Something hilarious happened to me on the way to work today.
I stopped at the gas station on the way to work & bought a HUGE cup of ice. I’m talking the 44-oz, “Big Gulp” cup, but just ice. You see, every morning, I fill a gallon-sized jug with ice, then pour 4 cups of strong-brewed tea over it. Some of the ice melts, diluting the tea, giving me iced tea to drink all day, but also leaving enough ice to crunch all day.
My name is Stacy and I’m a compulsive ice cruncher.
I also carry back and forth with me to work every day an insulated cup in which to pour the ice and tea all day long. But today, I forgot my cup. It wouldn’t be lady-like to drink out of a gallon-sized jug, but by the time I realized I hat forgotten my cup, I was too close to the office to turn around. So, I pulled into the gas station for a cup of “chewy ice” to start my day.
If you are a fellow cruncher, then you already know. If you are not, then you may never know the joy of chomping on frozen water. You may not appreciate the differences — even subtle ones — in ice cubes from chewy ice, to home ice makers, to the bags of ice you purchase at the grocery store. You may never understand the Pavlovian response I have to to a big cup of ice — my mouth waters like yours might in response to a big juicy steak. I can’t explain my DNA.
Personally, I like the chewy ice (or as I call it, rabbit turd ice) the best, but my habit is to purchase a 22-lb bag of ice at the grocery store, knowing it will fill my jug three or 4 times, depending on how much “snacking” I do at night. Yes, I can crunch through 22 pounds of ice in three days.
The medical term for craving things with no nutritional value is pica.
And yes — I’ve heard all the possible explanations for this habit, from sexual frustration to anemia to OCD. Having been turned down several times when attempting to donate blood, mine is probably anemia, exasperated by OCD. Maybe an iron supplement could help me give up the habit if I wanted to stop…which I don’t. It’s my favorite thing to do that doesn’t cost too much and has zero calories.
However, my habit drives my husband absolutely crazy. Yes, my long-suffering husband’s biggest pet peeve is mouth noises, the most annoying of which is ice crunching. I really try not to crunch in his presence, but it’s hard. You’ve heard of Newton’s third law of motion, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction?” Well, it also applies in our marriage. As much as I love to crunch ice, David wants to smack me when I do!
Anyway…back to this morning. As I placed my cup on the counter and said, “Just this cup of ice, please,” the clerk asked if I wanted a soft drink, too. But I explained to him that I am a compulsive ice cruncher & the ice is all I wanted.
The woman at the register next to me overheard and felt compelled to chime in.
“Oh, my daughter is an ice cruncher! You realize that is just terrible for your teeth right?”
She went on to explain to me (as if I didn’t know) that many people find that habit very annoying, too.
That’s when I noticed…
She was buying a carton of Marlboro.