Actually, you DON’T get to comment on what I eat

Today I ran into a local branch of a national craft store for some jewelry findings I’m running low on.  On the way out (after also looking at the fiber and getting some tatting thread to redo a handkerchief I made somebody that I will do better now that I know more) I realized I was hungry and hadn’t eaten since breakfast.  No problem, the craft store had one end cap that had candy on it, and I selected something I’d been craving for a few days.

As I was checking out, the clerk asked if I wanted the candy in the bag or left out.  I told her to leave it out and she asked, “Hungry?”

I responded back, “Yes.  I’ve not eaten since breakfast so I need a snack.”

Her next words shocked me.  “Well, you could probably do healthier than candy though.”

I was shocked, but I’m pretty proud of myself.  I didn’t have a case of “Staircase Wit“.  I said to her, “That’s why I’m glad I’m an adult.” 


“As an adult, I can eat anything I want without having to worry about ‘ruining my dinner’ or answering to my mom about what I eat.”

She seemed to get the idea.  At least, she didn’t say anything more about it.

Honestly, what is it with people who think they get to tell me what I can or cannot eat?  Or, like this store cashier, presume that I don’t know about nutrition?  What she doesn’t know (nor was it any of her business, which is why I didn’t say anything) is when I finally got home from my running and had dinner, I was going to have a couple of wraps made with tortillas, bacon, leaf lettuce, tomato and avocado.  (They were good, too!) 

When she asked me this question, it was after 5pm.  I hadn’t eaten since 10am.  The only things that store had for sale food wise was candy.  I wasn’t about to go to a fast food place and get fries (first of all, not what I wanted and second of all, it would have been too much food and I’d have ended up not eating a good meal because I’d have been full).   And besides which, it wasn’t any of her business to comment to me on what I was eating.

Yes, I do understand I was making the cardinal sin of eating while fat.  I was compounding it by being unrepentant about it and it being candy which has few — if any — socially redeeming qualities (if you are fat, that is).  But that still doesn’t mean that she gets to comment on what I eat.


14 Responses

  1. Some people have a lot of nerve.

    The scenario I always find myself in is that I will go out for lunch with say my mother in law, or my bosses wife, and I will be starving hungry and I will eat a fair amount of my plate.
    The people I’m out with will eat maybe 1/4 to 1/2 of their plate and then look at me all shocked and say “Oh I’m so full I’d be a pig if I ate the entire plate.”

    What’s funny is I know they want to keep eating but they have all this guilt and shame.
    In fact this happened the other day with my mother in law, she would only eat half, but when I was in the bathroom she started taking french fries from her sons plate lol.

    I just laugh and simply say, I eat when I’m hungry and I stop when I’m satiated- whether it be a salad, or meat or a pizza.
    It’s too bad that everyone else is so afraid of food and eating in front of each other.

  2. I’ve always been fascinated by the phenonmenon of eating in public. People feel this NEED to comment on others’ food choices, as if doing so validates their own choices. And like Melissa pointed out about eating with others; I find it crazy-making how often people will leave food because they “don’t want to pig out”. Which, is code for “don’t want to look like an overeater to other strangers who shouldn’t be but probably are watching every bite I take”. Come on. We’re adults. If you want it, eat it. If you’re full or don’t like it, then DON’T eat it. I’m sure we can bring the topic of conversation around to much more interesting topics too then whether or not that person 2 tables over should really be eating XX item.

  3. Good for you – I’d have been so tongue-tied. You managed to both keep your cool and make your point.

  4. During my first year in college, I used to get Klondike bars for dessert occasionally. Once I brought three up to the cashier at the cafeteria, because my mom and sister were going to be visiting me and I thought it would be fun to have ice cream for all of us. (We had mini-fridge/freezers in our dorm rooms.) Unfortunately, one of the P.E. teachers was standing in line in front of me. I didn’t even know him, but he looked at what I was buying, and said, “Do you really need three of those?”

