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Two Friends Met for Lunch

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

Robert Hershon

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I feel I am Bitsy! I eat a alittle bit, but all the time! lol susana
    2107 days ago
  • SANDYW1945
    Just came across this blog. Really. A year after you wrote it? Drat. I'm always a step behind. Good story. Poor Betsy. She needs SP.
    2141 days ago
    Oh my gosh that poem brought tears to my eyes. I'm so sentimental, and my oldest son is only 21! How am I ever going to survive the empty nest??? My daughter is 18 and off to college, and my youngest son is 12. That is such a good example of how a thin person eats. I was going to say I'll never be a "thin eater", but you know what? I think I may be in the process of becoming one!
    2477 days ago
    I like to say I am a little envious of Bitsy........ but an more like the other!

    I loved the poem,(I am a poet!) and wonder how many will actually figure out what thw writer is saying! I did, and it was precious!
    2494 days ago
    I can't say that I know any Bitsys. My eyes have been opened.

    The poem is precious.
    2506 days ago
    Great blog, lots to think about... Man-of-my-dreams is a natural Bitsy - so I can honestly say some of my best friends are Bitsys

    True Confession: I'm a Betsy.... I adore menus and outdoor vendors. I love generous portions and strong flavors. I love that life is overwhelmingly full of gusto and temptation. I love greasy wax paper and punk rock and mounds of butter cream frosting. I truly hate to say it but sometimes I just want to throttle the Bitsys of the world... with their smug disinterest in food and their oh-so nonchalant exasperation with the fact that they have to eat occasionally. grrrrrr....

    (thank goodness my love of too-much-is-a-good-thing extends to exercise as well or I'd be the size of 3 Betsys with a handful of Bitsys for good measure!)

    2511 days ago
    Oh, drat, CMRAND54 saw me at lunch the other day! Seriously, this is a good reminder of what I should be doing on a more consistent basis. Thanks!
    2523 days ago
    Thanks for sharing this story. It is a great reminder of how things can be...

    ...and I LOVE the poem!
    2526 days ago
  • ERIKO1908
    What a great story of everything in moderation. We CAN have the yummy stuff...we just need to have it smarter. Deprivation gets a person NOWHERE!! Thanks for sharing!!
    2526 days ago
    This is a great blog with an important observation. Unfortunately for a lot of years I was a Betsy who happens to be married to a Bitsy. I moaned for years how HE could eat whatever HE wanted while I was "stuck with salad"! I LOVE the poem too! It actually moved me to tears because I read this after I'd just hung up the phone from wishing my grown son happy father's day...
    2526 days ago
    People often comment on what healthy food my daughter eats..and what small portions. She has the figure to be jealous of and she keeps close watch so she won't get too heavy.

    People I work with think I eat very healthily, also, but my portions sizes need to be down-sized so I can get into those clothes I have put in storage.

    It is amazing how many people who overeat and make poor decisions think they are "dieting." (Myself included.) emoticon
    2527 days ago
    What a lovely poem for Father's Day!
    2528 days ago
  • INSHAPE2011
    Great blog! A parable to convey such an important message... Betsy and Bitsy, two different eating habits, two completely different ways of thinking.... there is a Betsy and a Bitsy inside everyone of us and I am trying hard to free up Bitsy!
    2528 days ago
    2528 days ago
    Great blog! I've known many Betsys and a few Bitsys.
    2528 days ago
  • REJ7777
    Great blog! It's so important to eat mindfully.

    I know what you mean about your grown son. My son lives 3000 miles away, and sometimes, when he comes for a visit, I'll give him some very "motherly" advise. Once, I jokingly asked him how he survived without me around. He just laughed.
    2528 days ago
    My mother always reminded me to wear a sweater when she was cold. Now I do it to my grown children. Even worse, I ask if that's all they're eating as if a grown-up wouldn't know how much they need.

    As to eating, I've decided that certain foods are not my friends. They have mistreated me in the past, so I'm sticking with the ones that are making me happy.
    2528 days ago
    A lot to think about, very nicely written. Thank you!
    2528 days ago
  • JUNEAU2010
    I LOVE this one! Thank you!
    2528 days ago
  • CANDOK1260
    boy gave me allot to think about emoticon emoticon
    2528 days ago
    Great story. I have seen this in action by observing people in a food court.
    2529 days ago
    Great story!! If I'd ordered that cheeseburger with fries I'm afraid I would have eaten every bite: cannot risk it!!

    And yup . . . still have to bite my tongue when I'm crossing a road with my (towering) son!!
    2529 days ago
    I have TOPS friends who refuse to drink diet soda but continue to drink sugar sweetened. When I point out how many calories they are drinking in the soda they say they don't like diet soda and never consider just drinking water instead. Some things are just not worth the calories. Stay vigilant!
    2529 days ago
    Interesting story. We've probably all been Betsy at one time or another. I've been Bitsy for a long while now. Much healthier way to live.

    The true...once a parent always a parent.
    2529 days ago
    Why did Bitsy order a cheeseburger if she was going to remove the cheese?

    I loved the story, though, unfortunately, I'm probably more like Betsy.

    The poem was wonderful, though, and so true.
    2529 days ago
    That poem breaks my heart.
    2529 days ago
    This story has got me thinking so much about which friend I am! It's also got me thinking about my food choices when I'm out.
    2529 days ago
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