Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I was sitting with a group of female relatives - cousins, aunts and nieces - at a family picnic this weekend.  Someone casually mentioned that Mrs. EO was in charge of meals at our house and I responded immediately.

Now food is very important to me.  I like food, and I think food knows this, and I think it likes me in return.  We have a very simple, direct and rewarding relationship.

Mrs. EO's relationship with food is much more complicated. I've found that this is true for a lot of women.

Yes, she is generally in charge of making food, but no, she is not in charge of remembering to eat.  That would be disastrous.  How does someone actually say the words "I forgot to eat lunch?"  How do you forget lunch?  I've missed meals in my life, but forget?  Forget?  When I miss a meal I am acutely aware I am missing a meal.  Mrs. EO frequently mentions to me that she "forgot" to eat lunch.

As soon as I started talking about this the women at the table all began laughing.  Apparently they, too, had forgotten to eat meals.  Frequently.

This boggles my mind.  I just cannot comprehend it.  Not just one meal, mind you.  Sometimes Mrs. EO will tell me she is feeling dizzy and then say "oh, no wonder, I never ate today!"  This morning I mentioned breakfast and her response was "oh, I don't want any, I ate so much yesterday at the picnic."

Again, I find this incomprehensible.  You are saying that because you ate a lot yesterday you don't want breakfast?  No breakfast?  Today?  Because of food you ate - yesterday?

This forgetting of meals is not because she is saving someone from a burning house, mind you.  Instead, this forgetting of meals is usually generated by ordinary chores and concerns that whirl around in her head like an ornate circus carousel, constantly whizzing by, reminding her of the endless "to do" list that wakes her up in the morning and refuses to let go of her until the last box is checked at about 11 p.m.

The memory carousel.  Lots of horseys.

Right now Mrs. EO is sorting pictures, because this has been on her mind for quite a while and will not get off the carousel until she gets it done.  I must confess that 25 years ago, I would have even more to look forward to before sleep.  There would be midnight vacuuming and dish putting away.  There was the 3 a.m. kitchen remodeling episode involving Motown, a large piece of plywood, a circular saw and a bottle of wine. 

My "to do" lists typically consist of items one and two, at least, one of which I am not comfortable talking about on a blog.  The other always involves my next meal.  If there is a third thing on the list, the list is complete, and cannot be added to, or my brain will explode.  She, on the other hand, begins to be concerned she's forgetting something if there are not 20 things on her unwritten to do list, each of which can be pulled up on command and reordered or modified without in anyway affecting the perfect integrity of the list.

But then, she will forget to eat.  And this is where I shine.

I remind her.  Because I don't forget to eat.  Not gonna happen.

I remain astonished and mystified, after 30 years of marriage.  I think it is best that way.


  1. Haha! See, you are too useful!

  2. Indeed I am flummoxed by the idea that any human with a heartbeat would "forget" to eat - forgetting to eat is akin to "I forgot to breath". Nay, one does not "forget to eat/breath", one Decides to do so, either by intent or as a result of indigestion from the pizza/coconut creme pie meal the night before. Since prehistoric man was the one usually "bringing home the mammoth", he would damn sure remember to eat what took him a full day and risk to life & limb to aquire!! :-)