    Staircase wit, yeah. I blushed, turned around, put the ice cream back in the freezer, and ran back to my dorm. Later, I wished I’d have asked him, “What makes you think I’m going to eat all of these, and why didn’t you ask the basketball player behind me if she really needed a whole pizza?”

  5. I guess what I don’t understand is why you felt the need to offer up any kind of suggestion beyond “yes” in the first place. When you do that, I can’t help but feel that the other person feels an invitation to elaborate or follow up on your comments.

  6. Your comeback was fabulous. I think “Good thing I’m adult,” is going to be my new phrase for just about every nosy, busy-bodied, unnecessary comment that comes my way!

    P.S. Is that Garden of the Gods in your header? Beautiful shot. 🙂

  7. Rachel:

    I’m pretty much a regular in that store, and the cashiers do a lot of chit chat over things. Usually they keep it to the craft stuff a person is buying, so when she asked if I was hungry, it didn’t seem like a big deal.

    At first, to me it seemed like the question she asked about the charms I’d gotten. No big deal.

    Besides, why do I always have to guard my speech around people? Saying, “Yeah, I’ve not eaten since breakfast,” is no more asking for somebody to butt their nose into my business then saying I’m going to get the oil changed in my car immediately following, or saying that I’m going to use that charm in a bracelet I intend to keep for myself instead of selling. I no more expect a semi-stranger to tell me that I should sell the bracelet than I do for them to tell me I’m making (in their opinion) nutritionally unwise decisions.

  8. Fantine and Lisa: This is my first time ever not having staircase wit. I’m pretty proud of myself that I didn’t just freeze up or mumble something incoherrant like I usually do. LOL

  9. Yorke: It is Garden of the Gods. I took that picture a summer ago. Thanks for the compliment. 🙂

    I’ve got some good winter pictures I might change the header to soon. Garden of the Gods in snow. It’s SO gorgeous!

    ETA: d’Oh! It IS the winter picture. Nevermind! I was obviously not thinking of what picture I had up when I wrote that!

  10. Recently my (now former) coworker saw me eating a pear and commented, “Back to the fruit, I see.” Confused, I told her I wasn’t aware that I had *left* fruit. She explained, “Well, I saw you eating chocolate cookies yesterday. So now you’re making up for it.”

    Um, someone had brought chocolate cookies into the office the previous day, and I’d eaten some – as had everyone else. And that day I was eating a pear because it was part of my lunch. I enjoyed both. Neither one was a sin nor an atonement.

    She was constantly talking about how “obviously” she needed to lose some weight, and how she and her boyfriend were watching each other’s food intake to make sure they stayed “good”. I’m relieved to have since moved to another department, where no one feels the need to comment on what anybody else is eating.

  11. Good work! I like to use the words of an XKCD cartoon to explain to people why I am so fond of cupcakes (among other things): “We’re grownups now and its our turn to decide what that means”:)

  12. Yeah, these assumptions are annoying. That’s definitely one of my raw spots, being as how my mom is so crazy and has commented on everything I’ve eaten for the last 30 years. She criticizes me for eating dessert, because she’s too disciplined and righteous and pure, so to save me, she’ll eat 75% of mine.

  13. It’s not just “eating while fat” – great line, btw

    A lot of people feel the need to tell others what to do on a whole host of subjects…how to raise our kids, what type of gas guzzling car to drive, who to vote for, sexual preference, religion…the list goes on and on.

    How about, if you don’t have something nice to say, shut the hell up already!

  14. DR: I wish I could claim the phrase, but it’s been going around the internet for a little while now. Unfortunately, I don’t even know who first came up with the term, or I’d attribute it.

    I agree with you. The problem is, for whatever reasons (and there are a multitude of them), people think they can tell other people what to do. You know, under the guise of “just being helpful” or “I don’t want you to make the mistakes I made” or whatever.

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