Ramen Saved My Life

sorabji.com: Have you ever gone hungry?: Ramen Saved My Life

Margret on Monday, February 15, 1999 - 02:24 pm:

    When I moved from the teeny pseudo-rural town in Ohio in which I attended college to the Big City for Grad. School, I had no source of income and one credit card I wasn't very successful at charging with. The first week I hit the Big City I stocked up on Ramen, and got a loaf of bread and some cheese and some condiments -- thinking to totally fill the larder later. For a month and a half my stipend didn't come through, and after my initial purchase of food I was SOL creditcard-wise (oops!), so for a month and a half I had one package of Ramen a day, and for the first 10 days or so I had with that feast one slice of hotpepper cheese between two pieces of wheat bread and a little circle of mustard. At this time, however, I was also starving in my soul -- I had not made any new friends and my friends in Ohio were getting bored with me calling and being miserable and my mom was pretty upset about the long-distance bills I ran up on her calling card (to be used for emergencies only). And so I ended up dating one of the meanest-spirited most pretentious assholes I've ever met, because he was the only person to actively befriend me and because he said that we couldn't continue to be friends because he was too attracted to me and it wasn't mutual. I was so lonely! And...for a couple of weeks until my $ started to trickle...he also fed me.

By Cyst on Monday, February 15, 1999 - 05:07 pm:

    I think I am just going to keep talking and talking.

    that makes me so pissed when guys who like you refuse to be your friends because they're attracted to you. give me a fucking break. I mean, I understand if a guy doesn't want to be buddies anymore after you break up with him, but someone who's just your pal.

    that's really only happened to me once that I can recall, though, but it makes me really angry. he started ignoring me. one day he's supposedly in love with me and the next he won't return my calls -- what the fuck?

    I just have a hard time with that good-enough-to-be-your-girlfriend-but-not-just-your-friend thing.

By Whet on Monday, February 15, 1999 - 09:22 pm:

    Hey, this is supposed to be about ramen noodles!
    not whining about men that can never do it right, no matter what - the basic problem seeming to be that whenever a guy, *any* guy does something thats not exactly what the woman wants, THEN there's trouble. And it has to be the right guy, not the wrong guy, cause its ok for THIS guy to like me but not THAT guy, and I wish THIS guy would pay attention to me, but I wish THAT guy would leave me the hell alone, and its ok for him to do THIS but not THAT, unless its like THIS, and no man can EVER figure out what the combination seems to be and the only reason I'd bring it up is some commercial i just saw (and i'm not particulairly jumping on you guys or any other women here, actually just i'm tired and my head hurts so i'm bitchy and surviving on ramen noodles reminds me of a past time in my life that was not pleasant at all, hence the mood also, cause there are a hella lot of guys out there that are complete assholes, and i'm surprised the guy didn't tell you if you wanted food you had to put out or something deal for meal and it seems women have a tendency to 'date' assholes at some point in their life or another, that is so difficult for a nice guy to figure out why women would even WANT to date a guy that would treat her like that, when a nice guy was available, but apparantly not close enough to the 'right stuff' for her to go out with him, but anyhoo, this commercial for an episode of 'Rosanne' on tv was the young guy being told to apologize to the girl just cause he was supposed to, didn't matter if he was right or wrong he had to apologize cause he was the guy - so yada yada on to Ramen noodles.

    i used to get the huge warehouse/wholesale gross packages, all shrinkwrapped into a monster cube.

    broke up the noodles before opening the package, pouring them into a big cup of water, (same cup used for soup, for mixed drinks, for water, just about for anything cause the entire kitchen had to fit into a dresser drawer with socks n such cause they didn't allow cooking in the building, also tossed in the 'flavor' pack - mostly salt n msg, but still quite a blast compared to plain noodles. then microwaving the entire works (actually how i do it now - before didn't own a microwave, only a single burner SEARS 'table range' like its supposed to make you feel better knowing you have a 'table range' as opposed to a fuckin cheap ass hotplate, and you hope to heaven that no one else on the floor is cooking so you don't trip the breaker throwing the entire floor of the building into darkness and i STILL have that same sears hotplate, but now its old and you have to be careful cause it will electrocute you through some thin places in the coil somehow - not bad bad electrocute just the kind that surprises you and hurts if you're wet and leaning against something metal and grounded and stick a fork into something in a metal pan on the hotplate making a complete circuit,,,,, currently in mah pantry having some no name, if there is such a beast as no name ramen noodles in the pantry (what IS the real thing - i mean who makes the real ramen noodles??, pork, beef, and seafood? what does a seafood taste like - never had a bottle of seasoning before that just said 'seafood', is that anything like 'meat' flavoring, just with a fishy smell??? heh not preparing it the way the instructions say, about boiling water, adding noodles until they soften, stopping to stir n break them up, ultimately adding the flavor package, then allowing to simmer another 3 minutes. gimme a fuckin break. its NOT gormet, its ramen noodles, and if I could have afforded anything better, even PEANUT butter i would have been eating that, so don't gimme detailed instructions on how to COOK them, when really i was so hungry most of the time i'd start eating the dried cake of noodles and trying to sprinkle the flavor pack on my tongue, but it was too strong with the msg and would burn out yer tastebuds if you did it too often, and most of the time you needed something at least WARM to eat since the building was so friggin cold in winter, oy :P

    shit. don't know if everyone out there knows about government packaged food but some of my family has got it before during hard times so I know bout it (hunka hunka government cheese etc) - its the same deal with the picture (like on the flavor packet) of a cow or pig or chicken or apple, whatever's inside the can in case you can't read, but there's one BIG difference - the government food is always totally cooked, ready to eat right out of the can. like a king sized MRE but just one flavor.

    and its good. better than ramen noodles.

    but I still eat ramen noodles.
    I think they put in the same chemical as used in poptarts. addictive toxic treat fer sure.

