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I am not one of those people that “forgets to eat.” You know the type. The people that go through the whole day so distracted by their fabulous life that, all of the sudden, they look up and the sun is setting and they’ve eaten nothing but like three grapes and half a cup of coffee.
I’m also not one of those people that “eats like a bird,” picking at nuts and dried fruit absentmindedly, sustaining oneself on a handful of granola here and a spoonful of yogurt there.
It takes a whole lot of calories to sit at my desk and feign attentiveness, so generally speaking a lot of calories are what I consume. I’m a three meals a day kind of girl, highly irritable if I don’t eat breakfast, and quite honestly probably think about what I’m having for dinner the moment the clock strikes 3 p.m.
While I do not eat like a woodpecker, I do know one man that does. His name rhymes with snack, which is ironic because “snacks” are not something he consumes. You guessed it, it’s Jack. I must report that my non-exclusive, non-relationship, special friend that I just happen to write a lot about on the internet eats like a bird.
At first, I hardly noticed his eating habits. How could you possibly know what a person eats all day when you’re only meeting them for drinks once or twice a week? Lately however, I’ve taken notice. These things tend to happen when you see a person at breakfast time and again at dinner time. Frankly, I don’t want to call him out, but I do feel I need to call him out. (It’s fine, he doesn’t read my writing anyways).
So here it is: I have witnessed the man, on more than one occasion, eat NOTHING all day except coffee and some sort of Whole Foods Salad Bar spread. Not the hot bar, the salad bar. Plus, both times he came in at under $10, so can we even really consider that a meal?
From a health perspective alone, I’m worried about the guy. Granted, I’d be more concerned about his calorie intake if he wasn’t a religious IPA drinker. Still, doesn’t he get light headed? If I postpone lunch for more than one single hour I get nervous I’ll collapse into a puddle of hypoglycemic spasms on the conference room floor. The mere idea of eating like a turtledove gives me anxiety.
Upon confronting Jack about my observations he did the most frightening thing: he laughed.
“Babe, I eat plenty” he said, kissing my forehead like I was some sort of regular girl and not a highly experienced eater with a unique interest in his well-being.
Sure, I know he’s a big boy and can choose to nourish his body however he see fit. Does a small part of me die inside every time he says he has “trouble putting on weight”? Yes, It certainly does. The last time I had trouble putting on weight was never, so color me a tiny bit fucking jealous. But if my non-exclusive, non-relationship special friend wants to shrivel away, that’s his business. It’s his business, that is, until it starts to affect me and my largely co-dependent relationship with food.
What’s most aggravating about this entire experience, however, is that Jack is not the first bird-man I have dated. I would say, over the course of my romantic life, I have dated something like 4 guys who nibble at their dinner like it’s an afterthought. These guys skip meals as frequently as I skip spinning and honestly, I have just a few things to say about it.
While I was always baffled how someone could live a happy life while considering food an afterthought (rather than a star of the show), I will admit I also feel slightly self conscious that I consistently eat more than my suitor when we are together. Sure, he is obviously getting his calories somewhere, but it’s from a power bar here and a quick sandwich there. Very rarely do we sit down and grub together.
I’m working on coming to terms with being the eater in the relationship, however. I’ve got a lot more to bring to the table than just my body, therefore I really would like to spend less time worrying about my mass compared to my significant other’s mass. It is laughable how much brain space I wasted working towards being thin as a young person, so concerned with being small and wafey. These days I am no longer worried about consuming a hearty meal. That being said, what I do find disheartening is having to consume said meal alone. Eating a personal pizza is a lot more fun with a partner! Is it so much to ask that we enjoy an extra large frie together every once in a while, instead of you daintily sipping a drink while I capitalize on half-priced appetizers at Happy Hour alone?
While we’re on the subject if bars; I am not a superhero and if I am going to drink I MUST pad that liquor with some carbs. See, beer is not my go-to drink. Sure, I’ll drink a beer if the moment calls for it, but I’m not requesting a draft Hefferveisen from my local barkeep of my own accord. I drink two things when I’m out trying to get inebriated (that is, unless you’re buying then I’ll take whatever you’re having).
My poison is either Tequila on the rocks or a dirty martini. If we’re out getting drinks and my date “forgets” about dinner like he does every other meal, how the hell am I supposed to keep my composure three martinis deep? The answer is, I’m not. The way I see it, there are three options here: a) we start ordering appetizers with our drinks b) I’ll be forced to BYOB my own emergency hard boiled eggs to the bar (#protein) or c) we’ll have to stop drinking. I’ll let him decide what option sounds the most appealing.
Finally, when did breakfast become an afterthought? Is there some fad diet that I have yet to read about that has declared breakfast optional? I mean, of course I like to lay in bed until 11 a.m. on a Sunday as much as the next person. Let’s pillow talk, get in some cardio, binge watch Netflix, and do whatever the hell else we feel like – but please dear god can’t we do it with a muffin? By 10 a.m. my stomach becomes a cavernous monster so unruly you’ll swear we have a third person in bed with us. (No, not like that. We already talked about that and it’s not happening.)
In short, my man eats like a Goldfinch. Is it something I can work through in the short term? Maybe. That being said, if I wasn’t ruining our relationship by moving across the country, then his hummingbird like tendencies might have brought up some serious concerns in my considering the longevity of our future together.
For the sake of our last bit of time together, however, I’m going to have to write this one off as an unfortunate quality in his otherwise solid arsenal of character traits.
Otherwise, if I continue to let my shock and subsequent annoyance that my non-exclusive, non-relationship special friend just isn’t particularly concerned with meals, I fear I may black out in a rage-fueled temporary loss of sanity, purchase a large baguette from the local Panneria, and hit him with it violently.
And no one wants that – the guy bruises like a banana..