I love the whole psychology around eating. For example, the color blue is a natural appetite suppressant. One study, detailed in “Mindless Eating” by Brian Wansink, found when people dined in a blue room they ate 33% less than those who ate in a yellow or red room. Another interesting bit of information from a “Health” magazine poll is that 83% of their readers do the most calorie damage when alone. A full 71% said they’ve stuffed a food wrapper down deep in the trash to hide the evidence. (I think that number is probably higher but it is “Health” Magazine, after all). And when questioned what the strangest thing they’ve eaten when alone, the most common answer was: something dug out of the trash. (There seems to be a common theme here with the trash.)
If it is in my home, there is certain foods I am tempted to sneak rather than to eat openly, but that’s not to say I would feel embarrassed if observed eating it. Well, not usually. Like the time I’d bought a dozen tubs of frozen cookie dough balls for a holiday fundraiser my kids were pushing for their school. I got the bright idea that I would make it easy on myself that year and buy a bunch, thus sparing me (and my potential victims; family, friends and clients) from having to look through the slick catalogue of Holiday crap while they obligatorily filled out the form.
I was in the final stages of a yearlong remodel to my home and we were all frazzled. The weather becoming windy, wet and cold while work crews slopped in and out of our torn up home and the boys behaving like caged animals, I was not in the mood for one more parent duty. My plan was to wait until the last few days before Christmas and bake cookies in my brand new kitchen. The visual of me in my apron, the kids studiously finishing homework by the roaring fire and the entire house spotless and decorated like Ma used to in the old days, kept me sane. I could use our new stove and bake all four hundred and thirty-two dough balls into perfectly round, moist and chewy chocolate chip, fudge, oatmeal and white chocolate macadamia cookies! I would then disburse them to neighbors, family and friends.
A few weeks before Christmas, my boys and I returned to our plywood floors and half painted walls with yet another take-out pizza for them and salad in a box for me. The boys began to play a game they called “chong” where they wrestle on the bed trying to whack the other with the heel of their foot; sounds of their screams mixed with non-stop giggling was more than I could handle. My salad sat in it’s unopened box as I walked in trance to the freezer and pulled out a white chocolate macadamia tub and proceeded to eat a frozen dough ball. It was scrumptious, really. I think I blacked out after having the second one; I wasn’t in my body any longer.
That weekend the paint crew was in full force painting the inside of the house while it poured outside. At some point I went to the freezer and pulled out my personal tub and noticed that some of the balls had shrunk in size having little teeth marks on them. I had been nibbling at the balls thinking if I didn’t eat the whole thing it didn’t count. Carefully pulling out a ball with index finger and thumb, I began to take a bite when one of the painters came into the room to ask a question. There I was, poised over my tub with a frozen dough ball up to my mouth and an attractive young man looking square at my dough balled fingers. I fumbled some stupid babble about wondering what cookie dough tasted like and tossed the remains into the trash. I’ll never forget his parting statement, “I hope it was tasty.”
When the work crew finally packed their tools for good that day, each carried three tubs of cookie dough and a few freshly baked cookies. I have never purchased holiday cookie tubs since and never will. In fact, like Scrooge, I won’t even purchase Girl Scout cookies. The memory of my animalistic behavior and the man who caught it square on, documenting my embarrassment has turned me off to fund-raising cookie purchases forever.
|"Can't you little brats take NO for an answer?!"|
In my humanness, I am flawed, so I can forgive myself those times when I think the whole world would pass judgment on me for my little “sneaks”. In forgiving myself it gives me more strength, not less. Besides, I know I am not alone. What strange thing have you eaten in the privacy of your solitude? Please share!