Few things make me want to sob with joy and vomit simultaneously. Weddings are one of these things.

Awww. (shudder)

The time is upon me—everyone I know is starting to get married. There have already been a few—I was a bridesmaid at my college room-mate’s wedding in June—but within the next 5 years I suspect I will be getting a plethora of lace-trimmed invitations in the mail reminding me that everyone I know is much more advanced in life than I am. And the worst part about the invitations? Aside from the fact that I will again be that weird single friend drinking too much in the corner and sobbing during the ceremony because despite my strange fear of getting married I am a hopeless romantic? The little card that comes with the invitation requiring me to check “chicken” or “fish” (or steak or whatever omnivorous things are being offered).

I went as the “Plus One” to a wedding this past weekend, and despite it being a ton of fun—the (pregnant) bride mooned us, tongued her groom inappropriately at every occasion, and her grandmother did shots of tequila—the food situation was incredibly awkward. A buffet situation is much easier to maneuver than a sit-down dinner, because I would feel uncomfortable making any sort of special request—it’s not my day to wear white and have everyone stare at me. Since I knew this wedding was a pretty fancy schmancy sit-down affair, I assumed I would be able to eat nothing, so I brought a ton of snacks which I ate in the car like a half-starved squirrel. At  dinner, the waiter—who spoke no English, I believe he was some sort of eastern European—asked if I wanted filet mignon or monkfish. I said neither, and nicely explained that I wouldn’t be eating dinner, because I don’t eat meat. He blinked at me a few times and walked away. When he brought me soup—lobster bisque—I again said “no, thank you.” I tried not to be disrespectful; I know it can be offensive when someone doesn’t want to eat your food. Again, I explained I don’t eat meat. Or dairy! We got a bit lost in translation; him gesturing wildly at the empty place setting in front of me, me seriously considering taking my glass of wine and  hibernating under the skirt of the white linen tablecloth until the meal was over. Eventually he asked me if he could bring me some juice…At least I think that is what he said, because I said yes but no juice ever appeared. Just more wine. And champagne. And wine. And…

After watching this awkward exchange of conversation, the friend sitting next to me suggested that perhaps I should learn an obscure language so if I ever find myself in a similar situation again, I can begin babbling in Papiamento so the affronter will leave me alone. And then the dapper gentleman on the other side of me–a complete stranger, mind you–said “so, you’re one of those vegans huh?” Yep, I replied. “Like Hitler…” was his response. Oy Vey! (Also Hitler was a vegetarian not a vegan so hah, I win.)

So tell me your awkward social situations? What kind of food do you keep in your purse/man-purse to eat like a weird socially awkward rodent? Have you ever been to a ceremony where the vows included the line “I take you, biggest pain in the ass I have ever met…?” I have. Do you cry at weddings? I do I do I do.

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Everyone else is eating cheese (image by graur razvan ionut)

I am a pretty awkward person. I make awkward jokes and references to things nobody else understands, and then I laugh at them alone. On Friday I was at the bank next to my office where I go to deposit my whopping free-lance checks during lunch, and the teller tried to chat me up. I drool over him every time I go in there, partially because he is a fox (he looks some sort of juicy middle-eastern ethnicity), and because he is rocking a wedding ring so that makes him completely off limits. So he starts making small talk. Probably he was just being friendly, but it made me nervous anyways. “So you work around here?” he said. “yes, do you?” I responded. To THE BANK TELLER. He then looked at me like I had something hanging out of my nose. (I probably did.)

Right before that, as I was heading out to do my bank errands/make an ass out of myself in front of saucy teller, my boss reminded me to be back by 2:30 as we are having Flying Saucers for a coworker’s birthday. “Great, I won’t miss that!” I said. “Even though I will just be standing around awkwardly while you all eat your ice-cream and repetitively ask why I am not partaking!” I continued. “Veganism is so socially awkward sometimes,” I finished. Luckily, my boss laughed (she at least pretends I am funny).

Real talk: Unless I am surrounded by other vegans, I usually feel sort of awkward turning down food. I do it anyways, but usually I feel a bit of judgement coming my way. I have found that veganism makes people nervous, as if I am judging them–I am not, I swear! I don’t sit around saying “DO YOU KNOW WHAT THEY DO TO PIGS/WHAT IS IN YOUR MILK/HOW MANY BYCATCH SEA CREATURES DIE SO YOU CAN EAT THAT SPICY TUNA ROLL?” so I hate when I hear “but like, how do you get your protein/no wonder you’re so skinny/What about cheese?!”

So, yeah, office food parties are always awkward for me. I have only been here about 4 months, so I wonder what will happen in April when my birthday rolls around–assuming I last that long and don’t get fired because of the contents of my browser history (Friday on my lunch break I spent 40 minutes reading up on gimps and BDSM for my gimp post…). What? I was on lunch!

