Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Pizza: the unintentional saviour of the agoraphobic Londoner

It was tangible, you know - the relief felt on finding a forgotten ten pound note lurking underneath my money jar this evening. It's always nice to find cash that you don't realise you have - there's nothing quite like the joy involved in finding a screwed up fiver in your pocket scant moments before it's sent to a watery grave in the washing machine (or the abject horror when half the stray, shredded note is discovered at the drying stage). But for the agoraphobic, or for this one, at least, it represents something extra - the removal of the potential embarrassment at having to pay the pizza delivery boy in twenty-pence pieces because:

a) even though your day started with a trip to A&E (because that's OK - a safe place), you haven't been able to get out to the shops, and your flat contains nothing resembling any sort of food;
b) had you able to get to the cash machine for a less financially embarrassing note, you wouldn't be ordering pizza in the first place. See: A.

If I were to hazard a guess and commit the cardinal sin of issuing a sweeping generalisation, I'd say that the state of mind of the average agoraphobic at any given point in time can be deduced by the quality of their diet. Since today has been particularly trying, it's pizza again tonight for me, purely for the reason that it contains less anxiety-inducing MSG than Chinese food, and because it's easier to vary the toppings and avoid boredom setting in. Tonight, it's meatballs and green pepper, with reduced fat cheese. A cursory nod to nutrition - if it's got something green on it, it can't be all bad - and who knows, it may even contain a vitamin or two.

I sometimes wonder if, when the nice men from Domino's arrive at my door with pizza in hand, they ever stop to consider just why my patronage has been so great recently. Do they think I'm actually addicted to Chicken Strippers? Someone who just eats too much pizza for her own good - a heart attack waiting to happen? Someone who, today, can't manage the two minute trip to the Co-op, or the extended period of time in the kitchen required to cook? Someone currently living in her bedroom, who hasn't been in her lounge, or her kitchen, for three weeks? Someone who's beginning to despise pizza; not because her taste-buds are objecting, or because familiarity breeds contempt, but because each mouthful serves as a reminder of her inability, today, to rise above it?

Of course they don't wonder. To them, I'm just another tip, an unknown quantity, as I am to most, for even in this day and age of enlightenment and tolerance and inclusion in the DDA, it's not something you broadcast, least of all to the pizza delivery boy. Even if all the neighbours, and their painters and decorators, and the binmen, and anyone else in the general vicinity at the time have already seen the paramedics knocking on your door that day.

It's days like this that I thank heavens for London and its diverse range of food delivery services. And yes, while I acknowledge it's not real food, and that a nice hearty home-made soup would be infinitely more beneficial to my current state of mind, a girl's gotta eat.

It also leaves me wondering about those of us who live outside the 4 mile delivery radius - just what do you do when this sets in and the cupboards are bare?

"Agoraphobic Eats Own Arm", perhaps?


Anonymous said...

Just seeing if I can leave comments here, seeing as I don't have a google account.

As I'm claustrophobic and really not agoraphobic at all (apart from the very rare jitter, which I think is normal) I shall read with interest, though probably not have anything particularly interesting to add/discuss.

Sheenagh x

An Unreliable Witness said...



Oh really, this blog was all going so well. And now I am going to have to delink you already.


Pizza Hut all the day. Really.

An Unreliable Typist said...


not day.

Christ on a pedal bike.

Miss Vertigo said...

But Domino's do Chicken Strippers! Or are you commenting on a possible lapse of apostrophe etiquette?!

Anonymous said...

Want to know what I admire the most about you? The fact that, even on your darkest days and no matter how bad you feel, you can usually find at least some small measure of humour in your condition.

I really wish I could do that and I admire and respect that ability more than you can ever know.

*hugs tight*
kharma2815 (who is actually conisdering getting a google account just so she can reply to you properly)

Lady Bracknell said...

"Someone currently living in her bedroom?"

Not just me, then...

I have a rather attractive (if I do say so myself) living room to which I rarely even open the door these days.

And there was me thinking that the only thing which might keep someone from their living room was physical pain. How wrong can you be?

Blogger said...

I have just downloaded iStripper, so I can have the hottest virtual strippers on my taskbar.