My Biggest Fear is Running Out of Snacks

jugowaterHalloween is a big deal in my hometown of Madison, Wisconsin. Around here, more people decorate for Halloween than they do for Christmas. We usually get about 100 trick-or-treaters at our house. In fact, as I assess our munitions, I’m thinking I’d better head back to the store for another bag or two of peanut butter cups before the big day.

Running out of food is one of my big fears in life. It is not a rational fear; at least, not in my case. I know hunger is a very real concern for many people. I’m not talking about the type of uncertainty that comes with not knowing where your next meal will come from. That is a rational fear. The fear of going over two hours without a snack is not.

I am terrified of being stuck in any situation where I can’t get food or, more importantly, water. I always have granola bars stashed in my desk drawers and glove compartment. I carry a collapsible, refillable water bottle in my purse. I’m told these behaviors are relatively normal. The next few, probably not so much.

My husband will tell you that, when traveling with me, I’m apt to pull a package of airplane pretzels out of my pocket, days after our flight, which I saved “just in case” I got hungry later. On a recent trip to Spain, I bought a five-liter jug of water from a gas station one afternoon (see photo).  We’d been driving through rural villages that day, and I didn’t want to get stuck without resfreshment. When we arrived at our hotel that evening—a flashy place in wine country designed by a famous architect, my husband asked, “Can you please NOT bring the 5-liter water jug into the lobby of the hotel?” He can’t take me anywhere, apparently.

Any shrink worth their co-pay would say that my fear stems from anxiety, which is something I struggle with. A peek at my family tree would show that I come from a big Polish family, where my grandfathers on both sides worked in the food sales industry. I say I’m just thirsty and don’t want to get stuck without a snack.

Tell me, what do you stash in your pockets or purse?

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Susan Gloss is the author of the novel VINTAGE (William Morrow/HarperCollins, March 2014). When she's not writing, toddler wrangling, or working as an attorney, she blogs at Glossing Over It and curates an online vintage store, Cleverly Curated.

6 thoughts on “My Biggest Fear is Running Out of Snacks

  1. You are not alone. Having a toddler turns this “problem” into a lifesaving skill. You’re a superhero. 😀 p.s. I brought a bag full of snacks into our graduation. I was the most popular person in my A&L section.

  2. You’re hilarious, Susan. Didn’t that 5-liter bottle get heavy? I don’t know that I could carry something like that around!

    I can kind of relate though. I don’t necessarily take snacks with me everywhere I go, but I will plan out my days very specifically around mealtimes, so that I don’t end up starving at any point. I get cranky when I’m hungry, and no one else (by no one, I mean my husband) seems to ever get hungry around the same time that I get hungry, so it requires quite a bit of coordination when we’re on trips.

  3. What I can’t imagine is you actually eating all that stuff — you’re so slim! Do you have one of those enviable metabolisms?

    The only thing I tend to stash in random places are bits of papers with my oh-so-important thoughts. I do the same thing you do — “just in case” — then months later I’m pulling the notes out of my pockets. Sometimes I do find gems.

  4. I save my airplane snacks for later too! I got it from my grandma. Back in the 80’s she’d always give me the peanuts from her flight. I remember looking forward to her getting home. Instead of a travel gift, I got travel peanuts. Ha!
    Now, she always saves a cookie or two from the buffet even if she has a box of cookies waiting at home. I’ll be doing the same thing when I’m her age…or maybe even sooner.

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