One of my work wives has decided to become vegan. Yes, I said wives. I have more than one. I have two. There are only three women in the office. One day we discussed the concept of work husbands and work wives. None of the men who work in the office were deemed appropriate work husbands so I was nominated to serve in this capacity because, ahem, I’ve got balls. Their words. Also because I never cry when I’m corrected or criticized by the boss. So I’ve got two work wives and they’ve each got a work wife. I’m their gender-magic husband-wife. No disrespect intended to gender-fluid folk. Sometimes in a small office you’ve got to improvise. I wear lots of hats, which is cool because I love hats.
So anyway, my work wife wants to be vegan because of Jared Leto, a celebrity vegan. He inspires her. Like a careful wife she didn’t want to bruise the ego of her husband who happens to be vegan, so she includes me as well. I’m doing this because Jared Leto and you. I am the only vegan she knows in real life. We’ve worked together for the last nine months, closely enough to fake marry. I’ve been vegan since the day we met. But it is Jared Leto who turned her vegan. Last week she went to see him in concert with his band Thirty Seconds to Mars and came back vegan. It’s sweet of her to give me credit for the assist but it obviously takes more than femme-balls to sway the heart of a work wife.
I gave her a Pura Vida bracelet last month instead of a wedding ring. She asked if Pura Vida takes custom orders because she wants to get one lettered WWJLD. What Would Jared Leto Do? I’m not jealous. Not at all. Just sayin’.
She’s starting vegetarian and easing her way into full vegan because it takes a while to figure out there is hidden animal in everything so one fucks up a lot by default in the beginning. But she’s really thrown herself into the effort. She’s learning and reading and shopping and asking me tons of questions. Me. This is nice. I mean, she’s not emailing Jared Leto with her questions about how to make her coffee creamy without dairy or how to deal with the disappointment that this isn’t possible.
And it isn’t Jared Leto she texts for an emergency plant-based decision on the fly. Or daily recommendations for fail-safe vegan brands. Every morning she comes to me for a vegan meeting to review the previous day’s choices. Jared Leto never shows up for these meetings. After six days it wasn’t Jared Leto who comforted her when she bemoaned the fact she hadn’t yet lost any weight. It was me. Again, just sayin’.
But as word gets around our small Southern town that one of the belles has turned vegan, Jared Leto gets all the credit. The yokels ask, Why in the hay-yell would you want to do that, Princess? She answers in full gush, Because of Jared Leto! If I’m within earshot she quickly tacks me on to the end of the sentence — and also Mercy — but we all know who’s doing the grunt work here and who’s getting the press. Or at least, I know who.
Yesterday Work Wifey asked me for a list of my go-to vegan resources and a good basic starter cookbook. I’ve been vegan for a year so I’ve curated working methods for a working girl who lives with a carnivore. I’ve also modified and edited methods which do not work. I could save her a lot of time and a shit-ton of trial and error. At one week in she stands to benefit from my full year of veganism; all the stuff I figured out alone and on my own after the initial 30-day challenge sent me out into the world as a fresh young vegan. She wants me to share my homework.
The temptation to tell her to go ask Jared Leto? Moderate. I’ll admit it.
But I’ll also admit that sharing my vegan experience from the first successful year might be critical to helping her stay on the vegan/vegetarian path long after she’s moved on to another celebrity crush. WWAGWHWD? What Would A Good Work Husband-Wife Do? WWACVD? What Would A Compassionate Vegan Do? He/She would make the list and share the list. For the love of my friend, for the health and wellness of my friend, as the only local vegan in Mercyburg upon whose example all vegans will be judged, including future vegans.
I wonder if she’ll be surprised Jared Leto isn’t on the list?
Back in the contentious days of my yoga teacher training the instructors advised that it matters not what brings students through the studio door; the goal is to get them on the mat. This was a caveat for the students who came seeking yoga because their favorite celebrities endorsed yoga. Once on the mat the students are likely to find a more compelling reason to stay on the mat than a celebrity endorsement, so we were counseled not to disparage their reasons. Same idea here with my work wife. She’s on the mat. Welcome her and support her and share and let her practice develop beyond the reason she started.
I say this knowing full well she may use my resources, support, and guidance to hone sufficient vegan skills to then run off and woo Jared Leto.
I’ll risk it.