People watching is the best show on earth...

Dec 27, 2007

Bathroom Sneak

. Dec 27, 2007

Views


I am out amongst the after-holiday sale crowds at a local mall. People yawn as they trudge around clothes racks. Some scowl as I wait in line. Merchandise litters the floor in aisles near the cash registers. I finally reach check out and my stomach growls audibly. As I step out into the fresh air, a Soup Plantation restaurant beckons. I approach eagerly, under the spell of delicious soups, salads and breads served buffet style.

The restaurant is only scattered with diners. I'm relieved. I grab a tray and start down the assembly line of fresh food. A couple falls in behind me. The man sighs repeatedly as the woman talks about someone's family drama. She is a slender brunette in jeans and a black turtle neck. She selects lettuce and spinach, piling more fresh vegetables atop the mound. The man is heavy-set with broad shoulders and a shaved head. He wears black sweat pants and a plaid flannel shirt. He fills his plate with Caesar's salad and spoons pasta and potato salads onto it. The woman looks at her husband's plate repeatedly as she's talking. We approach the salad dressing bar and the man pours two ladles of blue cheese atop his plate. The woman chooses raspberry vinaigrette:

Woman: Honey, come on. That's too much dressing.
Man: Oh geez. Not today, huh? Let's just enjoy our lunch.
Woman: Well, you wanna lose weight. I'm just trying to support you.
Man: Do me a favor. Don't be so supportive.
Woman: Well. I'm just saying.
Man: Trust me. I know what you're saying.

We pay for our meals and part ways. After cleaning my plate, I head back to the buffet for some delicious fat noodle chicken soup. On my way I pass the bread island. The man is standing in front of a steaming tray of chocolate muffins. He leans forward, then hesitates. He glances around the island toward the dining area. He returns to the muffins, takes one in each hand and walks opposite of the dining room. My bowl of soup and I peak after him around the corner. He and his muffins enter the men's restroom.

30 Whispers:

Pand0ra Wilde said...

Maybe I'm strange, but I just don't believe in lecturing or nagging my man unless he's specifically asked me to help in that way.

I just can't help feeling that her "support" just drives his behavior underground, and I just can't see me doing that.

deathsweep said...

Poor guy must be on a forced diet or has no will power. It's a shame that as an adult he has to act like a child stealing candy. I'm sure it's for his own good to lose a few pounds but it's so hard to have to hear what you yourself know from someone else, no matter the motives.

Sweet Mummy said...

Interesting for you to pick up on this exchange. You are very insightful and the way you see things and then write about them is really very good. I'm sure it helps your writing overall. Great stuff.

It's OK to be WEIRD!

Vienne said...

Pandora, I'm with you on this one. There's nothing worse than a nagging wife or girlfriend. I believe that cliche about it being impossible to change someone. I think there's a difference between supporting and demanding.

I love your analogy Deathsweep! Now that you mention it, his eyes were round with fear or excitement, maybe both, like a kid caught in the candy jar.

Thanks Sweet Mummy. I would be lost without my eavesdropping and this blog has become a very handy way to store my files. I'm glad it entertains others, too. I have to say, I'm so curious to know if there were other men in the bathroom when he came in holding these muffins. Can you imagine?

T. said...

nagging wife or not, eating finger food in a public bathroom is just plain NASTY.

Vienne said...

Ha! T., you have a point there.

AntiBarbie said...

Sounds like he is being prodded into a lifestyle change that he does not want and he's passively aggressively fighting it. I used to sneak food when I was a teen, never took it to the restroom though. That's nasty. I lived with my grandmother for awhile and she was really down on me about my weight. I hated eating any type of snack food in front of her so I would sneak off and eat it in my room.

Vienne said...

AntiBarb, I discovered Cool Whip living with my parents as a teen. I was absolutely in love with it. I would get up super early and eat heaping spoonfuls of it while everyone else was still sleeping. What can I say? I still love it, although I don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to have some anymore.

Alan/Libdrone said...

I feel sorry for the guy. I mean he is eating salad, great for the diet anyway and having some dressing on it is not what makes him fat, if he is.

(as you described him I would probably be more like to call him Hot rather than fat unless he was seriously ugly in some way. And on a bet I might well be willing to test how far I could get with him just using feedback more positive than what he gets at home...)

