Mental Accounting / by Susie Lubell

Well I went to the doctor today because I'm sick. Again. I hacked up a green glob this morning that could have been a spoonful of wasabi. It was that green. And that solid. And I've been trying to stay well because we have some trips coming up. I've been squirting salt water up my nose and out my mouth which, if you've never done this, is really awful but does open up the nasal passages. Unless you have total nasal blockage and then water just sprays everywhere including out your ears because it has no where else to go. So I went to see my doctor. And she said just what I wanted her to say. You have a sinus infection. Go get this prescription filled. Because usually I'd just wait it out. Steam my head a few times a day. Spray some grapefruit seed extract up the old schnoz. But I am driving to my mom's (7 hours) with my kids on Monday and then we're all flying to Santa Fe a week later, so I can't risk it.

And thank god she gave me that prescription and made no mention of the five pounds I'd gained. Um, is your scale off? Yes, five pounds. I suddenly had visions of myself on whoever is replacing Oprah talking about how I didn't even notice that I was suddenly four hundred pounds because it just came on five pounds at a time.

After, I went home to get some work done, all the while thinking, where the hell did those five pounds come from? Maybe it's the bowl of cereal I eat every night at 10:00? Maybe I should exercise more than once a month? Those thoughts somehow stimulated my bowel. And I started thinking, that's a good two pounder right there. So really I only gained three pounds. And then I started thinking about how much my huge hooded sweater and bootcut jeans weigh - maybe a pound or more. The hood and extra fabric for the bootcut make the outfit very weighty, you know. And then I hacked up some more wasabi. Quarter pound at least. So then I didn't feel so bad. I had only gained like one pound, when you round down. Which I do. And since it's Hanukkah and I've been eating only fried food for the last six days, I feel like that's actually pretty good.

Then after I picked up my kids we went to Walmart to fill my prescription and I felt even better since most people there are twice my size. Which is why I had no qualms inhaling this giant potato, onion and green bean omelet for lunch (otherwise known as "leftovers omelet"). I mean the bottle says must take with food. I'm just following directions. It also says, follow with Nutella chaser. Swear to god.

What kind of mental accounting are you doing this holiday season?