Earlier today, 56-year-old Katherine Yasui called her daughter Joanna just to say hello. But the mother and daughter didn’t chat for long before their phone conversation simply became an exhaustive list of everything Joanna ate that day.
“Hm, I’m still moving into my new apartment, but I’m traveling to San Diego next week with my firm for a project, so that’s exciting,” said Joanna. “I also fell running up the stairs. Can we talk about any one of those things instead of just what I ate?”
Yasui listened intently to her daughter’s updates before deciding no, she didn’t want to talk about anything else, though acceptable alternatives included whether or not Joanna usually ate out or cooked at home, where she liked to go when she did eat out, and if she’d watched that Youtube tutorial for stovetop lasagna Yasui kept sending her.
“I always think about how you’re so grown up and living far away now, and I can’t help but wonder, are you eating three meals a day? And if so, what exactly are they? List every ingredient,” said Yasui who forgot as soon as she was told and will likely call to ask again tomorrow.
At this point, the conversation between Yasui and and her daughter simply devolved into a total rundown of what Joanna had eaten in the last 24 hours.
“Fig bar, a bowl of instant oatmeal, carrot sticks,” said Joanna. “What do you mean, ‘Is that all I had for breakfast?’ That’s three things. Anyways, I bought a blazer on sale at Banana Republic today. Do you want to talk about that?”
Though Yasui sometimes calls to tell Joanna she doesn’t dress up enough, she felt her interest today could only be piqued by an accurate, thorough account of everything her daughter ingested since this morning up until now.
“Fine, I’ll tell you,” Joanna finally acquiesced. “We don’t have to talk about anything else. I’ll list everything I ate.” At which point she listed items for her mother to either accept or pass on in the style of an X Factor judge.
Among the things Joanna ate today, she listed: broccoli, salt and vinegar kettle chips, Sriracha-flavored vegetable straws, soba noodles, her roommate’s pretzel sticks, a chicken caprese salad, a handful of pistachios, strawberries, just hummus without any pita bread, pan-seared tuna, a Pop-Tart she found in an old backpack, mint gelato and a gumdrop off the floor.
Yasui was completely riveted by the eclectic list of things her offspring had wilfully chosen to put in her body.
“You like tuna though? I didn’t know you liked tuna,” Yasui says, mulling over the one food item she’d never seen her daughter eat before. “Well, if you like tuna so much I’ll buy it in bulk from Costco,” she said, ensuring that Joanna would eat it for dinner every single night the next time she visited her mother.
Toward the end of their phone call Joanna could be overheard listing everything she planned on eating tomorrow, then promising to cook at home more even though she doesn’t own a knife set or bowls.