5/08/2012
The bitches of Frappuccino Happy Hour

There are two things I've learned in my seven weeks (so far) in marketing: you eat a lot, and you eat a lot.

"Tataba ka rito," my cubicle neighbor told me on my first day at work. And true enough, I think my belly's getting a wee bit bigger. When your job involves attending marathon meetings, representing your company in exhibits and networking with potential customers - not exactly something you'd imagine me doing, but as I told Clarence, it's a change of pace, so there you go - you inevitably put a lot of things into your stomach. Can I help it if I want to get one of everything off a buffet during one of those meetings I attend? Not that I'm deprived, but I love to try new things, and it's a hotel I've never been to, and... yeah, I still sound deprived.

Eating non-German food in a German event (this did happen) is one thing. Eating pancit Malabon in the pantry at three in the afternoon is another.

This is what my colleague definitely meant when she warned me about my weight. When someone celebrates his birthday, there will be food. I'm writing this blog entry with a tall glass of ice cream from another one of my colleagues, who celebrated his birthday yesterday. I've only been here for seven weeks and I think I've gone through four of these mini-celebrations, two of which involve a big platter of spaghetti from Amber, and one of which marked the departure of my predecessor.

I've seen this before - my dad's my boss, after all, and in a few instances years ago I trekked to his office to partake in birthday lunches for my then future colleagues - but I never really realized the depth of this thing until I became a mainstay. Every birthday calls for food, and feeding twenty people or so is a daunting prospect for me. My birthday's still far off, but I'm scared of spending a chunk of my money. Not that I don't want to - marunong naman akong makisama - but I'm scared. I may have a colleague whose birthday is quite close to mine, meaning we can split the expenses if we agree to, but I'm still scared.

I blame it on all the light-hearted jibes aimed at whoever's celebrating whatever. "Magpalibre ka naman!"  they'd go. It happens everywhere, really, and I've gotten used to it ages ago: I'll join the joking, and then say that I'll resign by December so I don't have to treat anyone by January. I know. I sound so mean.

I guess the bottom line is, I really am a cheapskate, along the lines of "even I can't get myself to buy something I vaguely want because it will mean less money for me." Maybe we can call that frugality, but other people will see it otherwise.

Oddly, I don't hesitate when it comes to food. I have been eating a lot. My lunch always involves two viands - I still want my veggies - and a cup and a half of rice. But the stuff I eat outside of my lunch break is a cause for alarm. I know that when I don't have cereal for breakfast, I tend to get hungry by nine in the morning. I know that since I eat lunch much earlier than usual now - at half past eleven, rather than my usual one o'clock - I tend to get hungry by three in the afternoon. I get myself a Mars bar just to fight the post-lunch power crash. I don't like getting sleepy in the office, and yet I go crashing. I am spending a lot of money, I know. I will not always have a lot of money. But a Mars bar. Its allure. Damn it, I'm wiping caramel off my lips again.

"Kapag busog ka, inaantok ka," yet another one of my colleagues - she who took up rowing to get fit - told me. I figured she was aghast upon realizing that I'm eating a Whoopie pie, because it looks like my third meal of the day. But I need to be hyper to not fall asleep. But my late grandfather was a diabetic. But I don't want to fall asleep. But I will fall asleep. Damn it!

I've been telling myself to stop splurging, but yes, I still bought a Whoopie pie. The Starbucks below us slash half the price off their frappuccinos on Monday afternoons, which means I can buy a usually prohibitively expensive venti-sized drink for less than a hundred bucks. At least I can say I've bought a venti once in my life. But what do I do with all that sugar? And what do I do while I wait in line for that half-pointless picker-upper on a dreary Monday? You see the two girls ahead of you act all bitchy to the barista. "I said mocha," she says, and you're not sure if you're just interpreting things wildly. And yet you fear that, at this rate, when it comes to food, you'll be a monster. I'll be a monster, both emotionally and physically. So maybe I should resign this December...

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