Friday, June 08, 2007


It seems that when my dh leaves the house -- to play golf, go to work, or even just to walk the dog -- I have the immediate urge to eat. I was pondering this oddity and wondering why on earth it happens. My dear dh would never, ever comment on anything I ate no matter what time it was or what I was eating. It occurred to me after some though that this could have a connection to my childhood. (I'm beginning to think every quirk I have can be traced back to my childhood)

Though we never went hungry, food was not a freely given commodity at home. We ate very healthfully because we always had a huge garden and my mom canned and froze every veggie there was. We had many meatless dinners of bean soup, tomato soup, etc., and couldn't afford junk food or going out to dinner. I think the first time I had pizza was as a senior in high school on a field trip. We did have dessert often, but it was usually cake because cake mixes went on sale often. We had only powdered milk and the only cereal we usually had was generic brand corn flakes or Cheerios (with occasional Malt-o-Meal if it went on sale). I remember one winter that my mom found some place (a store?) that sold bread for 10 cents a loaf -- except that every loaf wrapper was cut down the center because it wasn't supposed to be sold for human consumption. Not that anything was wrong with it -- it was just past the date it could be sold. We loved it because we got all kinds of exotic brands of bread. Remembering that makes me realize how desperate my mom must have been to reduce our food bill.

We were not allowed to eat anything without asking first, and not between meals, ever. It just wasn't done. Imagine a teenager (you know how hungry they are!) coming home from school having skipped both breakfast and lunch (because I hated powdered milk and our lunches were boring -- always natural peanut butter & jelly and an apple), and not being allowed to eat anything. We'd sneak into the kitchen and eat several slices of bread, quickly and quietly, hoping mom couldn't hear us. After I started babysitting every weekday after school, I binged daily at their house. I can't believe Mrs. R didn't fire me -- her food bill must have increased hugely after I started working there. She had all the wonderful stuff we never had -- bananas, big red delicious apples, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, ice cream sandwiches...mmmmm. I gained 10 lbs every year I worked for her!

So, when my dh leaves the house, am I reliving running to Mrs. R's house to stuff down as much food as possible before her kids got there? Or sneaking into the kitchen to see what I might eat that my mom wouldn't notice was gone? When I have this feeling, I need to remind myself that we have more than enough money for groceries -- and the store will never run out of food.

1 comment:

Andrea K said...

I have a similar situation. My husband would never make a comment, but if I know he's leaving the house for an extended period, that "it's eating time" thought crosses my mind, too.

I've been learning too that a lot of my behaviors and emotional responses and not caused by the present events, but triggered by old memories and beliefs. It's been work trying to dig them out and change them, but it's worth it.