While we at QSG completely disagree with our “friend’s” opinion, and while we also might have just lost a friend, we present to you our first guest post about the dark side of being an accomplice to a food blogger.
7 utterly unbearable things about being friends with a food blogger
By Ayswarya Murthy
Now, I know I have a propensity for theatrics. I don’t deny it. But this isn’t idle exaggeration…you’ll see…
I don’t know exactly how long it has been. Surely, not more than a year. Surely. But then again maybe I am trapped in some kind of hellish time-warp where the ticking seconds and the changing seasons have lost all meaning; maybe it has actually been several millennia since my friend (for the sake of preserving her anonymity, let’s call her ‘Shereen’) uttered those fateful words – “I think I will start a food blog”.
It’s funny; you’d think I would remember the exact moment that this great disturbance in the force occurred. Like how everyone knows where they were on 9/11. But apparently I had let this statement slide with a mere “Oh. Ah. Good for you” or something like that, not knowing the insidious effect this was going to have on my life. I should have made other friends. I should have moved. I should have faked my death and disappeared. But here I am, through no fault of my own, friends with a food blogger. I don’t know how this happened. Ugh. Double Ugh.
I have forgotten what hot food tastes like.
Now all I feel is a deep hunger, constant and gnawing at my very soul. All I remember is the waiting. I wait. I wait and I wait as she stages the dishes to get the defining picture. She scoots right to get the potatoes in the frame, she shuffles left to capture the perfect chocolate drip. JEEBUS, WOMAN! IT’S BEEN FIFTEEN MINUTES. I WANT THIS FOOD IN MY MOUTH THIS INSTANT. But you know what’s the frozen limit? I am sitting there with my brows furrowed and my patience wearing thin and she has the cheek to ask me to move my elbow because it’s getting in the shot. I would hurl some heavy crockery at her face but I am weak and expiring from malnutrition.
Do I absolutely NEED to have an opinion about this dip…Do I?
Can’t I just dunk my nachos in it and eat it, just like God intended, without having to know everything about its texture, consistency, “mouth-feel”, sexual preference and what not. I mean, I am trying to eat it, not date it! My relationship with food used to end with its slide down my oesophagus. Not any more. These days I have to sit through long-winded explanations from chefs, waiters, maitre d’s – each of whom would take turns to seek me out and assault me with all this information I don’t need. My friend signed up for this, not me. Talk to her, buddy. Can’t you see I am ignoring you, not making eye contact? These shrimps were flown in first class from Canada? I don’t care. This beef I am eating had a famous father? I DON’T CARE. This rare Brazilian spice has been harvested deep in the jungles of Amazon during the full moon by a tribe that has had no contact with the outside world? I DON’T CARE, I DON’T CARE. LEAVE ME ALONE TO DIGEST MY FOOD IN PEACE!
Whatever happened to the good old days when, if we were hungry, we’d just buy crappy QR5 shawarmas from the local Lebanese shop and be done with it?
Now every meal time is some sort of epic saga. It has to be new, it has to be exciting, it has to be directed by J J f**king Abrams. I am sick of it. I am a comfort food kinda gal. I like instant noodles and day-old pizza. Being dragged around from one city limit to the other in order to nibble at Gratin De Nouilles or Croque Monsieur sends a wrecking ball through my constitution. Now every time I hear of a restaurant launch or a mall opening, I quiver from hair bun to heel. I feel like a horror movie heroine who knows ‘it’s coming for me’. Eventually my friend will be summoned there and I will be asked to tag along; and I will, because that’s the kind of friend I am.
Do you know what else I am? Broke, that’s what.
Broke like nobody’s business. I was already a penniless journalist to start with and now I am a penniless journalist with a truffle addiction. My mouth is LITERALLY writing cheques my bank account can’t cash.
It’s probably alright that I don’t have any money now. What am I going to spend it on? Clothes? They don’t fit me anymore.
The salesgirls at Mango laugh me out of the shop these days. Now, I am not one of those freaks of nature who voluntarily eat salad and are “addicted to exercise”. I need sturdy blinders that guarantee no distractions, or else the weight simply doesn’t shift. But diet charts and exercise routines don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell against a food blogger’s social calendar. I think of my friend now as some kind of perverse shoulder-devil whispering names of restaurants in my ear. She says she is piling on the pounds as well but at least, in her case, that’s a sacrifice she grudgingly yet willingly makes at the altar of her passion (for food). What do I have to show for it? WHAT PRICE THE BINGO WINGS?!
The world of food blogging is not what it seems. Beyond the enthusiastic five stars and cheerful Instagram filters, lurks a dark and turbulent undercurrent of intrigue, betrayal and high politics.
There are cliques aplenty – the cool bloggers, the lame ones, the sanctimonious ones, those that have sold their souls to the devil, the newbs, the Zomato reviewers and literally every kind of Desperate Housewives character you can imagine. You’d think a bunch of people who are constantly being plied with food would be in a better mood and generally sloshing about with the milk of human kindness, but far from it. Oh trust me, I used to love listening to all the juicy details about the plotting and bitching and one-upping… But now I am kinda bored and just want this season to end. At this point in a TV show, some major character is killed off and another goes to jail or Iraq or wherever. Neither is that an option here nor can I turn off the TV. THIS IS THE WORST!
Since the very beginning, I have been supportive of my friend’s little endeavour. I mean, it was a good enough hobby that promised to keep her out of trouble and I encouraged it.
But I realise now that I should have adopted a policy of aloof detachment. TOO LATE NOW…Again, I don’t remember how this happened but apparently now I am part of the editorial process. Now every time one of her posts go live I am required to be DEFCON 1-level alert. Before the blog is updated, I am sent the draft along with a demand for immediate feedback. Because the whole of Doha is expecting to know RIGHT NOW where they can get the five best Masala Dosas and THIS JUST CAN’T WAIT; clearly, it’s a life and death situation. Clearly. I once had to read one her posts in the loo. IN THE LOO.
Now heed my warning. I fell asleep at the wheel for a bit and now my friend’s food blog is threatening to consume my life. If you start to notice the symptoms among any of your friends, don’t be complacent; nip it in the bud. Together we can squash this madness.
As for me, ever since she stated this infernal blog I haven’t had a single moment of peace…
Please consider this my suicide note…
Disclaimer – This post is purely a non-blogger’s opinion and has no bearing on us whatsoever. We also think that “six hours later” thing was slightly exaggerated. Not to mention, she is very much alive hours later after writing this post and still eating the free pizza she packed from a food blogger event she tagged along to last night. We also confirm that we have not been indulging in gossip. Much.by