For The Millionth Time, I’m Not Hungry
Family, Friends and Co-Workers:
I, for the millionth time, am NOT hungry.
I’m not starving myself. I’m not depressed. I’m not mad at you. I’m just not terribly hungry after my very satisfying meal. I’m almost perfectly satiated, and I don’t want to tip the balance. So why can’t I just politely decline dessert, or a second helping, without getting weird looks, awkward comments or a feeling of immense guilt?
I like food, I really do. In fact, I love it. I’d marry it if I could. (Nope, no, not really.) However, I also love NOT feeling like a stuffed sausage after eating a big meal… possibly of stuffed sausages. Being full is nice, but there is a very fine line between fullness and a prolonged and debilitating food coma. And I just can’t afford to cross that line anymore. Like liquor, I’ve had to learn my limits with food. It’s taken awhile (college was CA-RAZY… let me tell you), but I think I’ve finally got it. And unfortunately, it happens to be less than your own comfortable caloric limits and/or the standard American diet of infinity calories. So I guess I’m different. Rats.
But this doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with me. In fact, I think there’s finally something right with me. After 23 years, I’m finally being a sensible eater. Which is nice. And as much as I’d like one of those donuts Fred from the second floor brought for his B-Day today, I’m not actually hungry for it. So I think I’m going to decline. And I’d kind of like you to just not care. There’s no need to acknowledge the fact that I made a healthy choice. And there’s even less of need for you to sheepishly explain yourself for wanting one. I don’t care, eat 10 donuts if you want. Eat 100. Eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. (Ah, okay, please don’t do that). But really, I’m not here to judge. And you shouldn’t be either.
I think food is good. It’s great, grand and wonderful too. But I also think it’s something we shouldn’t so attached to. (Understatement of the year, but still). Yes, it’s fuel for the body and often tasty, but it’s not a living, breathing thing. It doesn’t have feelings, especially your feelings. So if I decline a second dessert, it doesn’t mean I’m judging if you don’t, or that I don’t like you if you made it. Or that I’m anything else besides full, really. When I say “I’m just not hungry,” I tend to mean, “I’m just not hungry.”
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If you’ve been looking for a chance to say something then this very well could be it.
I wish to God I’d had a list like this when I was 23.
Answer phones better than anyone else has answered phones before. Relay messages so brilliant, they bring people to tears. Turn the coffee run into the choreography of Swan Lake. Become best friends with every intern and every underling and every taxi driver you encounter.
I remember taking the pen and notebook from that woman outside the courtroom, flipping to a clean page in the book, and writing, JESSICA IS SAD in big, bold, uncoordinated letters. “My sister is going to be a good writer someday! Look at how nice her lines are!”