Am I Really Chomping on my Meatball Sub Like Shaquille O’Neal?

Looks like my dinner from last night.

Looks like my dinner from last night.

Sometimes I forget I am two feet tall. I really don’t need that much food to keep this body going. I am active – yes. I exercise – yes again. But do I really need six tacos for lunch?


            Dare I say it? I get hungry and I like to see what culinary wonders I can enjoy.

            Here’s the caveat: If a meal is skipped, hang onto your hats people, because it’s like the Detroit Red Wings have stepped into my stomach, viewed the buffet at Shoney’s and shouted, “Let’s do this.”

            I would like to learn how to be a dainty eater.

            Last week, my family when out to dinner to really great Mexican restaurant. As I inhaled some queso fundido, I noticed a well put-together woman at the table next to us. She must have been in her sixties, a sharp dresser, slender, and lovely nails. She sat relaxed in her chair and chatted with her family.

            She did not eat the chips.

            Who does not eat the chips?

            In between gulps of gooey cheese, I noticed something else; the woman (let’s call her Kate) was looking at the bowl of tortilla chips as if it was Bradley Cooper with his shirt off. Her family was going to town on the bowl, but she just sat there, eyeballing that dish and slightly quivering.

            Aha! She wanted those chips. Big time. Yet she would not eat them.

            I was so fascinated by this display, or lack thereof. It was like watching the condors at the zoo. I wanted to chant, “Eat the chips! Eat the chips!” then take her out to Schlotzky’s for a Muffalatza.

            Jeeez, she was at least sixty, live a little.

            It was then that I realized I will never be Kate. I could never be the properly restrained eater. The person who ingests just enough to be satisfied. Oh sure, I go through phases when I don’t eat like a coyote with mange, but not often enough.

            I get hungry damn it.

            This affliction runs in the family. My mother has it, and she has bequeathed it to my sister and me.  When my sister and I are hungry we could chew through concrete to get to the salad bar.

Our husbands have learned to compensate accordingly. My sweet brother in law will say things to my sister like, “Maybe you should have a snack.” Taking a more direct approach, my husband likes to throw a bologna sandwich at me until I am able to form complete sentences.

            My sister and I call it hypoglycemia. Others call is the Run for your life, the beasts are famished!

            My maternal grandmother has a hybrid of this type of gobbling. She is a lithe woman who eats slowly, yet with purpose. I have seen that lady put away an entire lobster, all its fixings without, then dessert so much as a gulp of air. We like to say creative things like, “Gee Grammie, I guess you weren’t hungry.” To which she just smiles and says, “Yes, it was very tasty.”

            While Grammie can eat, she is also disciplined and will not snack between meals. She has this gig down.

            I would like to send Kate to the engulfing school of Grammie.

            Life is too short. There is a lot of delicious food out there. We should enjoy it without giving ourselves indigestion.

            While I do intend on “taking it down a notch” in the eating like the hunchback of Notre Dame over my plate of ravioli, I still intend to enjoy my food with verve.

            The next time you go out to dine, don’t be like Kate; be like Grammie. Take your time and enjoy it.

            I am sure the buffet at Shoney’s would agree.