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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Let's eat, and eat, and eat...

As anyone with eyes can tell when walking around a mall or shopping center - America is populated by overweight people. Actually, we are an obese people. Now, I know there are those of you that work at it and actually are NOT fat. I know there are young people that are still obese-in-training. But, look around - we are a LARGE group of people. Although I have lost substantial weight over the past two years or so, it is a constant battle to keep all or even most of it off. I was mulling this over lately; and yesterday while we were strolling through an immense shrine to consumerism (Opry Mills mall), I had some thoughts as I was viewing the people strolling with us. First, no respectable mall is complete without a huge temple to caloric intake - the food court. This mall is no different, there is a huge space of tables and chairs flanked on one entire wall by a veritable cornucopia of gustatory delights (and not so delightful - who thinks of some of this stuff! - but that is another post) So, as we are paying homage to the gods of retail, we must stock up on calories. Heaven forbid that we should have to walk, look, and spend money for over an hour and not be able to buy bad Chinese-like food on a styrofoam plate! We shop, we eat. Food and eating LOTS of it has also ingrained itself into all parts of our social lives. What is a safe and acceptable first date? How about dinner (and maybe a movie - but that is not for this discussion either)? Maybe meet for lunch or a snack at the aforementioned food court? Casual encounter? - how about over coffee - which in the U.S. usually means coffee flavored sugar and cream with a muffin the size of a truck tire. Families are given food when another family member is sick or dies. After a funeral people gather and eat. Get married? - lets eat. Get engaged - bring out the cake. Promotion? - how about a dinner. Retire? - goodbye meal. Family gathering or reunion - the food preparations for this can take years of man (or woman) hours of planning a execution. Speaking of execution - scheduled for one later today - what would you like to eat? The last meal has taken the place of final words in most cases. In our family's case, for the meeting I was referring to in yesterday's post - I let my sister know we would be able to get together and one of the first things she offered up was a suggestion for a restaurant. The first night we were eating dinner and my mother, BEFORE we got our food was talking to me about lunch the next day. (I am not picking on you two, I just needed examples. Plus, you are fun to pick on ;)) When we are together we are usually planning meals, even if we are eating a meal at the time (gotta be prepared, we don't want to miss feeding time!) If we as a people were NOT huge, when you consider our food obsessed culture, it would be a miracle. Well, I gotta go - time to eat!!