I like food, whether in my bell or in conversations

I’m devoted to food and completely loyal to it. I’m trustworthy and dedicated and food knows it can count on me to be committed with true faithfulness. I’m essentially a basset hound.

I was driving in the dark one morning when what to my sleep-deprived eyes should appear but a doe deer at the left edge of the road. I slowed down, staying right, as she hesitated. I got almost to her when she was compelled to have a go at playing chicken with me. She raced forward so I swerved left to go around her, but because her brain was the size of a walnut, she thought, “Oh, wait, I might’ve left the iron on and I must return to check.” As she whirled around to race back, I swerved to the right to keep from colliding with her and ruining her day for sure, and most likely mine. Happily, I got around her and we safely parted ways. It was only as the truck picked up speed and I got rolling again that I realized, unconsciously, when I saw the deer and began shutting down, I had thrown my arm over to the passenger seat. If you think it was an automatic response from a time long ago when my kids were small, you’d be wrong. No, there was my right hand, lovingly palming my breakfast bowl. I don’t remember doing it, but even in startle mode, my brain wasn’t about to let my uneaten oatmeal, raisins and brown sugar crash to the floor. I’ve told you food is my friend, and now you know how far that allegiance will take me. I think my clever driving skills should also be touted and the fact that my brain was in tune with keeping a tidy truck. When tested, my mind is a multitasker extraordinaire; just don’t ask it where my sunglasses are. It only functions with important items like sustenance.

I think about food a lot, similar to a toddler in a constant search for snacks, and, when hungry, I get about as cranky as a 2-year-old. To be fair, doesn’t everyone get snippy when they need nourishment? Show me a guy who doesn’t care when he’s gonna eat next and I’ll show you a guy whose thighs don’t rub together.

Flying is a source of great irritability and our last flight was no exception. Standing in line for the last leg of our journey, I was eating an apple because our connections, due to delays, was so tight we didn’t have time to dilly-dally buying a burger. I always feel judged when eating a yummy, drippy, delicious cheeseburger in front of people at the airport. I do it, but I imagine they’re wondering if a celery stick wouldn’t be a better suggestion for my boxcar build.

So, munching the apple, I felt less satisfied but slightly smug. I was eating what skinny marathoners ate, and I felt so lithe and lanky, so bony and bendy, almost emaciated. Sadly, nobody even noticed that this was a transfixing event. I may have eaten a lumberjack’s breakfast; bacon, eggs and a stack of hotcakes, but noshing the apple, why, I felt practically skeletal, and nobody even gave a curtsy. Never one to pass up personal entertainment by fibbing, I looked to the unshaven, backpack-toting, 30-something standing beside me in lane number two and proclaimed, “I’ve had to get used to eating apples because last year at this time I weighed 450 pounds and had to be toted around on a gurney.” The guy barely perceived that we were in deep conversation. He merely nodded, and with a thumbs up gesture, murmured, “Cool.” I should have told a woman. She’d have had the decency to acknowledge and appreciate the effort it would take to lose that kind of poundage.

Obviously, my love of food continues in my lineage. As we watched our 7-year-old Texas grandson test for his next Taekwondo belt, instructor Master Lee asked what should be said when mom says, “Turn off the television.” Appropriately, Romes replied, “Yes, ma’am.” Pantomiming carrying bags, Master Lee asked, “And what do you do when mom brings food home?” The correct response was, “Help carry it in.” In our second-grader’s defense, the instructor didn’t say, “groceries,” plus, the little man is flesh of my flesh, so when asked, “What should you do when Mom brings food home,” Romes, thinking, “Fast food,” soberly replied, “Eat it.” What a chip off grammy’s block.

Trena Eiden            [email protected]