January 15, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 58  

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Lent and perogies in the Twilight Zone

Maggie Wrobel

Campus Life Editor

Sometimes I feel like Superman.

Not only because I am able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but specifically because like Clark Kent, I too live a double life. I call my story Maggie Wrobel: Caught Between a Steak and Veggie Burger.

My problem is this: my boyfriend is a vegan, and my parents have been on the Atkins diet for the last two years and don’t show any signs of quitting it any time soon.

For those unfamiliar with veganism, it’s a way of life that forbids the ingestion of any animal products, including dairy, eggs and fish.

The Atkins diet, on the other hand, consists of mostly animal products, primarily parts of the animals themselves. The Atkins diet is also the one that forbids sugar and carbohydrates; namely candy, potatoes and bread — otherwise known as the things I cannot live without.

Needless to say, I live daily in a Twilight Zone world of paradoxes.

Dating a vegan is no picnic, or more precisely, it’s a meat-free, cheese-free picnic with very limited menu choices. When my boyfriend first told me he was a vegan, I took serious note of it and told myself I’d do my best to show him my meat-free side.

On our second date, however, my meat-free side decided to stay at home while I ordered deep-fried cheese perogies smothered in bacon. Oops. Luckily, my boyfriend is a great cook and we enjoy lots of fun meals together that never make me feel like I’m sacrificing anything.

At home, on the other hand, it’s Lent 24-7, which translates to no pop, no potatoes, no ice cream, no white bread... and the list goes on.

Don’t get me wrong, my parents don’t keep me on a no-carb leash — I am 22 years old, after all. I can eat what I want. My dad simply uses a different tactic all together: reverse psychology.

He clucks “tsk tsk” when he sees me making a sandwich, shakes his head in disappointment when I pour a glass of ginger ale and I swear I saw a tear in his eye last week while he watched me scoop ice cream into a bowl for a late-night snack. He thinks I’m slowly killing myself with my bad eating habits and I have to live with the guilt.

Sadly, it’s become so unbearable that I’ve resorted to hiding my “bad” food. There are cookies in my night stand and perogies in the freezer under the bag of frozen beans. Don’t tell my dad.

I never thought something as delightful as eating could cause such political uproar in my life. Maybe one day I’ll make a choice about living and eating one way or the other, but for now, I’m enjoying the challenge.



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