At the Fair

Battered Bacon on a Stick!

It struck me this week when I went on a fairly uncharacteristic (well – these days anyway) binge.  The circumstances did not seem to particularly encourage the binge.  I wasn’t really hungry, but binges are rarely about the food.  Salty versus sweet:  this probably has some deep-down meaning I don’t care to ponder.  Bottom line:  binging serves a purpose.  It is up to each one of us to determine that purpose.

What did I eat?  Okay – in the interests of full candor here – and what good is a blog that is less than candid?

  • Chicken salad sandwich on a white roll
  • Wheat roll and butter
  • Butternut Squash Soup

I could have stopped there.  I was on jury duty that day.  I had a long lunch break and figured, what the hell, I’m not in the mood for still yet another green salad with chicken breast so have a sandwich.  I made a fairly indulgent (for me) choice although I did opt for “half a sandwich, a cup of soup.”  I could have picked simple protein, lightly dressed – or with mustard.  I could have had a clear soup – instead of creamed.  But, that is not what I wanted — and it was not what I ordered, and ate.  Eating the roll — with butter — after eating the sandwich should have made me suspicious.  But, I ignored the warning signs.

That is, I could have kept on,  if this were about food.  Something in jury duty struck an anxious chord with me.  The judge’s questions about ‘have you ever or anyone you know been convicted?” for one.  Was I supposed to divulge the youthful indiscretion of getting busted for pot possession?  I sweated that out for a year and the judge tossed it out…said I didn’t need to tell anyone about it – it was as if I had not been arrested, booked, fingerprinted and mug shotted.  (all of which I was).  I figured that gave me a pass.

That someone close to me was convicted – was another thing.  Candor unnecessary because it is not my story, but theirs.  But, it clearly stirred up some stuff!

The binge.  Oh yeah: the binge.  After the lunch that let me beyond sated, I headed back to the courthouse.  Passed a bakery and thought, what the hell.  No, let’s be honest: I was foraging for binge food.  And, pie came to mind.  Childhood comfort food if e’er there were one.  So, I stopped at Billy’s Bakery, counted my shekels and saw I had enough to get

  • a piece of peach pie

The pie was okay.  But, just okay.  I am pretty sure the peaches were not fresh – and the pie was cold – and I didn’t feel like bringing anyone else into my shameful little overindulgence and get it heated up.   I ate it.  And, enjoyed it.  Very little.

After court, when I revealed the other’s conviction, I entered the streets of the city – in search of more F-O-O-D.  I had entered the gateway to the binge.  I bought

  • a raspberry shortbread bar (I should’ve gotten the lemon bar the night before – and maybe this binge would never have started.  Who knows at this point.  Though, c’mon!!!  YOU SHOULD KNOW!!).
  • a lemon raspberry cookie.  Then
  • a dark snickers bar
  • And a Häagen-Dazs® ice-cream bar.

You know in writing it doesn’t look so bad.  But, it felt bad.  And, I felt badly about it.   So, here is the point of this candid anecdote.  Life presented me with an opportunity, not to pick on myself, not to beat up on me, not to even feel badly about the day, because it was past and passed.  This was my chance to look at what was underlying the binge.  And, learn from it.

When we go into that zone where all we think about is food, overeating food, what we would eat if we could – and would.  Then, how icky we feel afterwards.  ALL of that distracts us from what is really bothering us.  So, I didn’t think once that day of the anxiety over the conviction revelation.  Or, what the power that incident still clearly held over me emotionally.  All I thought about was E.A.T.I.N.G.!!!

To my credit – and we all have this power, I did look at that behavior the next day – and analyzed it for what it was.  That allowed me to leave the binge behind.  And, be all the wiser for looking at what caused it in the first place.