My parents visited this weekend. In celebration, we cooked, but we also hit the buffet. We found an all-you-can-eat catfish place. My mom loves catfish, so she didn’t even mind that it was a bit of a drive from Denton.
The food was good, and there was a lot of it.
Then we all waddled out to the car, and this is what that sounded like:
“I ate too much.”
“I’m so full – why did you let me go back for that last plate?”
“I’m never eating again.”
“I’m going to really feel this later.”
“I know better.”
We eat to excess, and we do it on purpose. We knew that we would overdo it as soon as the restaurant was chosen, but we did it anyway.
This addiction to excess is not limited to event-by-event food consumption. It also extends to food collection.
My grandparents grew up during the Depression. They learned the art of conserving. They also learned the art of stocking up for a rainy day.
Only the latter got passed down to their kids, except without any nuance. There’s a fine line between stocking up and hoarding.
The family is a big fan of places like Costco and Sam’s. I never go to Mom and Dad’s (or my sister and brother-in-law’s, for that matter) without being asked if I need a case or two of the ten thousand cans of whatever they bought. The one good thing about having a small kitchen and apartment is that I can legitimately tell them that I don’t have the storage space without sounding like I’m just making excuses not to take it.
But I’m totally just making excuses not to take it.
I don’ t want my pantry and fridge to be full to excess. I don’t want to have to choose between eating twice as much as I need and letting things go to waste. I don’t want to have to stuff things in nooks and crannies and risk head injury every time I open the door to the cabinet.
I want the kitchen to be full of things that I need and use.
Themes, observations, and lessons:
– Mom cannot say “no” to catfish.
– I will not say “no” to peach cobbler. I can, however, limit my intake to a few spoonfuls.
– New habits are hard to form.
– New habits are harder to form when they are based on values that are different from your family’s values.