Any other vegans ever feel awkward about their vegan status? I want to hear your awkward vegan moments! Or just awkward moments in general…I once tried to get a pen out of my purse in class and accidentally flung a tampon at the boy next to me. It hit him in the face.

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Someone isn't getting enough b12!

Following a vegan diet can have a plethora of health boons. If done correctly, these benefits can include lowered cholesterol, lowered risks for certain cancers and  diseases like cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer and diabetes. The diet can aid weight loss, bolster energy levels and sex drive and reduce depression. Eating a vegan diet and following a vegan lifestyle (supporting nothing that has come from or been tested on animals) is environmentally friendly and can reduce your carbon footprint. Of course, there will always be opposing viewpoints to any lifestyle, and if not done correctly, a vegan diet — like any diet— can have some serious tolls on the body and mind.

A vegetarian for the past 7 years, and a vegan for going on 1 1/2, I considered myself to be pretty healthy. I love vegetables and pile

Leafy greens, like Kale, are rich in b12 and iron

my plate high with greens, whole grains and protein daily. I thought I was doing pretty good. I had a bottle of b12 supplements, but I only took them when I remembered, which sometimes was less than once a week. An avid runner who likes to practice yoga and eat endless amounts of swiss chard, I felt like I was pretty healthy.

A few months ago my right hand began occasionally going numb. The first time it occurred I happened to be running, and ended up attributing it to that. No biggie. When my feet started tingling and going numb occasionally throughout the day, I blamed it on the fact that my job requires me to sit at a desk 6-8 hours a day. Could be worse. It wasn’t until a scare I had last weekend that I would admit something was seriously wrong.

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We don't all look this depressed...

In case you weren’t already aware, some people think that dating a vegan is a pretty big deal. Many meat-munchers probably have nightmares about their significant others jumping on the leafy green train — my own boyfriend was quite startled when I made the big move from vegetarian to vegan. “But..what about when we go out to eat? What about the ice-cream!?!” he asked with sheer panic in his voice.

Looking around online, there are many resources for dating a vegan if you still enjoy a bloody, I mean, juicy steak. At veganmeat.com you can learn that vegans are not merely strange tofu guzzling creatures but in fact just as loving (if not more so) than any other being. You will also learn that there are two different kinds of vegans, those who can respect your meaty mindset and those who can’t. You will also learn that the author can’t spell “those.” eHow.com lends some informative advice on how to date a vegan. Some key pointers include respect their choices, get your back-ground info straight and don’t bombard your partner with questions or criticisms about their lifestyle. Gee, sort of sounds like some pretty sound advice for all kinds of dating, meaty or not.

If you are a vegan and can’t seem to find the right animal-loving counterpart, there are resources for that too, including VeganPassions.comVeggieDate.org and VeganDating.org. The last site has a lovely header photo of a man feeding a woman a carrot..whoa, sign me up!

When it comes down to it, some vegans are super hard-core and may not even consider getting down with a non-vegan. Others, myself included, would love to find someone they can be veganamorous with, but wouldn’t call it a deal-breaker if their guy or gal eats meat. Just like I would hate being judged for my dietary choices, I try not to harass my boyfriend about his — although I won’t kiss him after he eats hotdogs. That particular flavor lingers for hours, and a girl has gotta draw the line somewhere, vegan or no vegan.

My final words of wisdom on dating a vegan:

  • Be upfront and honest. Don’t gag down endless Tofurkey burgers and pretend to be down with it. It will only make you resentful.
  • Find out wether or not it bothers your mate if you eat meat in front of them. If it does, plan your carnivorous eating when you’re out of eyesight.
  • Be sensitive, but don’t compromise your needs. Don’t wear the leather jacket around your date if you know it makes their insides turn, but don’t kick your leather sofa to the curb.

Another question about vegan lovin’ that is propositioned with an odd rate of frequency: can vegans swallow? eeeew. I will let Yahoo Answers tackle that question for you…

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While puttering around on veganporn.com last night — what, I read it for the articles, I swear!— I found a post that linked vegans to penis size. The author Jason (who I think is super funny and is the type of person I wish I could hang out with) really was just linking a study done by condomania that rates states according to the size of the penises that reside within (and how does one conduct a study like that, I wonder) to the vegan-friendlyness of the state by way of vegan restaurants and stores. Even he admits it is probably not the most effective study, and he also notes that because there are way more vegan women than men it sort of hinders things..since..you know, women don’t have penises…. Still an interesting post.

Now with some super sexual photos of women eating fruit…to keep up with the sexy vegan spirit…Don’t Google that though unless you want to find anything BUT pictures of women eating fruit.

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