Thursday, February 17, 2011

On Women and Food

We crazy.  That is my profound, philosophical, well-researched opinion regarding women and food.  (ha!)  Let me tell you a little story.

There is a cafe in my office building that sells "grab and go" lunches.  Sometimes they're good, sometimes they're not, they are always convenient.  Today's lunch was a grilled chicken burger with french fries and fresh fruit.  I thought no more about the choice than it was an elevator ride away.  I was busy, and didn't want to fool around with lunch.

As I'm in the elevator I think to myself, "I've had fries once this week, I really don't need them again."  I asked for a salad instead, and the kind people obliged.  I'm waiting for my sandwich and a lovely blonde woman walks up to the counter and orders her lunch.  She fussed a bit over the cheese on the sandwich, but otherwise seemed a pleasant person and sat quietly nearby to wait for her order.

The waitress brought out both lunches at the same time in their boxes, and said to me "here you are, with salad."  To the other woman, "and yours, with fries."  The woman's face fell.  It would have been hysterical, had it not been so ridiculous, and sad.

I had a feeling where this was going, and made my way rather swiftly to the elevator hoping she worked on that floor and we wouldn't have to ride together.  But we did.  Between the 4th and 3rd floors she managed to say all of the following:

"Wow, that was so smart of you to order salad instead of fries.
I really should have ordered salad.
I probably won't eat all the fries, it's a really big sandwich.
I try to never eat them all, and throw most of them away.
You know, I'm going to Hawaii next week and I really want to be at the bottom of "my range," but you know I'm not right now..."

Had I thought it would do sufficient damage I would have stuck my plastic fork in my eye just to make it stop.  What is it that compels women to do this?  I wanted to scream at her "JUST EAT THE F'ING FRIES LADY!"  Seriously, you're tall and blond and skinny.  I am average height, brunette and curvy.  Yes, I said curvy.  The woman had nothing to prove to me, no matter what I look like, but come ON!  Do you really think that I am judging your french fries that much?

What's even stranger is that I felt this small, ugly, greenish feeling inside me as this was happening.  You know why?  Because I had ordered the salad.  I had "hand," as they used to say on Seinfeld.  I was the virtuous one.  I was able to look down my nose upon my leafy greens and judge her french fries.  I don't think I did judge, but I knew I could have.

I wouldn't have said everything she said in the elevator had the situations been reversed, but I know I would have thought something equally pathetic.  "Who's she with her salad, all high and mighty and healthier than thou?  What, you think you're better than me?  I haven't eaten all day and lay off me I'm starving!"

After ruminating about this over the afternoon,  I'm still stewing over what that says about me.  I'm glad I was nice to her, and tolerated the verbal onslaught as she flogged herself for eating the evil fries.  I'm glad I sent her on her way with "have a great time in Hawaii."  I'm glad I ordered the salad.

We crazy.


  1. Curvy is so good! :) Loved this Keep it up, Wine guy @ the Q

  2. Oh, la! It's so hard to resist the voices in our heads, even the evil, stupid ones.

    I don't remember if I read it, or heard it on the radio, or what, but I remember this woman discussing "Fat Talk", and trying to ban it from her life. She wanted to stop talking about weight, size, and everything around it, including food choices, because she felt it was unhealthy and mean, both to herself and for society. The gist of the piece was how incredibly difficult that was, and how much "chatter" is actually fat-talk. I've been trying to pay more attention to fat-talk in my own life, and whoa, Nelly. It's everywhere, almost impossible to avoid, and so very painful.

    Great post.

  3. Thanks for the comments everyone. As always, it is nice to know that I am not just talking to myself! =)