Hi, I’m Mary, and this is my column no one asked for about things I like!
I’m back from a little hiatus! Did anyone notice? I didn’t think so!
I love the holidays, but they’re stressful. There’s so much pressure to be in a good mood, get gifts, attend parties (if you’re invited to any, which to be honest I rarely am), spend time with your family and Celebrate (capital intended) that by the end, I’m always burned out. This year I felt particularly on edge, since I was rushing back from my brother’s house in Atlanta to start a dogsit at a fancy house (yes, house!) in Brooklyn. By the time the plane lifted off, I was a ball of anxiety, but fortunately it was a Delta flight with movies, so I watched Love Simon and chilled out a little — until the end of the movie when, spoiler alert, all Simon’s friends are mad at him after he’s PUBLICLY OUTED, which stressed me out big time.
I never realize how much I rely on my routine to cope with anxiety until I’m removed from it, thrust into a different environment with an abundance of time I don’t know how to use. Over the years, I’ve learned to take certain aspects of my routine with me on the road, if you will, so that even when I’m out of town, and especially when I’m away with my family, I still feel like I have some control over my life. One of the most important parts of my routine — and easiest to travel with — is breakfast.
Unless I’m going out to brunch or engaging in some other wild nonsense, I have a smoothie for breakfast. I make a few different kinds, which I’ve written about before, but all have the same basic ingredients: almond milk, nut butter and bananas. I drink my smoothie after I have my Moka Pot coffee and before I go to the gym, like one of those old men who meets his friends at the same diner at the same time every morning where they all order the same thing, but…different.
The point is, I’m a creature of habit, a trait which I undoubtedly inherited from my mother. Like her, when I find an item of clothing I like, I buy it in every color and when I find a meal that satisfies me, I eat it every single day for years (my mom had a turkey sandwich for lunch every day for decades). I love the efficiency of a routine, and because I’m a str8 ⬆️ psycho, I’m always looking for ways to make my routine even more efficient. For example, I drink my coffee out of the same Joy Behar mug, use the same old plastic cups for my smoothies and am exactly five minutes late for my exercise class every single day.
Sometimes, I’ve discovered, one must escape her routine in order to innovate it, so it’s no surprise that my visit to Atlanta introduced me to a soon-to-be crucial part of my morning smoothie experience: the reusable silicone straw. I’ve always preferred to drink my smoothies with a straw, but it’s hard for me to justify buying a package of long tubes of plastic that I know will just end up cluttering the ocean and Adrian Grenier’s fragile psyche.
For a while, my sister and I were buying packages of disposable milkshake straws whenever we visited my father (not for any weird reason, just because they’re sold at his grocery store) which we would reuse for as long as possible. Every time I threw one out, no matter how many weeks I’d used it, I felt guilty. So when we ran out a few months ago, we didn’t buy more, and when I thought about ordering more on Amazon, I heard Grenier’s scolding voice in my head and took my hands off the keyboard. I considered investing in a set of aluminum straws, but they seemed hard to clean. Instead, I went back to ingesting my smoothies with a spoon, a truly demoralizing experience, and resigned myself to being a martyr for the environment.
When I arrived in Atlanta, my sister-in-law hopefully asked if I planned on making morning smoothies. I assured her I would, as soon as I collected the necessary ingredients (besides flax seed, which I can never find in Atlanta. Apparently southerners don’t care to regulate their bowels). The first morning I made smoothies, my sister-in-law did something incredible: she walked over to a drawer and pulled out big, fat, floppy silicone straws, the likes of which I’d never seen before.
She purchased them, of course, on Amazon, so I went to the site immediately to buy my own. I’ve had them for about a week and oooh, honey, they’ve changed the game for me! They’re just as fat and floppy as I remembered, plus they come with two little brushes so they’re incredibly easy to clean. Plus, if you’re the kind of privileged person who has a dishwasher, you can throw them right in there!
The best thing about my new straws is knowing how many male celebrities would be proud of me: everyone from Adrian Grenier to Leonardo DiCaprio, who are the exact same person at very different levels of success. Vinnie Chases of all stripes and sizes would approve of this newest addition to my rigid lifestyle which, as someone who identifies as a Turtle, is all I ever really wanted.
As always, I’d like to clarify that this is NOT a sponsored post. I received nothing for it and am pretty sure no one cares that I got new straws. Still, if anyone is reading and ever wants to give me literally anything for free, straw or not, I WILL TAKE IT!!!!!!
Anyway, I hope this was helpful. I’ll be back with more unsolicited recommendations soon!