In which the author learns how to order pizza

So here's a confession: until Friday, I had never ordered a pizza.

The most obvious reason was the eating disorder. If you could come up with the biggest "fear food," it was pizza. I did eat pizza during treatment and during refeeding, but it was never ever my idea. In the past year or so, I have eaten pizza over at friend's houses and at work functions and so on, but again: never my idea. I never made the call.

Another contributing factor was the fact that I went to college in a really small town where there weren't many options for pizza delivery. My friends and I just never really got into that. Most of us had our own little stashes in our dorms, or we had eating disorders (see above paragraph).

When I was much younger, pizza was something my mom usually made. We did order pizza sometimes, but I never made the call. I hate talking on the phone and making phone calls--an interesting fear for a freelance journalist, but there you have it--so I always let someone else take care of that.

This past Friday, however, Laura Collins and her 11-year-old son* came for a visit. Seeing as I was just getting home from work and wouldn't have time to cook, Laura suggested we order pizza. It was a good solution, so I said okay. As I was thinking about what to order, which was probably more accurately described as "obsessing," I realized that I had never called and ordered a pizza.

I'm almost 30, and I've never ordered a pizza. How incredibly weird.

So on Friday evening, I got to savor some of the most freeing words in the English language: "Hi, I'd like to order some pizza..."

And the pizza was pretty good, too!

*He liked Aria. Aria liked him. It went well. :)

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Just Eat It! said...

Pizza almost tops the list of my fear foods. I relate to this post on many levels, except that I have ordered pizza in the past. I haven't had pizza since the days when I was in the hospital. I'm thinking I should branch out and call up Dominoes (or start small and get some Digiorno).

I think it's interesting that you mentioned the phone thing. I thought it was just me. My friends hate me for it, but I literally cannot talk on the phone. In this day and age, I'm the only teenager who doesn't like to talk on the phone.

Tiptoe said...

Yeah to new experiences! Sometimes I find it amazing some of the stuff I've never done that many other people my age already have.

In general, I think pizza isn't an easy food for those with EDs. I've certainly had my hang ups about it and these days eat it maybe once or twice a year. It's never my preferred choice. I think the positive thing is even if it isn't our choice, we still "allow" ourselves to have it. Hopefully, we feel okay with that too.

Kim said...

Pizza is one food that made it off my "fear foods" list pretty fast. I don't know why, but I'm grateful. I love it. I eat pizza at least once a week. Ordering it is somehow empowering -- I know what you mean. I love the ordering online option :)

Lisa said...

When I started restricting, I would get cravings for pizza that practically knocked me over. I'd always loved pizza, but it just wasn't "worth it."

Nowadays I rarely eat pizza at restaurants, but nearly every time I visit home my mother makes her wonderful, wonderful homemade pizza. Because it's special and she made it, it isn't scary.

I'm glad you enjoyed your pizza and I hope your visit with Laura is a lot of fun!

Laura Collins said...

It was a lovely dinner and Carrie made the most yummy fudgy peanut buttery brownie bars...

An honor to share a milestone with you!

I have the phone thing, too. Email was TOTALLY invented for me - I avoid the phone!

Carrie Arnold said...

That is the one good thing about being a science journalist- most of the people I talk to have the "phone thing" too, so I can do my initial contacts via email and feel so much more comfortable when I finally do pick up the phone. I have no problem talking to close friends and family on the phone, but strangers? Nuh-uh.

I've been eating pizza for a good while, but it's especially freeing to order it myself.

Anonymous said...

I only ordered pizza for the first time recently as well. But I ordered it online...does that count ;)

Carrie Arnold said...

Damn skippy it does!

Sarah said...

Gosh, I have the phone thing too! It actually interferes with my life in a negative way since I sometimes don't call to order my medications or call when a bill is wrong-- I'd rather go without the meds or pay the extra money than talk on the phone and wait on hold. I think they might bank on that, come to think of it...a good (though unethical) business strategy...

Luckily, my husband reluctantly takes care of phone things for me most of the time. He even called my grad school recently to clear up a misunderstanding about my registration status. I had tried calling and they were rude and asked me a lot of questions in a rapid-fire fashion. Instead of maturely responding and feeling entitled to assistance when calling "the financial aid" office (the nerve of me, wanting aid from an aid office!) I inexplicably started crying and hung up overwhelmed. When he called, they fixed the problem right away, although I'm sure they wondered why I wasn't the one calling.

Ironically, I used to be a telephone counselor for a tobacco quitline!

I am so glad I'm not the only one with this problem! It makes me feel like less of a spaz/pathetic adult.

:) Congrats on your pizza. It's on my fear list as well. I'm really comfortable with certain frozen/homemade ones, but when it comes to a "big chain" or ordering out, I get terrified. I blogged about this about two months ago when I majorly flipped about the idea of going on a double date to a pizza place. However, exposure therapy works--after my terrifying "night at the pizza joint," I've had even scarier pizza at a youth group event and, unprompted, I ate 2 pieces. Go figure! I love hearing about other people's milestones though so thanks for sharing.

Laur said...

oooooo, I want to come have pizza and dessert with you!

I am phone phobic as well!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your post, and in particular, I am glad to see I am far from the only person in the world who hates the phone. I will go to great lengths to avoid making, or taking, a phone call... and I am an attorney!

On the other topic, I never even KNEW there was such a thing as a college town without lots of pizza! How did you survive in such a place? So, while pizza is without a doubt my favorite "food group", I, too, avoid ordering by phone. I'll actually drive to a local pizza joint and order and WAIT, or pop a Trader Joe's frozen one (imported from Italy!) into the oven.


IrishUp said...

We call the phone thing phonaphobia. Anxiety issues seem to run in the women in my family and we all have phonaphobia to some degree. Growing up, the argument over whose turn it was to order the pizza could go on for hours ;)!

It's just sooo easy to project into that great big scary place between picking up the phone to ring the number, and the person answering on the other side, isn't it?

Carrie Arnold said...


There were two pizza places, but one of them was a national chain that I've never had a good experience with. It was a small college in a small town! And dorm living leaves no room for proper freezers, nor was there a Trader Joe's within 500 miles at that time and place (10 years ago now!).


Perusing the website has kind of helped me with the phonaphobia because I've realized I cannot possibly be the dumbest person they've talked to today. But be warned- the site is a little addictive! :)

IrishUp said...

LOL! That is EXACTLY the secret worry I have! I'll have to check out that site.

I do much better with my phonaphobia now than say, when I was in college and I'd actually delay making needed doctor & dentist appts. I will admit to still arguing with my sisters endlessly about who'll order the pizza when I visit them, tho!

A:) said...

Excellent post Carrie! -- Come to think of it, I don't think I have ever actually ordered a pizza -- my parents have ordered it, the program I was in at the time ordered it -- but I've never actually had reason to pick up the phone and call.

Hmmmm :) Maybe it's not as strange as you think -- but great job!


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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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