Oh, The Irony!
Yes, my husband complained about the hardships of preparing a sandwich, while I was cooking dinner. (“Let’s Put It In Context“)
But writing about that little incident reminded me that my husband isn’t alone in failing to recognize bad timing.
Let’s go back a few years… forty to be exact.
(Oh yeah, I still remember. It’s a scientific fact the tiniest little hurts go into a special place in a female brain that saves them forever.)
My last year of college.
I lived in a dorm that many years earlier had been a sorority house. The building was a bit bedraggled, but there was a vestige from the sorority days that was rare and wondrous. We were in possession of a fabulous cook.
Our cook made Lobster Newburg for lunch. Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding was standard fare for dinner. You wouldn’t find me going out for pizza. (I had no money, but that’s not the point.)
Most kids gain weight in college because no one supervises how much junk food they are eating. I gained weight in college because, although not a member of any sorority, I had joined one organization – The Clean-Plate Club.
I never missed a meal.
Until one day. I stayed late after my Mark Twain class (the professor was cute in that elbow-patched way), and I missed lunch. That had never happened. I ran back to the dorm as fast as my wooden hippie clogs could go without shooting them off as dangerous projectiles.
Kids were finishing up in the dining room, but the food had already been cleared. I went into the kitchen and asked our crazy but talented chef if there was anything left. There was not, but she made me a sandwich, which I devoured right there in the kitchen. (I’m a fast eater. I think it stems from my oldest sister always wanting to ‘neaten up’ my ice cream cone.)
The chef had more bad news. Not only had she made cheeseburger clubs for lunch (my favorite), she had made brownies for dessert. And they were gone too.
“But here,” she said, “Hold out your hand.” And she poured me a good handful of walnuts.
Back in the dining room, there were a few stragglers still hanging around, including my friend Franny and her boyfriend.
I sat down with them and ate my walnuts.
“Geez, Nancy,” Fran said, “Do you know how many calories there are in those walnuts?”
And she picked up her books and went off to class.
I was embarrassed and guilt-ridden. As I said, I had never missed a meal that whole year. And I had gained weight. My friend was telling me that I was getting fat. Yikes.
(Yes, I had gained weight. I had gone from a size 5 to a size 7.)
God, I felt terrible. Fran was so slim and gorgeous. She had no ass at all. And she had a tremendous boyfriend. Whereas I had a tremendous ass and no boyfriend at all.
Still sitting across from me, Fran’s tremendous boyfriend laughed.
“Ironic,” he said, and I was humiliated yet again by his laughter.
Until he explained:
“I don’t think Franny realized she was brushing off her brownie crumbs when she said that.”