Friday, June 17, 2011
Two friends met at a diner for gossip and lunch. I’m calling the thin friend Bitsy and the ample friend Betsy.
Bitsy barely glanced at the menu and set it aside. She knew what she wanted. Betsy studied the menu avidly, looking at all the options, and wondered what she should eat. She was on a diet, as she always was.
The waitress came and Bitsy ordered a cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato, fries and a coke. Betsy sighed and ordered a chef salad with (after some hesitation) blue cheese dressing, and iced tea. “Sweet tea or regular?” asked the waitress. Betsy hesitated again then said “sweet – after all, I’m getting a salad – and I love sweet tea”.
The waitress brought the drinks. Bitsy set hers aside. Betsy took a long swallow and said, “I wish I was thin like you so I could eat anything I wanted. You must have a good metabolism. Everything I eat turns to fat.”
Bitsy shrugged. “I never really thought about it.”
The food came.
Bitsy removed the top bun of the burger, along with the lettuce and tomato and both slices of cheese. She took a paper napkin and blotted the top of the burger, turned it over to blot the other side, studied the cheese for a moment, then replaced one slice and left the other sitting on the discarded top of the bun. She added back the tomato and lettuce, picked up her fork and knife and cut off a small bite of burger, being careful to get a bit of tomato, lettuce and cheese in the bite. She put down her fork and knife, took one small sip of coke, and began to share some juicy gossip.
Betsy picked up the gravy boat full of blue cheese dressing and poured it over her salad. In the salad bowl was a head of iceberg lettuce, a tomato cut in wedges, 2 hard boiled eggs, cut in halves, a chopped cucumber, an ounce of American cheese, an ounce of Swiss cheese, an ounce of turkey and an ounce of ham. She mixed in the dressing and started to eat steadily; stopping only for long swallows of sweet tea.
Bitsy studied her fries, carefully picking out those that were too dark or too pale, setting them aside by the cast off bun and cheese. She ate half a large fry, another bite of burger, and had a small sip of coke.
By the time Bitsy had eaten her third bite of burger and her third French fry, Betsy had eaten half her salad and was signaling the waitress for more sweet tea.
I think you can see where this is going. Betsy consumed her entire salad, along with half a cup of blue cheese dressing, two glasses of sweet tea, and two packages of saltines. Bitsy ate about ¾ of her stripped down cheeseburger, eight fries, and drank half her coke.
Bitsy left satisfied. She hadn’t eaten a lot of fruits or vegetables for lunch, but she didn’t really think about it. She’d eaten a big bowl of strawberries for breakfast, and was planning to have salmon and green beans for dinner, with a baked sweet potato.
Betsy felt deprived. She thought of her lunch as “rabbit food” and was already anticipating a candy bar mid afternoon to make up for her “diet” lunch. She still blamed her metabolism for her weight problem.
Which friend are you?
Here is a poem I’ve always like. It reminds me of the special relationship between parent and child.
Sentimental Moment or Why Did the Baguette Cross the Road?
Don't fill up on bread
I say absent-mindedly
The servings here are huge
My son, whose hair may be
receding a bit, says
Did you really just
say that to me?
What he doesn't know
is that when we're walking
together, when we get
to the curb
I sometimes start to reach
for his hand