Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I recently started corresponding with a new friend about food issues via email. In the course of our conversation it brought up this memory about sneaking food.

I remember a time from my childhood where I snuck some food because I felt I needed it. It was as if there were some magnetic draw between myself and the food. I had to have it.

I was probably a tween and it was definitely summer. I remember wearing shorts, remember sitting at the kitchen table, remember it being the weekend. My mother was making lasagna and had taken a brick of mozzarella and shredded it by hand with a grater.

She left the room and the fresh pile of cheese behind. I got up to eat a little bit, stuffing it into my mouth quickly. Then I went back for more.

My father came charging into the kitchen questioning me about the cheese. Had I taken some? Where was it?

I had heard him coming and hidden the cheese under my leg, my right leg, as I sat at the table. He made me open my mouth. No cheese. He looked around and then discovered the hidden food. I remember a lot of yelling and my mother coming back into the room, looking at me, while I sat shamefacedly.

I think I had been in the room to be close to my mother who worked a lot. I remember the feeling of shame, the embarassment, the guilt. I had stolen from her, from them, and in doing so removed myself even further from her.

Why did I have to sneak that cheese? Why was I compelled to eat? Why couldn't I just sit there like a good girl, a normal girl? Why did I have to let my mother down again?

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