Saturday, August 22, 2009

How can it be an eating disorder if it doesn’t make you thin?

posted Sat, 10 Jul 2004

This morning, I made the batter for a cookie recipe I found in the latest edition of Bon Appetit. They are called “Breakfast Cookies,” as if putting Grape-Nuts, wheat germ and whole-wheat flour in them makes an appropriate part of the most important meal of the day.

For lunch, I went to the old-fashioned drug store/soda fountain about two blocks from my house, where I got a corned beef sandwich and a chocolate milkshake to go. When I got home, I drank about ¼ of the milkshake and put the rest in the freezer. When Harpo got here, I gave the rest of it to him.


“You’re just giving this to me so you don’t have to think that you bought a milkshake for yourself,” he accused, as if it were some big revelation.

“Well, yeah,” I answered, rolling my eyes. We’ve been dating for almost three years now and he has just figured this out? Of course I got the milkshake with him in mind. I am making the cookies for him, too.

When I make Key Lime Pie, it’s because it’s his favorite, but also because I can lick the beaters. When I try a new dessert recipe on him, it’s so I can try it without feeling guilty.

Don’t men know this about women? Food does not count if you get it from someone else’s plate. I would never order my own dessert, but I am more than happy to sample whatever Harpo orders.

Food also doesn’t count if you even out the edge of a cake – or break off part of a cookie – or eat some chocolate chips straight from the bag. It doesn’t count if eaten in its raw form. It doesn’t count if it is someone else’s leftover.

When we go out to eat, Harpo will sometimes forget to order dessert, so I have to remind him. The waitress usually knows to bring two forks, although Harpo has been known to get testy and not want to share. He has even had the audacity to demand that I order my own dessert, which shows a very weak understanding of the female mind if you ask me.

If I were someone who forgot to eat or whose pants were in danger of falling off my hips (I am not), I would not mind owning up to what I eat. But I know I shouldn’t be eating desserts – that they will have the expected side effects – so I must live in a state of quasi-denial. I hope Harpo never goes on a diet.

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