When I was in Ireland, I went slightly mad, but only slightly.
I should reassure you all that it wasn’t a debilitating madness. I wasn’t cowering under the covers waiting for the sun. I wasn’t shaking in an epileptic fit. I wasn’t wearing my clothes inside out or backwards.
Instead, I started feeling loopy which led to a strange sense of freedom. Part of me felt like Hawkeye Pierce on MASH---making jokes and laughing hysterically. Part of me felt like an Elf in Lord of the Rings,, and many times, I uttered all who wander are not lost as we drove around the frozen green landscape (yes, it was really green and frozen).
I began to question where this slight madness came from? Was it because we were moving in and out of overheated rooms into cold fresh air? Was it all the people who thought they knew me but didn’t really which allowed my comic improv training to come into play more than once? Was it. . . .
Let me back up and ground you in a few facts. Over Christmas and New Years, I was in a little town in Ireland with Ryan, my partner/significant other/boyfriend/bestest buddy ever. We stayed at Ryan’s mother’s house near the center of town (and not far from the new shopping centre). Ryan has seven brothers and sisters (he is second youngest) and sixteen nieces and nephews.
Ryan’s family is very nice. There are just a lot of them. They’re like sushi. I love individual pieces of sushi. I can eat all kinds of sushi, but I can’t eat a big enormous platter of sushi in one sitting. Maybe a few pieces for lunch, a few pieces for dinner. Sushi makes me happy. So Ryan’s family is like sushi. I’ll say no more. I’ll let them chew on that simile for a few months---why did she compare us to sushi? Sounds fishy to me.
I should also mention that we did trips to Galway and Dublin. On New Year’s Eve, I took the train into Dublin and walked around by myself for awhile. I found my urban zen, and that was nice. Some people go to nature. I go to cities.
I do have a theory that some of my loopiness came from the food I was eating. I don’t think I’m a picky eater. I will eat anything and I like to eat what the natives are eating. I don’t like to be fussy. I don’t demand a microgreen salad with every meal (although maybe I should have). I like meat and dessert. I don’t fear the heavy cream.
But there were potatoes at every meal. I ate potatoes every single day. Sure, potatoes are a nice comfort food on dark cold days. Still, I couldn’t get over all the potatoes. At some meals, there were several different kinds of potatoes to choose from---mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, potatoes with cheese, potatoes with breadiness. In restaurants, you could even get potatoes (or the fried wedges called chips) with a pasta dish. How many slow burning carbs can one body absorb?
After a week in Ireland, I started to feel the potato. I think that’s when I started going loopy. I approached the dinner table slowly like I was facing a firing squad of more potatoes. I dreamed of leafy green vegetables and humus. Ryan, who at first was happy with meat and potatoes, also started feeling the potato.
Now I realize that I would not be the gym-going, Pilates-loving, green vegetable eating all-American California girl were it not for the potato famine. I can eat a potato. I’ll even throw some butter on it to be sporting. I know potatoes are a good source of fiber, potassium, and Vitamin C and have no fat (until they meet the butter), but I was certain that I was experiencing potato madness.
However, I found that drinking Bulmer’s Cider eased the potato madness. Is this why everyone goes to the pubs? I don’t know. After awhile, I stopped trying to figure it all out and got into a weird feeling of flow like I was riding a neverending wave. And I don’t even surf.
When I googled potato madness back in LA, all I could find was a proposal for a Potato Madness franchise in the Philippines. If you can franchise Potato Madness, how bad could it be?