Or possibly better titled, Get your fingers out of your mouth and stop touching my damn food! Or, possibly, Raina actually is a freak when it comes to germs, and may be judging you while you eat!
It’s no secret to those that know me that I have an aversion to germs, especially that coming from people’s mouths (blah)! I have considered lysol-ing the incessant cougher on the bus who was clearly too ill to be in public. Let me take you back a few months to what was probably a prime example of how I can’t do germs, or floor crunchies. I’ll follow that up with a delightful tale of a full bore bat shit break down. If you’re squeamish, you may just want to skip this one.
During a recent training at work, we were asked to learn and apply mindfulness as a method for reducing stress in our Veteran population. We spent a lot of time doing deep breathing and other similar activities (I know, I know-hard job, right?). Part of this process was something called Mindful Eating, where you eat a raisin, and focus on mindfully looking at it, smelling it, and ultimately eating it. I get it…slowing down and savoring your food? We could all use some of that..
So began the experiment. Step one: Pass around a container of raisins, and everyone grab one.
With their fingers. Out of the same container of unwrapped, sticky, raisins.
Now…I am about half way through this line of people waiting patiently for their germ riddled treat. “I can totally do this, these are my coworkers…it’s ok”, I think, as I grab my (still germ riddled, but I am damn ok with it) raisin.
And the exercise begins. We hold it up and look at it (I’m ok at this point), we turn it over in our fingers (got it, I’m still cool), and even smell it. We’re being deliberate with our food, and I am totally behind this. Then the leader says “Now, place the raisin in your mouth.”.
Insert screeching tires of a big-ass Mack truck coming to a halt.
Huh? There’s god knows what on this sticky thing. Eek! Up until this point, my eyes and the eyes of all of my coworkers have been closed, but upon hearing the news that I had to throw what is now (I’m pretty sure) a mechanism of germ warfare into my mouth, I was up, alert, and my mindfulness spell was broken.
Not wanting to appear ass-ish, I continued to look at it. Mindfulness is Mindfulness, right? Now, I am pretty into my raisin, and am looking at it when I hear a soft whisper next to me: “Crap”. Apparently my coworker dropped his raisin. This is seriously not conducive to mindfulness, so I help. We eventually find it under the desk and he goes back to his mindfulness activity, and pops the raisin in his mouth.
Whole. Lee. Shit.
He shrugs and chomps along merrily, while I stare in both shock and impressed awe. “You ate floor crunchies!!”, I whisper. No matter, he is clearly more Zen than I. I eventually rub the raisin on my pants, take a nibble, and throw the rest in my tissue, hoping to high hell no one I work with is ill. Needless to say, this activity-not my favorite.
So, by now you have a good sense of how my brain works based on the past blogs (you may want to read the one about home improvement, if you have other questions. You can find that here). And yes, I do realize that this is plain silly and that one raisin probably won’t kill me (at least we better hope!!) Flash forward to this past Sunday. Let me set the scene.
A Moroccan restaurant in Belltown, a 50th birthday party for someone I don’t know and 20+ of her friends, mostly softer science social workers (think crystal healing, Reiki, Qigong therapies), clinical social workers, dog park friends-a good smattering of the people I spend time with in real life. Just…well, strangers.
Let me also take time to note a few things:
- I drove in downtown after not eating for way too many hours
- I wasn’t planning on drinking
- You eat with your hands at this place. With Strangers. And their hands.