At a young age, I learned that a myth I was sure my mother had fabricated to countenance her daily tango with an Entenmann’s blueberry muffin — the 5 o’clock sweet tooth — was no myth at all. By the time I was fourteen, every day, as 4:59PM came and went in the reliable 60 seconds that it does, no matter what I was thinking about, where I was, who I was with and whether or not I’d eaten the recommended caloric intake of that day, I needed a snack. But not just any snack; mental images of cookies and chocolate bars and ice cream and donuts — Krispy Kreme donuts! — would seep into my outer conscience and relentlessly stay there until I appeased these conceptions.
I can distinctly recall the qualm that presented itself when I returned home from school on weekday afternoons. The kitchen counter in my mother’s house displayed with poise several bowls of chopped fruits and vegetables, exhibited in ornamental ceramic bowls to mirror their delicacy. And as much as I wanted to remain on a healthful road paved with carrots (untrue), the Green Giant of yore had nothing on Hershey. As I walked toward that counter, every single day, determined that today will be the day I don’t intercept my own intentions with a pillage toward Candy Cabinet, I never succeeded in demonstrating willpower and day after day, M&M after M&M, I would watch as my ass grew plump and decidedly auspicious.
But when I graduated from the years that encompassed my definitive youth (or in other words, when I moved out of my parents’ apartment and joined the work force), the 5 o’clock sweet tooth become the equally deplorable (if not, fine, hedonistically delectable) three o’clock munchies. And now, four years in, in a similar standard set at my tender age of 14, no matter the circumstances of my day — what I had for lunch, when I ate it, how I ate it, whether I’m in a meeting or deep in the throes of writing a story (presumably about snacks), the clock strikes three and boom — I need a pistachio.
Which is nice, I guess, because it’s not a donut. Has my palette evolved or is it simply…cooler to indulge in healthier snacks in 2014?
Here is a panoply of the items I keep inside my desk.
1. Mixed Nuts: Often raw almonds, sometimes walnuts and always cashews, which I finish faster than a snack eats a mouse.
2. Matt’s Munchies: Sheets of pressed dried fruit (tangy apricot is a particular favorite, with island mango coming in close second) that satiate a sweet tooth but don’t carry the implications of emotional baggage and distress that a chocolate bar does.
3. Shot Caller and Word chocolate bars: For when my emotional baggage and distress needs to be appeased but can be done so organically. (If you look over at the ingredients, you’ll notice they’re all marked “organic” which helps me sleep easier at night but presents the question of what “organic soy lecithin” truly is.)
4. SeaSnax: More sheets, this time of dehydrated seaweed dressed in a variety of sushi-centric seasonings such as wasabi and teriyaki. High in sodium and self esteem!
5. Wine: Almost always white and I know how this sounds but remember what Miranda Hobbes told Steve when he condemned her unhealthy propensity to indulge in trash tabloid magazines? “I love it, it’s my thing, let it go.”
Photos by Charlotte Fassler, shot on W Magazine, September 2014 issue