Somehow I was at the premiere for the new Justin Bieber movie at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live and there it was: a table filled with boxes of freshly popped popcorn.
The tween girls panted in anticipation and stood in line to take pictures with Disney Channel celebrities but all I saw were the rows of cold cans of pop, endless bottles of water, and tall boxes of popcorn waiting to be devoured.
I had done so well at lunch. While my friends ate delicious plates of hot, steamy Chinese food, I sipped on my Diet Coke and told funny stories.
But there it was 6:45 p.m., time for my Cookie Diet-approved serving of protein and salad, but there was no salad in the amphitheatre. All there was was popcorn. So I took it. And a bottle of water.
Despite the fact that the kid seems to be down-to-Earth, friendly, grateful and talented, I was able to avoid Bieber Fever. The thousands of screaming girls all around me were a different story. They were clearly suffering from the symptoms. Escalated heartbeats, stars in their eyes, and loss of appetite.
I know this because there was no line at all around the popcorn table. Something I vividly remembered after I had completed downing the entire box of the lightly buttered treat.
The film was entertaining enough: Small-town kid with a cute haircut finds a loyal audience on YouTube and very quickly becomes a huge superstar capable of selling out Madison Square Garden despite having marginal talent.
What he does have is a sweet personality and permagrin that, after seeing endless amount of homemade video footage, he has seemingly had since birth.
Likewise, every time I have been to the movies, I have eaten popcorn. This was a habit that was, unfortunately, impossible to break.
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After taking the subway home I went to Subway and got a chicken breast footlong with avocado and lettuce. When I got it home I put the bread aside, microwaved a can of string beans, and ate the chicken, lettuce, avocado, and beans while drinking a few Diet Dr Peppers.
Later I nibbled a little on the bread, but not much.
One thing I did notice from Bieber that I could relate to: When I was 16 I weighed 120 pounds too. And like the pop star, when I was feeling low I wanted McDonald’s.
That’s pretty much where our similarities ended. For example, I doubt the teen ate six cookies throughout the day like I had, as was required of the Cookie Diet.