When driven to the edge, just say yes
There was a time in my life when I could eat anything and everything without ever worrying about gaining weight. I bragged about my great metabolism and good genes. Two babies later, not so much. Then as every nutritionist will tell you, each decade, beginning at 40, brings on an average of 10 pounds, usually around the middle, which is why my friends and I are always either starting a diet, cheating on a diet, or giving up on a diet.
From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, we pretend that we already lost that little extra padding as we reach for sumptuous treats prepared by our fellow dieters. Sadly, the carrot and celery sticks never run out on the buffet table. Their little personalities are probably warped from all that rejection.
To balance my slips and slides on the holidays, I almost never allow myself to visit my favorite fast food franchise – ever – Popeyes. Their fried chicken takes me home to Sunday dinners in Alabama with homemade biscuits and mashed potatoes and gravy, when I weighed 97 pounds.
Normally, I can be strong when driving by one of their establishments, but last week, I had just experienced a terrible trauma at the hands of my oral surgeon, Dr. Payne. He explained to me that the magnificent implant he was going to install in my mouth cost somewhere north of $2,000, plus the cost of the lovely crown my own dentist would install there later. Not only was I looking at nearly $4,000 worth of pain; the implant would be located so far back in my mouth, I couldn’t even show it off to anyone!
I was depressed until I saw that lovely red-and-yellow sign ahead. My spirits were immediately buoyed. I could almost smell the chicken frying and hear the butter sizzling as it melted on those biscuits. I eased my car into the parking lot, slid down in the seat a bit, and scanned the lot to see if I recognized any cars. Nope, safe to go in.
Inside I saw others, probably guilt-ridden, slumped down in their booths, licking their lips and eyeing me suspiciously. I looked away. I sidled up to the counter and placed my order. In record time, I was clutching my prize. I found a booth, still checking to be sure I wasn’t recognized, and dug into my chicken. It was awesome – everything I imagined and more.
Mid-bite, I looked up into the eyes of a fellow diner wearing a jumpsuit from a plumbing company. He had the smile of someone who had just tasted a little bit of heaven. I returned the smile, knowing that I would never be able to call Bob’s Plumbing for service. While there may be honor among thieves, cheaters just can’t be too careful.