I had bought the flour and sugar at the beginning of the year when my new apartment and I were just getting acquainted. At the time, I still labored under the sick delusion that I, a college student, might actually have time to cook.
My multicolored measuring cups sat proudly in the kitchen drawer, the spices and oils cheerfully resting in the cabinet until such a time as I could make use of them. The stove was scrubbed spotless and the oven was as bare and naked as the day it rolled off the assembly line, ascended the single flight of stairs via a set of very sweaty men and was placed with care in the corner of my new kitchenette.
I had never been allowed to cook at home (though that didn’t really stop me), and I hadn’t lived outside the dorms since I began my freshman year. The prospect of actually preparing my own meals thrilled me to my bones.
And then, a week later, I discovered the miracle of delivery-food.
You see, in my haste to try out my newfound freedom, I had forgotten one simple, inescapable fact: I’m lazy as hell. Yes, as much as I love the act of preparing my own food, as satisfying as the sound of popping grease is, after being in class for eight hours straight and then at work for another six, I could hardly stand, much less cook. I only managed it for one night.
I remember how I stubbornly remained before the stove, though I could feel my muscles cramping and the bones in my feet aching from the inside out. The muscles in my back were twitching madly, and I could barely keep my eyes open long enough to flip the pancakes I’d made from scratch. My knees felt as though they would buckle any second, but I kept on. My pancakes needed me.
I had made them from the most basic of ingredients, nursed then through the mixing, tested them through fire as I poured the pale batter bit by bit into the griddle. I could not betray them now, in their moment of greatest need. And so I fought on, valiantly flipping each golden circle until the whole batch was cooked to perfection. I remember sitting at the counter and eating my handiwork, resolving then and there to never cook on a school-night again.
But I still needed to eat. I could feel the hunger building, and overpriced campus food was just not floating my boat anymore. I needed help. Like Bonnie Tyler, I was looking for a hero ‘til the end of the night. And he’s gotta strong, he’s gotta be fast, and he’s gotta be fresh from the fight.
Unfortunately, I didn’t exactly have a delivery Fabio on standby. Fortunately, I do have a smartphone.
My friend had told me about an app I could download that let me order any kind of delivery food I wanted with the touch of a button. The first thing I did the next morning was to procure this little electronic miracle for myself, happily typing in my address and browsing my delivery options. Now, my love for this app might be a bit on the unhealthy side. But you know what? I don’t care. This thing is genius.
Here’s to you, OrderUp.
Your multiple options for food types and your easy payment, your live maps of how far away the delivery drivers are and your updates on the status of my yum-yums, your endless array of local restaurants.
You who kept me from starvation; you who saved my poor, aching feet from the cold, unyielding kitchen floor; you who introduced me to the colorful world of Indian food: I don’t even care if it gave me explosive diarrhea the first time I ate it. It was THAT GOOD.
OrderUp, you are a beautiful butterfly of awesome, and a god among apps. May your hearth fire never burn low. May you fly on wings like eagles and soar through the skies, may the gates of Valhalla be opened to you and the mead halls filled with laughter and gratuitous violence. Bless you, OrderUp.
Admittedly, between OrderUp and the occasional delivery pizza, I did gain about five pounds.
Fortunately, I’m an active young woman who is literally always moving (even in my sleep). Since I work so often and have so many classes, I often find that I forget to eat for hours at a time.
Well, it’s less my forgetting to eat and more my procrastinating my meals, but the end result is the same: I’m always hungry.
I work in a convenience store, so I never truly starve, but when I get home at night, I often don’t have the energy or the ingredients to make myself a decent meal. I think I can honestly say that delivery food saved my life.
Now, to cook is still one of the keenest pleasures I know. And I’m not talking cheater mix, either. I love to bake things from scratch and then sit with my nose plastered against the darkened glass of my oven and watch as my creations rise in my multi-colored baking bowls.
I love the sound of eggs frying, the smell of fresh cake batter, the taste of meat still sizzling from the oven. But the fact remains that I will never have time to do this for myself during the hectic hours of the workweek. There simply isn’t time, unless I want to be up baking at 1am.
So, here’s to you, delivery food, the savior of the busybody. Here’s to the delivery drivers and the world’s fastest delivery cooks. Here’s to the people who are, quite literally, saving my life again and again with each passing day. Thank you.