Q: I’ve been dating this guy for three weeks and it always takes us forever to agree on a restaurant. What’s the best thing to snack on while we’re deciding?
—Amy from Sarasota, Florida
A: Well, Amy, I find that grilled cheese triangles are the best snack when you can’t decide where to go out to dinner with your semi-new boyfriend. It is a lot of pressure to choose a restaurant. What if you choose something new and it’s terrible. Or what if you just say “the same old place” and you realize your relationship is in a rut and it’s time to break up. Eating dinner together is truly the most impossible thing about maintaining a long-term committed relationship. But perfectly buttered white toast—the cheap kind that costs a dollar a loaf—with medium sharp cheddar cheese and a little bit of cayenne pepper will usually take the edge off.
Q: The only thing more stressful than living through an earthquake is calling my mom to tell her I’m okay afterwards. Can you recommend any snacks to help me through the experience?
—Tim from Riverside, California
A: If you are about to call your mom after a minor—let’s say 3.0 or smaller—earthquake to let her know that, yes, you’re alive and, yes, you still carry the pepper spray she gave you for your birthday, the correct snack to eat is a bag of Pepperidge Farm Sausalito cookies. Everyone knows from TV commercials that calling your mom is the most important thing to do, especially if you think you are about to die, or if you have recently not died. But calling your mom is also incredibly stressful, because of all the questions. In this situation, the best thing to do is find a nearly full bag of Sausalito cookies and eat them while practicing saying “yes, I’m listening” in a sincere voice.
Q: I can never think of anything good to write in an office birthday card. How can a snack rectify this situation?
—Shirley from Tempe, Arizona
A: When trying to write something kind in a birthday card for a coworker you only slightly know and whose name you just realized you’ve been spelling incorrectly, the best snack to buy yourself a little more time before the office manager comes and gives you a weird look about not signing the card yet is a bag of trail mix from the vending machine. This is absolutely the only time that office vending machine trail mix is a good idea. The sheer number of nuts and raisins and off-brand M&M’s candies in the bag makes this the ideal snack, and maybe the salty-sweet combo will finally help you think of something charming to say about Traycee’s 50th birthday. However, if they have a mini-tube of Sour Cream & Onion Pringles, that would be even better.
Q: My friend Donna is having a party tonight and I can’t decide what to wear. HELP ME.
—Tina from Toronto, Canada
A: Donna, having trouble choosing what to wear to your friend’s overly fancy wine and cheese party which is only a short distance away but which you would rather not attend because someone you find tiresome is going to be there and you are only going to support your friend who is trying to impress her new coworkers is completely normal. In this situation, the bottle of wine and expensive cheese you had intended to bring to the party make an excellent snack, especially when paired with a crusty baguette and a cold jar of very green olives. By the time you are done with your snack, you will find it is far too late to go to the party, and you are too drunk to navigate your way there. You wouldn’t want to show up empty-handed anyway.