August 16, 2006 at 1:37 pm
“There’s nothing to eat!”
Upon further reflection, I think my childhood eating experiences can be summed up in that one little sentence.
You could always tell when my guinea pig was hungry because she would bite onto one of the wire bars of her cage and rattle away. You could always tell when I was hungry because I’d open and slam shut all the cupboards in the kitchen, swing open the squeaky refrigerator door, pause for a glance, then close it with that little swoosh of air sealing shut. Then I’d whine “There’s nothing to eat!” You’d think we lived in a model home stocked with Styrofoam fruit. There would occasionally be times when I’d discover a Carmello bar or a bag of M&M’s hidden away by my mother which was as delightful as finding a $20 bill in a winter coat. But mostly I’d just look at our stocks and stocks of food that those ubiquitous starving children in Africa would pounce on and dismiss it as inedible.
It wasn’t that there wasn’t any food. There just wasn’t any food that I was interested in eating. Maybe I was just being picky. Maybe I was just being lazy and couldn’t find anything that didn’t require at least 15-30 minutes of preparation. It’s not like I could chow down on a bag of flour. Well, I could, but that would be really weird even for me and I would have gotten flour powder all over my clothes. How would I have explained that to my parents? I got a part-time job doing drywall? Mostly I think the problem was I didn’t think about what I wanted to eat until the moment at which I was hungry, by time it was far too late.
Which is exactly the opposite of the way I eat now. I almost always have something on hand to eat. I bring food with me to work for breakfast, lunch and snacks. When I get home I don’t usually have dinner planned out, but I’ve bought enough stuff in advance that I can make something within 30-45 minutes without the need of advanced kitchen gadgets like an egg slicer. I’ve got fruits and vegetables in my fridge, most of which are not homes to advanced mold civilizations that worship the refrigerator light bulb as a god. And if I ever am in a situation where I need something, I’m fit enough that I can walk the two or so miles round trip to the grocery store, which I did for the first time yesterday to get milk to make my sugar-free, fat-free pudding. Mmmm, pudding.
The boy scouts were certainly onto something with this “Be Prepared” business. Definitely a better contribution to a healthy eating lifestyle than those rascally girl scouts with their yummy cookies.