Monday, November 10, 2008

Meat always comes first

Eating disorders run in my family.

My father has one. My mother has one.

Thank goodness they're not the same disorder, or my sisters and I would be screwed by that dominant weird eating gene.

I first recognized my father's eating disorder at a young age: He puts only one item on his plate at a time.

My three sisters and I would gather around the table for a nice meal of meatloaf, mashed potatoes and corn and marvel at how my father would fill his plate with one item and finish it before starting another.

The meat always came first. He'd gobble it down, and then plop down a large spoonful of mashed potatoes. The vegetables always followed.
Intermingling of foods was an abomination.
I never asked him why, but I'm sure my mom has had this conversation with him before. Here's how it plays out in my head:

Dad: "You can't mix the corn with the meat."
Mom: "Why not? They all get mixed together in your stomach anyway."
Dad: "But I don't have tastebuds in my stomach."

I don't really consider my father's eating disorder a life-threatening dilemma.

My mother's eating disorder, on the other hand, may get her into trouble. It rears its ugly head during dessert after a holiday dinner. She'll serve up a piece of pie or cake or (insert the specialty sweet here) and reclaim her seat at the table.

But before she eats, she grabs a piece of meat -- ham, turkey, meatloaf, nothing is sacred really -- to eat with it. She claims she can't eat dessert without meat. (Is anyone thinking of a Pink Floyd song right now? How can you have any pudding if you can't eat your meat?) She blames her Dutch heritage. My sisters and I say the Dutch would disown her if they knew she blamed them for such peculiar behavior(especially since she's only 0.00009 percent Dutch.)

I don't doubt, however, that the eating disorders with which my parents are afflicted are hereditary.

I've been told my paternal grandfather used to compartmentalize his food like my dad does.

And holidays with my mom's side of the family is like watching an episode of Fear Factor. No dessert is safe from the unholy union with meat.

And people wonder why I'm obsessive-compulsive.

With the season fast approaching, I've begun preparing myself for the quirks in family holiday dinners. Luckily, my parents, sisters and extended family are comfortable enough to laugh at our own oddities and the poking fun is done on an equal opportunity basis. So, it's actually kind of fun.

Tell me about your holiday dinners.


Anonymous said...

OMG, that's funny. We all have such weird quirks, huh?

Our family dinners, while growing up, were pretty "normal" if there is such a thing. Gotta eat the meal first, and yes, we would put multiple things on our plates, mush them all together, and shovel them in. :-)

THEN dessert came. After our main meal has settled a bit, and usually while playing cards or something.

Ahhhh, the memories.

NOW, since I've been married 12+ years, we have our own tradition...
Multiple things, mush together, shovel, rest, eat dessert...hmmm, seems the same.


TerriRainer said...

Meat and pie? How about just icing a good ole pot-pie and calling it good? EW! I couldn't imagine a big ole piece of pumpkin pie, covered in kool-whip, and lightly sprinkled with shredded turkey...kind of kills the mood for me! The only problem I have is I eat WAY too much, and then have to pack down the pie when there is really no room left.

BTW Thanks so much for the stuff! It was so fun wondering what it was, and then to find all the cool things in the bag!!!

:) Terri

Kat Harris said...

Yeah, the latest saying we've come up with is, "Please pass the frosted meatloaf."

Glad you liked the package Terri. I wanted to play with that paddle ball so badly before I sent it to you. :-)

Sabrae said...

My wife is almost just like your dad! How funny! Except that she does put all the food on her plate. But none of it touches and she only eats one thing at a time. Me on the other hand I have your mom's mentality... It all goes in the same place... So I mix it all up and eat away!

LiteralDan said...

Ignoring the stomach-puzzling idea of meat-based desserts, I think your dad is definitely onto something.

I think I'd definitely end up eating less if I only took one thing at a time, instead of heaping up a bunch of everything when I'm at my hungriest, then feeling compelled to clear my plate.

It's probably too late for me to start doing this.