Every once in a while, my husband will come home from a long day at the office and casually mention that he forgot to eat lunch. He says this in passing, without any sense of emergency or alarm, and without raiding the pantry for any morsel of caloric sustenance.
Every time this happens, I stare at him with both pity and disbelief. What?! How could you just forget to eat? Who are these people who don’t go into some kind of panic mode when they’ve been deprived of fat and carbs for three hours? Seriously. How does that even happen? Do you not turn into a hangry, growling beast alerting not just you, but everyone within a 15-foot radius, that you need some carbs stat?
Because, believe me, when I’m hungry, I know it. Hell, everyone knows it.
In fact, I probably owe more than a few apologies. Forgive me for the things I said when I was hungry. But there’s a reason some of us become a little unhinged when we’re hungry. It’s science, folks.
According to Simon Oxenham, a scientist with a weekly column at New Scientist, our blood glucose level drops when we’re hungry, which increases levels of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. As a result, we become irritated AF and have a harder time concentrating. In other words, little things like manners go out the window.
So, yes, I’m sorry for the things I said when I was hungry. But it wasn’t my fault — it’s cortisol and adrenaline’s fault.
If, like me, you can get a little…well, stabby when you’re hungry, you’re not alone. The struggle is real. In fact, a study asked married couples to stick pins into voodoo dolls representing their loved ones as a reflection of how angry they felt toward them. As blood sugar levels dropped, the number of pins stuck in the dolls increased. In other words, hunger literally makes us stabby.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. French fries and chocolate are surefire ways of making me human again, but when I’m hangry, I’ll eat just about anything. A kale salad that tastes like cardboard will even suffice (at least until I can locate the nearest McDonald’s).
The responsible adult thing to do would be to carry healthy snacks in my purse, but…well, adulting is hard and sometimes I forget to pack an emergency stash until I’m screaming at the driver in the car next to me or snapping at the telemarketer who just offered me a free trip to the Bahamas if I sign up for some bullshit credit card. Back off, robot lady. BACK THE FUCK OFF.
Pretty soon I’m cussing up a storm about the prevalence of junk mail, my kids’ incessant bickering, the shitshow that is American politics lately, and about a million other things that have me FED THE FUCK UP.
Now if you’ll excuse me, clearly I’m in need of some simple carbs and cheese. And forgive my ALL CAPS SWEARING. It wasn’t my fault; it’s those pesky hunger hormones and all. The hanger is real, even science backs me up on this.