Below I posted a rough draft of an essay that was assigned in my English Composition class at the local college. As mild as it is in regards to my non-christian status, it has caused problems for me in my public community college that spouts diversity on every other page of it's catalog. Anyway, as you can tell by the title I thought it might be good a laugh among the paganchicks. It's long, so don't feel like you have to read it to be nice. I had not realized there was a pagan group here I am happy to find it.
If American talk show hosts and their arm chair psychiatrists are to be believed, than many people form their relationships with food based on the nurturing or lack thereof that they have received throughout childhood. For instance, who can honestly not recall a time in their childhood when food, candy, or desert was used as a bribe to stop crying or just plain be quiet and leave the adults alone. I am sure this single-handedly is the reason that almost all women, at some point in time, will happily settle for a double fudge brownie, when they realize no hugs are forthcoming. However, in my case, along with all that childhood food issue baggage, I have also succeeded in creating my very own self imposed ‘train trunk’ full of things that can and will be replaced by food. Hidden not so deeply within that trunk is also a sort of Pandora’s Box. Consequently, as my age increases, so does my creativity in using my relationship with food as a surrogate for all types of affection, including the many sensual and erotic pleasures that are so very absent in my life.
Existence for me began with my father leaving very early on (this was to prevent our demise), so as a single mother in the early seventies, my mom had to make ends meet on very little. The result-ing home had no sugar cereal for breakfast, no soda pop, no Kool-Aid like our friends always had, be-cause sugar was too expensive. We ate a lot of hamburger with boiled potatoes, but we never went hungry. On the other hand, at Grandma's house while nothing was fancy and there was still no Kool-Aid, she always had sugar; and there were always second helpings, whether her diners wanted them or not. My family was not the touchy-feely hugging type; Grandma seemed to show that she loved her family and friends by feeding them or sitting down at the kitchen table with them to drink tea and tell stories about her childhood. Luckily my little brother was sickly, so I got to spend a lot of time at Grandma's kitchen table as a kid. She was Scottish; hence baking tarts, cookies, and pies was a big thing around the holidays. Dwelling so often at her house, I got to learn how to help her with these la-bors of love. I also observed that as she got older, her hands were becoming more and more twisted by the arthritis brought on by childhood rheumatic fever. Nonetheless, she still rolled pastry and baked dozens of tarts and cookies every holiday. To think about how greatly those poor twisted hands must have ached and to recognize that she needed to bake and cook in order to show her love for all of us is just overwhelming. I did not grow up with fast food or cakes that came from boxed mixes, so food will never be just something to take in for physical nourishment for me. It can't be; that would dishonor the memory of my grandmother's kitchen table.
However, once upon a time, even with childhood baggage, my life had all the necessary components for balance; those things being oxygen, water, sex, food, shelter, friends, work, affection, and play. (Pretty much in that order.) Life, as expected, constantly fluctuates in and out of varying degrees of balance, but many years ago a few rather unspeakable events took place. As a result, sex was re-moved from the table for many years. My theory is that among the council of my spirit guides resides a sadistic comedian who wanted to see what would happen when eroticism was removed from my life's equation. Well naturally, the dope should have known that being from my family it was food that would have to fill in for the missing component, thereby filling two spots in the equation. After food filled two spots for awhile play went away as well, then food had to fill three spots. Once play is gone, the friends disappear and with no friends affection goes right out the window. Thereby leaving food to fill not one but five separate facets of life.
After a decade and a half of that vicious cycle of imbalance, I was granted a bittersweet reprieve that could only have been orchestrated by the Goddess herself. And so, for a blissful few years balance was restored; allocating food back to holding only its one rightful position.
I met my knight in shining armor when I moved back downstate to help my mother care for my dying grandmother. His name was Tom, and after quickly getting to know my family he even acted as a pall bearer for my grandmother's funeral. Somehow it seemed natural that I continue the tradition of feeding the ones I loved, and Tom was a very enthusiastic consumer of a healthy but decadent gour-met show of affection from time to time. We would watch America's Test Kitchens together and he would pick from their cookbooks one big meal a week. On Fridays he would take me out to dinner after work, then on Saturdays I took the shopping list to what usually ended up to be at least two different grocery stores, to shop for Sunday’s big meal and buy something simple for Saturday night. Then on Sunday morning we ate a nice breakfast and I would settle into the kitchen for the all day affair of preparing the evening meal. Since our TV was strategically placed to be viewable from the kitchen table, I did not have to spend this time alone. Tom helped with things like nut chopping and drying dishes, so that meal preparation was also our quality time, after a week full of over-time.
That lasted for a much treasured era and then some of my more sadistic guardians decided it was time to rock the proverbial boat with a nice little case of terminal cancer for the gallant knight. Accordingly when my husband was too ill to be able to have sex, I automatically fell back on food as a way to show him how much I loved him; rather than just the healthy fun Sunday dinner rituals. There was a time after Tom died when the hole in my heart and soul was so raw, bloody, and gaping that I spent nearly two weeks consuming only chocolate, tequila, coffee, and Kools. I wanted that little endor-phin buzz so badly, it is indescribable I truly needed to feel anything other than what I felt. I remember standing at the kitchen counter over a box of chocolate confections picking out my dinner and consider-ing which flavors would go well with the lime in my tequila and trying to read the box lid through tears, to find the dark chocolate with peppermint that would be the appetizer with my menthol cigarette.
Observing my relationship with food, would certainly suggest to the world that I lack will power. As anyone can see by my treatment of a good chocolate bar or an ice cream cone, I am somewhat decadent and have an oral fixation. Now that celibacy once again holds supreme rule over my pitiful life, no whipped cream is ever wasted in the sheets. Honey is licked from a spoon, chocolate is not just for dessert anymore, the only smooth slippery thing in my life is the olive oil on my salads. Only the act of climbing stairs leaves me gasping for air, (but on the upside no more TMJ problems either). Even the natural animal desires are pretty much gone; my instincts are once again confused. When I look at an intriguing man with strong arms, a firm jaw, Irish eyebrows, and beautiful hands, I don't think about all the things I used to be able to do with that kind of ammunition, I just wonder if he knows how to fix things. When I see a beautiful woman with full lips, curvy hips, deep brown eyes, and mocha skin, I think “hmm, ‘chocolate’, where can I get some,” instead of normal, “gee, I wonder if her lip gloss tastes like chocolate.” The sound of a man’s deep velvety voice used to give me goose bumps for all the right reasons, now it just reminds me of French silk pie. Old songs by Prince used to cause immediate thoughts of juicy foreplay, now I just think of cherries as they relate to pie and strawberries as they re-late to ice-cream. When I read sexy novels about elves and vampires, I do so while alternating between crunchy salty stuff and sweet gooey stuff, with absolutely no inclinations to find a partner to play with.
Well, here we are back at the beginning, knowing how, but still needing to answer the timeless question of “Why is chocolate better than sex?” That is much simpler to explain, I ask you to consider this. As a “too fat for good sex kind of woman,” when confronted by a decadent, rich portion of choco-late 'something', I tend to visualize two roads going in opposite directions. On the first road headed away from the chocolate is a long obstacle course going through a couple years of dieting and exercise to reach the other end where, if very lucky I might find some really great “ankles behind the head” and “all 21 positions in a one night stand” kind of sex. The other road is much shorter, goes straight with no crunches, takes only a few seconds, and ends in a smooth, sweet, endorphin friendly chocolate treat. Guess which road I invariably take.