At a recent gathering of friends and former colleagues, I caught up with some people I’ve seen only once or twice since the late ‘90s. Amidst the conversations, the reminiscing, the beer, the wings and an Oreo dirt concoction that made us want to slurp it up sans utensils, I reached for a half of a blonde brownie.
“Oh, Ted,” said one, “it’s good to see you still have your appetite.”
IT. WAS. A. HALF. OF. A. BROWNIE.
People looked over in a “what the” kind of way. We joked and laughed, and I think she realized that maybe it didn’t sound the way she meant it.
“I just mean that you always did enjoy your food.”
THAT’S. NOT. ANY. BETTER.
She went on to explain that we all had such fun times going out for work lunches, at which time another friend piped in and reminded me of the water-chestnut-trash incident, a story that sounds worse than it is.
I felt badly that she felt badly because she wasn’t wrong.
I mean, I think she may have been remembering how I loved the chili relleno stuffed with cheese and potatoes at our favorite Mexican joint. Or she may have been thinking about how I once did a story about my quest to conquer every restaurant famous for large portions (I was thwarted by a place that served more than a pound of pasta). Or she may have heard the tale about how I later ate 76 ounces of steak in a sitting for another, ahem, journalistic endeavor.
Whatever the case, yes, I do still have my appetite — and an appreciation for all the foods, flavors and fun that comes with eating.
That, of course, comes with a side dish of sautéed struggle-bus. And it’s a constant fight between eating with my eyes and eating for the real prize — better health and less thigh-chafing.
Right now, I’m on top — making salads (and my own dressing) for lunches, being smart about eating things that maybe I shouldn’t, and doing something I never do: DOGGIE. BAGS.
In the end, I want it all: I want the delights of eating adventurously, and I want the benefits of eating healthy (I also know the two can be the same).
One day, I’ll find the sweet spot, but I suspect I won’t find it buried in the Oreo dirt.