Saturday, June 03, 2006


For some twisted reason, when we were kids, a snack was called a 'treat.' So when we were hungry in the afternoon, we'd say "Can I have a treat?" This was bizarre because it makes necessary food sound like a reward for proper behavior.

My father had a bizarre relationship to food. He was raised during the Great Depression, but his twisted psychology had to be personal, rather than a product of an era.

He once carped to my mother that "These kids eat five meals a day!" I counted them in my head. Breakfast, lunch, dinner ... snack. Where was the fifth? Much of what he said was emotional.

If you prepared a snack for yourself in the afternoon, he would come from wherever he was in the house and stand there watching you. It was like he was bearing witness to your shame. I think he was absorbing some kind of personal karma points by comparing his goodness to your sin.

Yes my younger sister and I are very thin, but I couldn't gain much weight even when I was young, lifting weights, and eating like a horse, and she's just plain thin. But my older sister is big, fleshy and round. So go figure.

The kicker was when I was not eating enough dinner one night, and I claimed not to be hungry.

"That's because you eat so much junk food!" he said.

I thought junk food was cola, chips, Twinkies, french fries, Ho-Ho's, Ding Dongs, and licorice sticks. I rarely got access to any of that stuff.

I was puzzled. "I had corn flakes for treat today. Is that junk food?"

"Yes it is."

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