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men when they order things at restaurants

Watch them.

They just order what they want, without hesitation.

"Cheeseburger and fries, with a Coke."

And I'm over here like, "It's that easy, huh?" Not even a Diet Coke?"

If I were ordering a cheeseburger and fries, it would sound like this: I'll have the... then I would pause and look at the man for approval of me if I order what I want or for a spark of courage to order what I truly want... and he is confused because why is this such a hard decision for me?

The waitress leans in and squints her eyes, pen in hand, a tight smile as if she's trying to block out the sounds behind her.

I continue, "I'll have the cheeseburger *remembers article saying that removing the cheese from a cheeseburger saves 100 calories* and so I change my order mid-sentence and say I'll take a regular burger *remembers sad, sad show on Oprah that one time where cows were treated so horribly and I bet the cow in this burger wasn't grass-fed and happy* so I change my order mid-sentence again.

Waitress tilts her head and leans in even closer. Eyes squintier.

I begin to wonder if she has a hearing problem, or if the problem is truly me.

It's me, it's definitely me. I am the problem.

Back to the order: I'll just have a salad.

------------ while the food is being prepared, I hash over my decision in my mind and just know this salad is going to be terrible and I should've ordered the burger like I had originally planned but then I would feel guilty for a plethora of reasons and decide at that moment that I am a vegetarian, again.

When the food arrives, the burger all juicy, and the fries smelling like cheap salt and fun nights, I immediately hate myself.

Why do I always question myself? Why can't I just MAKE A DECISION?

What's wrong with me?

I steal a fry from man's plate.

The salad sits there and stares at me menacingly and cold.

I settle on ordering more wine and greatly wish I was just a different human altogether. I begin to question all things about myself. My belongingness in this world. My worth. It all doesn't matter anymore. The salad agrees with its two cherry tomato eyes and cucumber brows.

Waitress comes back and asks if I want dressing with my salad.

I respond, like a robot: balsamic vinaigrette, please.

I smile because I want her to like me. Does she like me? Does he like me? Does anybody like me? They've probably forgotten about me because I didn't respond to their text messages. I'm so bad at that. It has been days. Maybe a whole week.

Man asks if I am okay, because I'm clearly drifting from reality.

I say, "yes" faster than normal and follow up with a smart comment about the Vikings in the early 2000s, back when they were winning with Dante Culpepper.

He says that he loves Dante Culpepper.

I agree, and then I toss out Randy Moss for good measure.

He agrees that they were the best.

I am now an imposter because I know nothing else about football, this is where it ends like when someone asks if you speak Spanish and you said, "sí, un poco."

And then they start trying to speak to you in Spanish because ya just told them you could, and you have to shyly laugh and tell them that you don't know a lot of Spanish.

They look disappointed.

You try to look cute because that's what you're supposed to be good at... being quiet and cute.

Man is now finished with his burger and fries and Coke. And you haven't taken one bite of your salad. You begin to think about the pasta leftovers in the fridge that you will devour when you get home. All cold and sunken into one another, the noodles and the sauce. Long strips of chicken. It will all be gone.

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