By Margret on Monday, February 15, 1999 - 09:48 pm:

    ummm....ok, just one point about the starving soul thing: i didn't really dig this guy, and he eventually turned out to be the COMPLETE asshole (with just a dash of physical violence which he blamed on me for making him so mad after I dumped him and he tried to "logic" me out of it -- nothing major, just slamming me against a wall, which terrified the living shit out of me but I made sure never to open the door to him again unless there were other people present), but he was cute and smart and dressed well and his attention was really flattering and I was indescribably lonely. Sigh. So I dated him until my initial reservations proved accurate (just a tip for guys: if you're dating a woman and you use or have used condoms, buy a new stash to cheat because we ALWAYS know how many are left).
    OK, on to the Ramen. Now, I always ignore the directions, too. I like my noodles mushy, so I cook them for longer than strictly appropriate. And the flavor is too concentrated if you add it after they're cooked and drained, so I add it in the water as they're boiling. Sometimes, I'm not in the mood for the flavor, just salt -- so I set aside the seasonings and salt the cooked noodles. And during my time of absolute poverty I learned that if you break the noodles up before cooking so they're pretty bit-sized, and then let them drain REALLY well, they don't make a 1/2 bad sandwich.
    As for government food, I've never gotten the kind they pawn off on people unfortunate enough to need them. But when I was in 2nd grade my mom was in the hospital for a month (it was pretty scary, since they didn't tell us wtf was up and I only later found out it was cervical cancer and she was getting the complete hysterectomy) and my dad was supposed to be feeding us...and he only knew how to do four things: dairy queen (yummers), spam sauteed in honey and mustard he mixed to taste (blechhh), corned beef hash cooked with egg right in it and a dash of soy sauce for flavor (blechhh) and c-rations. The c-rations were pretty cool, because my dad took 'em down to the crawl space and cooked 'em with a coleman stove and had me and my little brother play "black market" and trade him our chocolate wafer things (which smelled and tasted WAY OFF to us) for his chicklets. It was cool.

By R.C. on Monday, February 15, 1999 - 10:51 pm:

    I never understood how the guvamint cd be giving away 'Welfare cheese' when folks who were legitimately entitled to Welfare never seemed to have enuf food to make it thru the month.

    Did the cows suddenly unionize & cause their milk production to skyrocket back in the 1980's or what?

    As for what happend to Cyst: She apparently had the bad fortune to come within radar range of One of Those Types -- i.e. People Who Sense Needniness & Prey Upon It. (Few creatures on earth are more vunerable than a hungry, peniless human in a strange city.) They come in both genders & all colors. But when Cyst had sense enuf to pay attention to this guy's behavior & realized she didn't wanna knock boots/he realized his hand had been peeped. So he tried the old physical intimidation trick -- nothing you cd press charges for/no marks or bruises/just showing her who's in charge. The female version of this trick is emotional overload -- sob stories late at nite abt some guy who's doing her wrong vs. how great you are to her/which lead to tearful embraces /followed by passionate lovemaking. Three weeks later/all her shit in yr crib/her mail is arriving at yr house/& Mr. Wrong is lurking outside yr doorway. (But hey -- at least you aren't lonely anymore, right fellas?)

    But it didn't work w/Cyst & she didn't get played.

    Men like that are one step above the guys who hang out at the Port Authority trolling for runaways getting off the bus from Smalltown USA.

    Some people can smell vunerability & desperation like a bloodhound scenting a fox. In most cases/they move to L.A. & become agents or producers. But some are cunning enough to maintain their Average Guy/Girl garb/hide their cellhphones/& remain on the East Coast -- thus increasing the odds of a successful hunt/even among the most wiley prey.

    Boys & girls -- 'tis a is a jungle out there.

By Markus on Tuesday, February 16, 1999 - 11:50 am:

    The 'gummint cheese' was a result of federal dairy price supports. USDA was buying so much milk to keep the price up (thus jacking up basic food prices for everyone, including the poor, for the benefit of a tiny group disproportionately filled with millionaires), that they had to make it into cheese for storage reasons. Which they then distributed on the basis of need through the welfare system. There is still a massive underground storage cave near Kansas City filled with cheese, among other things.

    This is only the simple version; the whole program is a nice example of the unintended consequences and economic distortion that occur when the government tries to implement just one small policy.

By Cyst on Tuesday, February 16, 1999 - 07:58 pm:

    I think you confused my boring story with margret's interesting one, r.c.

    I don't think I've eaten government food, but I have eaten mormon-issue food. their apple-pear sauce is pretty good.

    (I would also like to take this opportunity to point out that the u.s. sort of screwed ukraine over by donated scads of grain to russia this winter. ukraine could have given russia the food in exchange for natural gas or debt relief. the u.s. just needed to provide a consumer for american farmers, as we had too much. anyway.)


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