Friday, March 31, 2006
Men are strange animals (TMI, be warned)
I have never understood how my husband can tell me the most intimate details of his bowel movements and share his gas - almost proudly - with anyone near him. But ask him to share his thoughts or feelings and he clams right up. How can bodily functions that are usually kept secret be easier to share than inner thoughts? Most of my inner thoughts come right out. Even when nobody wants to hear them. I share more about my disfunction than can be good for anyone. I have so many issues, there is bound to be SOME spillover. Once, he was joking around, and with great fanfare picked up my cup and put his tongue in my coffee. I was livid. I can't even describe how angry I was, that he would do that. His shock at my reaction was clear on his face. Sure, he figured I might be annoyed but ANGRY? Why was I so angry? I do not like people touching, messing with, or putting things in my food. And as far as I was concerned, this violated all three of those rules. "So let me get this straight. I can put my tongue in your mouth, but not in your coffee cup". It was not funny at the time, and we had a really big argument. But that line stuck in my head and every once in a while one of us will say it and we will both laugh. But he always adds "I still don't know why you were so MAD". In my warped and dysfunctional mind, food and beverage are more than just fuel to keep the body going. Food is love, baby. Food is LOVE. Not only do I show my love by preparing meals and snacks for those that I care for, but I also use it to comfort myself. It is almost sacred. For somebody to defile or devalue that love, is unthinkable and makes me angry. After all, he didn't do anything to HIS coffee, did he? No, he did it to MINE. When we first got married, he would do things like poke my food. "Is this hot?" as he shoved his finger through my burger. This was the sort of comraderie he shared with his father. It showed that you were close, and sharing a joke. Well, it did in his world. In my world, it said "You are not worthy of having love, and this is what I will do with it". Pretty sad, huh? My mother was good at using food as a tool. When she did cook it was usually Sunday dinners and special occasions. Because her cooking was SPECIAL for us. She would pile it on, loads and loads of food. More love - er - food than can be imagined. And we would partake of it, and feel that love and warmth. And once we were done, she would glare at us. And call us pigs. And tell us nobody needs to eat that much! So in effect, immediately tell us we were undeserving of the love we took. This woman would give you a gigantic piece of cake, and when she saw the last crumb disappear, comment that you will always be fat if you ate that way. Give the love, then yank it back. The women in our family were/are compulsive dieters. Weight watchers. The zone. Cabbage soup, rice, banana, grapefruit, we tried them all. I went on my first diet in grade 1. I have eaten so much skinless baked chicken that I gag to think of it. The sight of a shaker of Mrs. Dash makes my gorge rise. Don't even ask me about melba toast. We would lose a pound or two, then immediately go back to steak and potatoes with sour cream. Then the next week, it was on to a new plan of one sort or another. It's no wonder I have food issues. I don't binge eat anymore. At least, not like I used to. Ah yes, the binge. Never learned to purge (I don't like to throw up and laxitives are just too gross to think about), but that binge, oh I could BINGE. I could eat an entire spaghetti dinner (with bread and salad), then a half chicken, then part of a meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Cold ravioli and spaghetti and beans straight from the can. Cans of stew eaten in the car after visiting the all-night grocery. Sliced lunch meat rolled and eaten from the package. All washed down with strawberry milk. DH of course had no idea. Who paid attention to what food is in the cupboards or who was eating what? But eventually he got a clue. And I confessed. And he started counting cans and keeping an inventory of what was in the fridge. He was trying to help me in the only way he could, by controlling me. Unfortunately, that is not what I needed. So I no longer took cans from the cupboard or food from the fridge. I would hit drive-thru after drive-thru on the way home from work. Then eat a full dinner. Then make an excuse to go out so I could maybe visit a grocery store or deli. My car was like a rolling garbage can. Wrappers and packages and cans and things. To make up for the binging (and lack of purging) I wouldn't eat during the day. No breakfast, no lunch. Coffee and cigarettes only. I don't think anyone had any idea of how bad it was. It did eventually stop. At least, there was no more regularity. A couple of times a year things get stressful enough to drive me to eat a pint of ice cream (when normally a tablespoon makes me sick. I don't really like ice cream LOL) or want chinese food late at night. I wax poetic about eating velveeta out of the box, cheezWhiz out of the jar, or squeeze cheese from the tube. What is my obsession with fake-orange coloured artificial cheese products? That there is a new therapy bill for sure. But while I talk fondly of it, I no longer do it. I don't want DD to learn any of this, the eating disorder cycle will end NOW. My grandmother (constant dieter), my grandfather (anorexic, refuses to eat for days), my mother (bulemic, a side effect of gastric bypass surgery she had in the eighties), my sisters (obsessive dieters, diet drug users). None of us have escaped it. I want to break the chain. Some sort of cosmic quirk I think is helping me in this quest. For I have given birth to a picky child that does not really like to eat. Now don't get me wrong. She is a good eater in that she has a good appetite. But she is a PICKY eater. What she eats today, she may turn her nose up at tomorrow. She goes into throes of horror at the sight of vegetables, and don't dare give her food with "edges". Edges of any kind (or discolourations or crust or breading) must be peeled off with disdain and discarded in disgust. She will eat plain pasta, but only certain shapes. The first time I gave her bowtie noodles, she licked the edge of one, shuddered, and rejected it. I had to go stand on the porch I was so mad. IT IS A NOODLE. SHE EATS NOODLES ALL THE TIME! She finally tried one and now they are her favourite, but let me tell you some days it is all I can do to not throttle her over rejecting different shaped chicken nuggets. She is always hungry, because she is always refusing part or all of her meals. I have a new mantra for her. "Picky eaters go hungry". And I know for a fact, after refusing one or two meals, at the next one she is more than willing to eat those different noodles and meat with edges. DH is another one that likes to eat, but cares little about what it is. Food is fuel, to be eaten as quickly and with as little thought as possible. He never knows what he wants to eat because, frankly, he really doesn't care what it is. He has no favourite food or meal. Handmade perogies are eaten with as much relish as frozen store bought ones. Foods prepared from packaged mixes are eaten with the same attention as their home-made versions that take hours to make. That is, no attention other than bringing fork to mouth. He can eat all four puddings in a package then admit they were only "okay". If they weren't very good, why eat FOUR? We just have totally different perspectives on food and eating. I get excited about ingredients, he gets excited because it is time to eat. Wouldn't you know the "food is love" person would end up with a husband and child with this attitude about eating?