Do you have a relative, most likely a grandma, whose house you love to go visit because there are tons and tons of food and candy and sweets readily available to gorge yourself on? Well that is my parent's house. If you were to look into my mom's pantry at any given moment you would find at least: 8 boxes of different cereal, 5 types of chocolate candy bars, 7 bags of chips, and 3-4 store bought cookie packages. And in the freezer/fridge: 10 varieties of pop, refridgerated candy bars, frozen pizza, 5 bags of frozen homemade cookies, ice cream, chocolate and caramel fudge sauce, and some kind of homemade cake or pie. But these are not generic food products like Yammy Cola or Bob's funtime cookies. We are talking Doritos, Oreos, Mountain Dew, Fritos, Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Heath bars, M&Ms, etc. My mom is very brand loyal. Except when it comes to ice cream. You would think she would have Ben and Jerrys or Homemade or even Breyers. But its always Kroger Brand 'Private Selection' ice cream. My mom is the true modern day Old Woman from the Hansel and Gretel story without the need to eat children and there were too many code violations when using gingerbread rather than drywall. But I digress.
You know this if you have a mom or grandma with this kind of spread in their house, but everytime we go over there, after saying hello, everyone goes into the kitchen and opens the pantry or fridge. And no one is immune to it. I have seen everyone of my syblings and their spouses and their children do it when coming to my parent's house. But the thing is, you go even if you are not hungry. We went over there today and as soon as we walked in the house, my wife and I both unaware went to the pantry and started pulling stuff out to eat. It was 10:30 and I ate breakfast at 9:30. I wasn't hungry but it doesn't matter. Its the "Pull of the Pantry." Like some kind of unnatural tractor beam that sucks you in and makes you gorge yourself on food you dont even want but you eat because its there. I walked in today (remember 1 hour after breakfast) and I was eating Doritos, chocolate wafer cookies, Mountain Dew, and homemade Rolo cookies. I stopped and asked myself 'why am I eating when I am not hungry?' to which my stomach replied, "well you just had a dorito chip so lets finish with something sweet and we will be finished." So I ate a cookie. But the Dortio bag was still out so I had another chip. Then again my stomach reminded me I needed to finish with something sweet, so another cookie later I was looking for more doritos to keep up this pattern. You would think my mind would be screaming at me to stop or suffer the repercussions but while my mouth was busy chewing and my stomach was busying growing, my mind was thinking, "so lunch is in an hour, what are we going to have for desert?" Its a sickness. And after the binge-fest, while talking with my wife I come to a stunning realization: I grew up in this house, why am I not 500 pounds? Its not like we didnt have all this food growing up. I guess when its always around you can pace yourself but when you come to visit and its not what you are used to at your own house, it turns into an 'all you can eat' contest with yourself. And let me tell you, you always win...or lose, depending what the scale says after a visit.
But you can always justify indulging in the guilt-inducing smorgasborg of crap by one statement that has been used to justify binge eating by cruise goers for years: "Hey, its vacation!"
The Joyful and Tired Dad