Eating disorder

By Nat Goodale | Jul 07, 2010
Nat Goodale

I have an eating disorder, do you know what I mean? Of course you don't, but stay with me here. I'm sitting on the sofa in the kitchen, about six in the morning, and the wife has the icebox open, takes out a tub of yogurt and sets it on the counter and pops the lid. I'm deep into this good book. Jack, my terrorist dog, is leaning hard on my leg, fast asleep. You get the picture -- home-fire bliss, the children still have a half hour before the wake-up drama, all is quiet on the eastern front.

So she turns on me, and brittle, harsh words spit out between those fangs, dripping venom. "Did you eat the cream off the top of the yogurt?"

"What?" I'm still half in the book.

"The top cream; did you eat it?"

I had a small recollection of the thought that hey, this is good stuff, late at night, me slicing the soup spoon sideways along the surface of the yogurt, squeezing a trail of honey on the top, sliding it into my mouth and letting it sluice down my throat, tickling the taste receptors on my tongue.

But hey, now I'm like, where did this attitude come from? I might need to get to the emergency room, have the stab wounds stitched up, if she comes on any stronger. She's right on track.


"I had some yogurt last night." Now I'm like, I don't deserve this. And I'm drawing into myself real quick, getting angry, thinking "back off."

She comes on stronger. "And you didn't mix the top in with the rest?" She's aghast with incredulity.

I'm getting really short now -- you get the picture -- I can lash out with my own swordplay, let me tell you. But from past experience, I know it's best to seethe in silent fury, with no eye contact. She isn't worth it. And then, we all know, if I have an eating disorder, it still pales in comparison with my anger issues. Injustice does that to me, and I can get volcanic.

I manage to spit this out: "I didn't see any instructions on the stuff. What? It has to be turned over? Then put a Post-it on the top."

I retreat into my book and silent rage fills the kitchen from two sources. Jack is sound asleep on my leg. He should be up and growling at this assault on his master. Darn dog, where is he when you need him?

And I know, can't you see, that this little episode -- the yogurt incident -- is just going to be added to past indiscretions. I can count them on two hands -- the school oranges, pizza for the children's lunch, the box of granola put back in the cupboard with a thimble full of crushed cookie dust in a corner of the cellophane.

The food in my icebox is too good to eat; don't touch it. And if hunger calls, then don't eat what I am not supposed to eat; what am I thinking? Never the good stuff; leave it alone.

I'm thinking I just about have the woman's talk down pat, all meaning between the lines. "If you have to ask what I mean, then you don't care about me." You know what I mean. And now this! I need a guidebook, maybe a GPS, whenever I get the urge to open the icebox door.

I get it, whatever. So what if I have an eating disorder? I think I'm going to write a book -- the disorder diet.

I got the children out of bed and then took some meat out of the freezer. The roast thawed faster than the marital iceberg.

My 10-year-old daughter thinks we need two iceboxes, one for their food, and one for what I'm allowed to eat.




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