Did I ask for Greek yogurt, toasted almonds, and cherries? Or did I ask for Greek yogurt, toasted almonds, and BERRIES? I’m fairly certain I asked for the latter–and no, sir, they are not “basically the same.”
So we’re walking down the west side, right? From Chelsea to the West Village. Me, my mom, my aunt, my other aunt, my other other aunt, my sister, and cousins A & B. We’re en route to Bar Bolonat, a “stylish, minimalist place serving modern takes on Israeli fare plus creative cocktails & sangria,” which has been recommended by a family friend. He lives large, so we take his word.
The gang is hungry. All they’ve had are shots of yogurt from their hotel lobby.
I, however, have had breakfast. A bagel. A toasted whole wheat bagel with tomatoes, sprouts, and tofu cream cheese. Plus a cold brew with a splash of oat milk. In my head, this is the difference:
Bella Florence doesn’t eat bagels. And not only has Bella Florence eaten a bagel, but she is about to consume a second meal with a group of people who have barely ingested a first. Meaning Bella Florence will be in the lead by two times the calories.
That can’t do.
But, it does.
So we walk.
And we walk.
And we walk, and we reach Bar Bolonat.
And lo and behold, Bar Bolonat is closed.
Nevertheless, we persist.
We walk another block and hunker down inside the Bus Stop Cafe, a cute red-awning’ed joint on the corner of Hudson and Bethune. They’re mobbed, so we get two tables, and I’m a kid once more.
I whip open a menu. I haven’t had fruit today. And normally my breakfast consists of fruit. In fact, I’ve hardly had fruit in weeks. These past 8 weeks I’ve been living in a dorm, barely unpacked, grabbing pre-made fare from coffee shops and dining halls.
No, no, no, she has GOT to do better!
So rather than order a high-protein lunch, I get a sweet breakfast: a yogurt parfait. I ask for Greek yogurt + almonds + berries, and the waiter is happy to oblige. But soon it arrives, and I swear to god, I’m staring at a fucking ice cream sundae.
“Yogurt and cherries?” the waiter asks.
“Mmm… you’ve got the wrong table. I had yogurt and berries.”
But it’s mine, he insists. It’s the same fucking thing.
What am I supposed to do, send it back? The old Bella would. The old Bella has. Far too many times. But this is the new Bella. The recovered Bella. And Bella doesn’t want to put the waiter out. Nor does she want to embarrass her family or set a poor example for her cousins and sister. Quite simply, she doesn’t want to give into her eating disorder.
So she adjusts. And she eats it. And it tastes pretty good. Who knew cherries could be so sweet?
“You know something,” she says, “I’ve actually never had cherries.”
“No way,” says her sister. “You’ve never tried a cherry?”
“Nope. Never,” Bella replies.
“Well, those aren’t exactly cherries,” says Cousin A. “They’re maraschino cherries.”
And suddenly I want to die.
The straw has broken the camel’s back.
Was past this.
I’d like to say more.
To share what happened next.
But Recovered Bella is just too crushed.