When I was thirteen I wanted nothing more than to fit in and be accepted by my fellow peers. This proved kind of challenging, since I was a head taller than most of the girls in my grade. Luckily, there were other ways to fit in, like cramming my gob with junk food.
So given I had just changed homes, schools and friendship groups, I did what every teenager does when they need to buy a few friends: I took a job at Donut King.
It felt good to be the centre of attention. After school I would change into a bright pink hat and pink and white uniform and stand under hypnotic spotlights in the middle of the shopping mall, serving up processed snacks and deep-fried lard.
I made friends overnight.
Even my big brother paid more attention to me. Instead of looking at me like I was some kind of deformed kitten, he started to embrace my presence of an afternoon, especially when my schoolbag was loaded up with the day’s unsold donuts.
For once in my life I was popular and I didn’t care in the slightest that I had just sold my soul to the junk food devil.
Fortunately for my soul, I was completely inept at the job and it wasn’t long before the manager discovered I had no cashier skills whatsoever. The Donut Queen had no choice but to hand in her crown.
Funnily enough I didn’t care about the money or the job, I cared about losing friends because I was no longer ‘that girl with the free donuts’. I was just ‘that girl who used to have free donuts’.
When you are a teenager, there’s a lot of pressure to eat crap. Cooking up some mung beans and vegetables is not the way to improve your social status. Little do you know that by eating processed garbage in an attempt to make new friends, means you are inadvertently making enemies with your gut and by the time you reach ‘adulthood’ you will be forced to go on a decade long fast if you want any hope of making it up to your tired, swollen body.
The best thing you can do is take a leaf out of my book and quit while you are ahead. There are worse problems in life than trying to find new friends - try and find a new pancreas for example.
Text © Jessica Rosman 2015