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Southwest Shadow

Southwest Shadow

Southwest Shadow


Plate perfectionist

It’s dinnertime! Tonight’s meal: pork roast, mashed potatoes with gravy, and corn. I begin to serve myself: potatoes on the left side with a tiny crater made for gravy, then comes the pork roast on the upper right side of the plate. The corn is too far for me to reach, so I am being served by my dad.

“It goes here, Dad,” I state as he scoops the corn onto the bottom left hand side of the plate.

A piece of corn strays from the pack and crashes into my mashed potato volcano. I freeze. I quickly put my plate down and use my fork to pick out the piece of corn and a bit of the surrounding edge of mashed potatoes to discard in my napkin.

Whew! After wiping my fork clean from touching the corn, I can finally dig into my potato mountain and eat my food in peace.

I have self-diagnosed OFSD: Obsessive Food Space Disorder. I don’t mean to downplay those with severe life altering conditions, but my issue is worth a professional diagnosis: I can’t have my food touching on my plate. My spaghetti is an inch away from my garlic bread; my mashed potatoes never touch the corn; my hamburgers have zero toppings; my pancakes never touch my sausage.

My OFSD has greatly affected my life: buffets entail more than double the amount of plates a normal person would use; I am extremely cautious when ordering from restaurant menus as I visualize the plate’s setup prior to ordering; I am constantly made fun of by my family for my obsession.

If all of the plates in the world had little dividers like they do when you are little, I would be the happiest person on earth. My OFSD is so extreme that I have been known to wash my plate in between foods. I understand that in the end all of my food goes to one place, but for the sake of my sanity, my food never touches.

I know people think I am insane, but I refuse to accept that title. I am unique. I wish being different was appreciated in our society; I wish people recognized me for my uniqueness, rather than ridicule the appearance of my food plate.

Sometimes, I feel bad for my future dormmate in college but I hope they are up to the challenge. They are going to have to deal with my OFSD and be sure that there is no rogue piece of food disturbing each food item’s personal space!

I am hopeful that the severity of my OFSD decreases as I experience more things. My most recent improvement has been the acceptance of Mexican food. Prior to freshman year, I was only a cheese quesadilla eater; the multitude of ingredients in other Mexican menu items scared me away from taking a bite. After practically being forced to eat Cafe Rio’s Chile Beef Burrito without beans, I began to develop a liking for Mexican food. I am still not fully exposed to it, as I will only eat three specific Mexican dishes, but I am on my way there.

As for now, I am hoping that I am never greeted with a chicken pot pie or a giant plate of touching food and by the end of college I will be able to let my mashed potatoes touch the corn.

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