Listen. If that title isn’t an SEO gold mine, I don’t know what is.
Today was my follow-up med check with my doctor. You know, the appointment in which you have to be somewhat crazy (“Please refill my prescription.”) but not too crazy (“Like, I don’t need to be committed or anything.”). It’s a fine line. It stressed me out.
My doc is so, so nice. We talked about how I’m feeling (Better but anxious like worrying is my J-O-B.). We talked about adding another med (In theory, I’m against any med that makes you need another med, but at this point? I DO NOT FUCKING CARE.). And then she gently said, “You know, some people just need to be on these medications. Their brains don’t produce these substances and there’s no stigma to being on medication long-term.”
And then I cried just enough to get red-faced and blotchy.
And then it was OK. Except I was all blotchy and had that “Oh, she just cried” look. And we get health care through my husband’s work, so the clinic is in his actual office building. And I was meeting him for lunch, in the cafeteria, amongst hundreds of his peers.
Sigh. I just decided it was fine. My handbag arsenal consisted only of lipstick, and adding more pink to the situation wasn’t going to help.
I met My Guy and he showed me around the café … which is redonkulous. He works for a tech company and the cafeteria is a lot like Google, except you still have to pay for your food. But it’s basically the fanciest food court you can imagine with all sorts of options.
I’m a vegetarian, so finding non-lettuce food can be a challenge. But the Indian station had several veggie options. We ordered at the fancy kiosk. And then I waited for my food at the Indian station. It’s all very high-tech – they have a video board and you can watch your name move up as they fill orders.
I waited, the only white person. And let’s be honest: that is just fine, because white people need to have that experience. But also? Indian food is amazing! White people need to get with the program!
So I waited, and the guy behind the counter was yelling at people and quickly filling orders. Finally, it was my turn.
I stood at the counter. And the fast-moving yelling guy just stopped and looked at me.
He looked at the food. And he looked at the little white lady in front of him. And then he said, “This is hot.”
I just looked at him. Because duh.
He tried again. “This is SPICY.”
I waited a beat. “Yeah?”
Finally, he was sort of like, “Your funeral, lady” and threw some food in a container and threw it at me.
I got racially profiled at lunch!
For the record, the food was spicy but it wasn’t SPICY. It was “I drank a bunch of water” spicy, not “Give me all the dairy products to put in my mouth forever” spicy. It was delicious and I ate all of it.
The lunch date with My Guy softened my heart about, you know, being on 17 antidepressants until the end of time. (OK, two. Two antidepressants.) Because he is cute and funny and was impressed that his little white lady wife ate all the spicy Indian food after the trauma of being racially profiled.
I mentioned this story to my friend who is Fake Asian. She grew up in Iowa but is Korean but … SHE GREW UP IN IOWA. She reported that when she’s out with white friends, she can order Thai food that’s a seven on the one to 10 spicy scale and the waitstaff doesn’t blink. But if a white friend orders a seven, the waiter is invariably all, “Oh, are you sure? That’s super, super hot.”
Are people with less pigment genetically incapable of eating spicy food? Did I miss something?
To be fair, I was blotchy at lunch. Maybe the fast-moving yelling guy thought I’d already ingested something too spicy. You know, something like Sprite.
I heart you – let's eat spicy food next time I'm in town!
Ima post here, too, just because I can. I adore your writing. And not just because it's SPICY.
That is awesome- not the part where you cried, obviously. I am white. I can't eat spicy food. Like, I don't even venture above a 'mild' for my salsa. Way too dangerous. My husband is also white, and he can do spicy. He once ate something on his plate though. It was something that he wasn't supposed to eat (not sure why it was on his plate then, but maybe that is because I don't get spicy food eating protocol). I don't remember what it was called His face got so red and his nose started running uncontrollably. Nope, I can't do it.
I adore that you were racially profiled ordering food. And that you recognize it and have the perfect stomach/taste bud combo to defy the stereotypes!
Your doctor sounds lovely and I'm glad you've got her and Your Guy helping you get the chemistry sorted out. I enjoyed everything about this day, except the crying, but that's bound to happen under the circumstances. Relief, at some level, right?
I have been told by friends who are first generation here that yes, white people generally don't know what spicy is. I've had some similar situations, where I've been racially profiled when I order spicy Asian food too. I blame pumpkin spice lattes for this, because they make all us white people look basic and ridiculous.
I'm glad you're getting your chemistry sorted out AND that you enjoyed your lunch that actually wasn't as spicy as advertised.
Yeah! What Becky said. I blame pumpkin spice lattes as well! LOL
Gurl, you take whatever meds make YOU feel better and tell the rest of the world to stuff it if they don't like it. It is so important to have a doctor you trust AND are completely honest with.
ha! i live in a small town with a large foreign population because the only university is in our town. lots of indian/nepal/pakistani/chinese students. all the university people love indian food and beg the indian students and their families to open restaurants. but, all the indians demur – white people don't like spicy food, they say. this despite watching those same white people eating spicy mexican food with super hot sauces and salsas. i am aware it's a different sort of hot and spicy, but it's still funny.
also glad to hear you have a caring doctor and one who watches what your chemistry is doing, instead of just randomly trying things, and she's right. sometimes your body needs something, same as with diabetes or the immune disorders where one has to be on a medication for the rest of time.
granted, i still get cranky at my shots some days, but they do work.
take care and lover yourself!
1. My body is one of those that doesn't produce all the right chemicals. My husband once told me to never go off my antidepressants (this was in the first year of medicating and the difference was notably still in the forefront of his memory) but now claims he never said that; however, I don't like me off meds, and if I can't stand to live with me unmedicated, why should anyone else have to do it?
2. Unlike you, my body doesn't produce the chemicals it needs to eat spicy foods. I like flavor, but on a scale of 1-5, I don't go higher than a 2 with Indian or Thai food (both of which I enjoy very much).
3. Dh had cafeterias at nearly all his places of work but since those were hospitals… well, you get the idea.