Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Grabbing Hands Grab All They Can

When I feed Nabby and Rufus, every once in awhile, Rufus just gets a little too close to Nabby, and she goes crazy on him. She whips her head around and if her mouth were any bigger, she'd take his poor lopsided head right off. The food is hers, and everyone else needs to just back off. It's then that I think, "Dear God, she's growing up to be just like me." And I can hear my mom snickering now, because this means her long-ago curse -- "When you grow up, I hope you have kids just like you!" -- has worked, even if my "kids" happen to be dogs. Back then, thinking I was a perfectly fine kid despite being a little mouthy, I would retort "I hope so, too!"

Like Nabby, I am a tad possessive with my food. I don't share. I'm sorry. Don't ask me for a taste. Don't ask for a handful. Put your spoon away. In one episode of "Friends" where Joey says, "JOEY DOESN'T SHARE FOOD!" several friends exclaimed in unison, "Oh my God! That is totally [nabbalicious]." Jasclo even told me that she called one of her friends, who didn't know me at the time, to tell her how very me this was.

This whole thing has led to the perception among my friends that I'm maybe a just a tad selfish. But I categorically deny that. It's just that when I put food on my plate, I put it there with the expectation that I'm going to eat all of it. Every last bit. I don't put extra to share with people. And I don't really get a ton of food to begin with, thanks to Weight Watchers and their so-called "reasonable portion sizes." When I'm eating, you can be reasonably sure that I'm freaking starving by that point. So, when someone comes along with their grabby hands wanting a taste of my already puny meal, I'm a little put out. Have you really never had popcorn before? Are you this hard up to know what Diet Coke with Lime tastes like? Why don't you ever just buy your own damn food or remember to pack a lunch?

I've lied a few times and said I'm not feeling well as an excuse for not sharing. Some people have helped themselves without asking or even being invited, and I've asked them to please stop. There are some people who have asked me for food so frequently that I hide it when I see them coming. When someone says, "Gee, that smells good," I say "It is." OK, I'm probably rude, but if I fed everyone who had their hands out, I'd be a size 0. Wait...we could be onto something here.

Sometimes I wonder what's wrong with me, because it seems like a lot of my friends never mind sharing their food. My attitude about it is a little weird, and I'm starting to wonder, especially when I notice that I act just like my dog. That can't be right.

It goes both ways, though. I almost never help myself to someone else's food, unless they insist I have a taste. My brother-in-law, Ray, is weird about sharing his food, too. When he noticed that several people in my family enjoy trading food when we go out to eat, he started ordering last so he could get what someone else had ordered. This way, someone would be less likely to want to sample his dish. My stepmom and dad thought he was illiterate for the longest time, until they finally asked my sister what the deal was. Unlike Ray, though, I often do make an exception for restaurant sharing.

Just because I'm not parting with the food on my plate doesn't mean I'm not willing to share in general. If I have an extra bag of popcorn or some fruit or can't finish something, I'll offer it to someone who says they're hungry. If I have no food to offer, but I do have change, I'll give you a few quarters for the vending machine. I won't give the Mr. any of the animal crackers I'm eating (I've measured them out and counted the points, you see), but I tell him he can go in the pantry and get some out of the bag. And I know some of you people with whom I toil had quite a number of the cookies I made the other day.

And if Nabby had made those, believe me, you wouldn't have gotten squat.