Orange Crush

Carrots. Baby carrots. Right size. Right color. WRONG!

It was so ridiculous. I ate a pretty big, and fairly late, breakfast this morning. I figured it would take me through the rest of the day. I was wrong.

It didn’t start until maybe 12:10 p.m. I was clicking through from Twitter when I was violently accosted by an awakening of sorts. Call it an urge, if you will. But by any name the results were the same. I suddenly and completely craved Cheetos®.

I immediately discarded this ridiculous thought. I checked my satiation scale. I wasn’t hungry. I returned to my computer screen. Only to be interrupted, again.

CHEETOS®! It was like I was the teenager that just had sex in the horror movie, and it was my turn to be lured out–to certain death–by the monster. It was just that dooming.

Nope. Nope. Nope. Not having it. In addition to not being hungry, if I had a bag at my desk, opened it and ate some, the orange Cheeto® dust would get on my keyboard. I wasn’t going to get started on that path. No Cheetos® everywhere. No Cheetos® anywhere.

I started back to work and my mind wandered to Baby Bear playing U-6 soccer. Some parents (okay, most) didn’t follow the guidelines requiring orange slices and water for games. They didn’t get that it was replenishment versus treats. So they’d bring salty snack bags and juice boxes. Bear would pick a bag of Doritos so I wouldn’t eat them. I hate Doritos. But he’d bring a bag of Cheetos® to me on the sideline so I would be happy. Stop! Out damn thought!

I pummeled the thought of salty-fatty-messy snack out of my thinking brain. But I couldn’t beat it out of my lizard brain. The part of me that imagined my chameleon-like tongue snapping a  Cheeto® out of the bag. Yeah. That. Couldn’t stop. Can I eat it now?

NO! I turned back to answering an email, still fighting through my consuming desire. I needed to check the possible dates for a meeting against my calendar. I switched between calendar and email and lost my place. Cheetos® were calling me, like a moth to the flame.

I looked at the clock. It was now 1:40 p.m., and I had been thinking about Cheetos® for 90 minutes. Literally thinking of nothing but Cheetos® for ninety minutes. Solid.

I grabbed my key fob and my wallet. I walked down the stairs to the lobby and turned into the little bodega. I knew that this wasn’t going to end until I ended it.

And, I did. Totally ridiculous.

Cheetos. Not carrots!
Cheetos. Not carrots. 

Origin Stories

As part of the offsite, participants had to share their origin stories. It wasn’t put that way, but it was part of the ice breaker exercise.

One person spoke about an idyllic childhood in a communist country. Since there were so many constraints it was a simple time. When pressed, it might not have been all good. They did have to stand in crazy lines for hours and the shelves in the stores were empty.

Another person conveyed the challenges of being bi-racial. They didn’t know that it was important until high school when people started confronting them with “what are you?” This led to much soul searching. Someone else lost a parent at a very tender age and had to overcome being a nerdy outcast but found a circle of great friends on the way to great success.

It seemed everyone had a struggle to overcome–although everyone seemed to see their struggle as simply part of their origin. Made me wonder if there is something about the expereinces people have that draw them to different types of work. This offsite was at a non-profit.

What would this ice-breaker be like in the investment banking industry. Would participants talk about growing up with cooks and servants? About prep school, the tennis instructor and the golf team? Would they talk about meeting their future spouses at a Renaissance Weekend at an exclusive Hilton Head hotel? Would they talk about their parents and grandparents and great-grandparents preceding them at their Ivy League college? About getting a loan from Dad to start their first firm or build up their investment portfolio or to pay off a bad business break? Would they bemoan the challenge in getting a good apartment in Manhattan?

Just wondering about origin stories.