayonnaise and bread left. I would unabashedly ask for a side of mayonnaise to dip my french fries in. I would stuff my pockets with those little single serving packets. The number of blog post recipes containing mayonnaise is out of control.  I once sat down at a [pretentious well-known Brooklyn] restaurant and overheard a server say "I'm sorry, we don't carry mayonnaise" when a patron asked for a side of it for his sandwich. I almost got up and left.  

I realize that this addiction has come to far. I recently created a rule for myself that I would only open the mayonnaise jar once a day at most, but it has proved difficult. Hellmann's calls like a swooning lady of the night. I don't know how to let her go. The rich, creamy condiment makes life so much better, so much more worth living. But is it worth it: the calories, the fat, the public humiliation? I don't know anymore. 

I need help.