Monday, October 08, 2012

A Lesson In How To Eat Food

I met up with family this past weekend for Thanksgiving. We meet up at restaurants now because it's easier, and no one gets stuck with the anxiety of cooking and cleaning. And you can get anything you want. I had eggs and bacon.

But something strange happened. As we all quietly ate (in a utilitarian way), and finished (in a utilitarian way), one person was still eating - my 11 year old cousin. He got breakfast too, the same as me, and he still had home fries left on his plate about 20 minutes after I had finished mine. What was going on? He was putting down his fork. Taking a bite. He was reading his Ipod touch. Taking another bite. He was talking to other people. Then taking even another bite. He was pausing. And - can you believe it? - there was still food on his plate!

As I watched him, I realized how much I missed that. I missed the patience he showed, the distinct lack of ravaging, and simply, what appeared to be a simple enjoyment in eating food. As I thought, it occurred to me I hadn't wasted food since about the late 90's. Stomach about to perforate? I paid good money for that! Leave food on your plate? No way! Though the poor children in developing countries were never quite a convincing argument.

As the minutes passed, and the waitress came by uttering her ancient, tried and tested, line of "You still working on that?" my young cousin nodded, unaware of the awed adults around him, our realities shaken and upset. Yes, indeed, he was still working on that. While the rest of us, in shame, unwrapped and popped our Zantac tablets.


  1. When he was little, my brother would take bites of his lunch, then run around playing with his toy cars or water gun and then run back to the table for another bite. He took his time playing and eating. He had a blast doing this. Maximum enjoyment! I always liked reading my library books while eating a meal. :)

    Great post Brad!

  2. My sister and I were slow eaters when we were kids, but it was for another reason. It was a competition to see who would have the last bite. Usually, it was over something good like a frozen pizza. I would slowly eat in small bites trying to still have a slice left over when she had finished hers. My food would usually be cold by the time one of us gave in.


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