He continues to be fully functional cell phone-owning, cat-loving adult, but I think I have made a huge mistake. I've expected that, after three years of gently and gradually overhauling his eating habits, he would no longer reach for fast food pizza and the box of raisin bran (extra sugar sprinkled on top, please) as soon as his wife leaves town.
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In fact, just this morning, I woke from a fretful sleep after having a nightmare of this playing on an endless loop. It was like Groundhog Day sponsored by the high-fructose corn syrup industry.
So, perhaps the question is, why do I care?
My husband has benefited in the food and nutrition department since he's met me. Even he admits that. And I don't think he will ever return to a diet of frozen burritos and canned fruit, something he was living almost exclusively on when we met. But the sugar, now that's another story...
Earlier this week, when I was making plans to be out of town for several days, I began to feel a sense of anxiety about the havoc he's capable of wreaking with sugar. We had this conversation:
Me: "Would you like me to make you some chili, or stew or a casserole before I leave? You know, something you can heat up quickly when you get home at night?"
Him: "No, thanks, babe."
Me: "But what are you going to eat for dinner while I'm gone?"
Him: "I'm a big boy. There's cereal in the pantry."
Me: "What?! You're going to eat cereal every night while I'm gone? With an extra cup of sugar? And a Coke on the side?"
Him: "What's wrong with that? I ate a lot of cereal for dinner before I met you."
Me: "Yeah, but now you have it with an ice cream appetizer and candy bar dessert. I've seen you."
Him: "So if I don't want to eat cereal, I can get a pizza or a sub."
Me: "You're totally avoiding the issue about the sugar! Really, let me make you some chili before I go. I don't like that you're going to eat cereal and fast food and all that sugar while I'm out of town. God knows you'll eat crap for lunch and no breakfast."
Him; "So, what do you want me to do, lie to you? Should I tell you to make chili for me so that you feel better about yourself, then I'll go ahead and eat what I want anyway?"
I have to admit, that last point shut me up. Apparently, it never occurred to me that he wouldn't want to eat his wife's cooking. It never crossed my mind that he might need a little haute cuisine vacation. Especially, he might want to practice his sugar addiction in the privacy of his own home with no one around going into paroxysms over the amount of sugar he chooses to consume.
And maybe he needs a little vacation from his wife as well. He can leave his boots where he wants, get away with not making the bed in the morning. He can put the heat on 77 when he feels a chill in the evening and leave it blasting all night. He can leave lights on in every room, build a rat's nest of candy wrappers next to the TV, leave half-empty Coke cans around the garage, kitchen and back yard and forget to give our elderly dog her supplements. He can let dishes pile up in the sink--although by the sound of things, he's not planning on using many dishes.
But he'll be happy And I'll try not to think about it while I'm gone. He's a big boy.