Vienne said...

Hi Alan, I have a softspot for this guy because, one, you can never have too much blue cheese and, two, anyone eating chocolate muffins in hiding has my deepest sympathies.

As for your bet, I decline to wager as I think the odds are stacked in your favor. ;)

bluecrystaldude said...

I can't believe he is willing to eat it in men's restroom. In Asia, the toilets are disastrous to even imagine eating anything in there. Plus, it is chocolate muffins! Pity little man. Her wife should be more understandable

Vienne said...

Hi Bluecrystaldude, I guess craving overpowered hygiene! He must have really wanted those little yummies. Well, as you say, it's chocolate muffins we're talking about. I can still smell them.

zannnie said...

you have a very interesting blog! :)

Vienne said...

Thank you, Zannnie. I never tire of eavesdropping or the inspiration I draw from it for my writing. Hope you visit again.

Writing Nag said...

Thanks Vienne,
Again a great post, how sad that he feels the need to hide food from his wife. Who obviously eats healthy and wants him to do the same. my husband's usual response when I say anything about food choices is it's my body...my usual response is which I'd like to have around for a lot longer. But in the end every adult has to make their own decision how they choose to eat.

mikster said...

Nagging never works, as the trip to the restroom proves....lol

Wakish said...

Hey there..
Wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year 2008!

Cheers!
- Wakish -

Rain said...

I love reading this blog and I am amazed at how perceptive and insightful you are. I am going to have to begin being more observant when I am out and about.

Vienne said...

Thanks for the kind holiday wishes, everyone! Right back atcha.

Rain, thank you. I encourage anyone who's interested in human behavior (who isn't?) to give intentional eavesdropping a try. What I mean by that is when I go out I intend to overhear people and I do, every time. I may not catch anything worth telling, but somehow if I tell my mind to be alert to what's being said around me the words come in loud and clear and everything else sort of fades to background noise, instead of the other way around.

When I don't concentrate on it, my mind wanders with my own thoughts just like everyone else and I really don't pick up on conversations around me.

Phostan said...

you got a very nice blog here. your writing style is good and your content is great! keep it up.

Vienne said...

Thanks, Phostan. Glad you enjoyed it. I'll never run out of content with eavesdropping!

Agnes Mildew said...

It's a very tough call that your observational male had to take. I have suffered with an eating disorder in the past and know how each morsel affects one. Although I never, ever impinged upon my partners, strangely enough...

Weight should never be an issue between any of us. We are what we are. If we like eating, good on us. If we prefer to diet and remain slim, fair enough. I tend towards the latter these days and have discovered that I am the most boring person in a communal dinner, tending towards the fish and steamed veg.

What a life we lead, eh?

Vienne said...

Hello Agnes, I say to each their own, too. Oh, and I find fish rather exciting...especially salmon of any preparation!

Selene said...

I have a feeling my dad feels this way. We want to help him live longer, but sometimes I catch him in the laundry room eating there so he won't be nagged. This conversation reminded me of my mom and me.

Vienne said...

Hello Selene, it's hard to let loved ones decide for themselves, isn't it? Especially when they may be harming themselves. In any case, it's nice your Dad has a daughter and wife who love him. Beautiful avatar, by the way.

Jolly Green Girl said...

LOL... This reminds me of the conversation I have with my boyfriend. Yes, I am the nagging girlfriend.. but if I don't say anything.. half hour later.. I have to hear him complain or whine that he ate too much or he's getting too fat..

When I don't mention anything about how much he's eating... he even says to me, "Why did you let me eat so much?" Then I have to remind him that he's a an adult and I shouldn't have to say anything. Secretly I think he likes me saying something to him. :)

love your blog. I have you on my reader and always enjoy reading your stories

Roland Hulme said...

Ewww.

the CL experiment said...

Ok..I know I'm only 2 months behind here but just read this and can't decide whether to laugh my ass off or cry for the poor bastard. He obviously has no self control and lives in fear of the verbal berating he will take from his wife. She is in a tough position too though because if she lets it pass without commentary she is essentially enabling him. Time for gastric bypass.

Vienne said...

Hi CL, I had an assortment of reactions myself: I laughed to myself, felt bad for him AND her, then glanced down at my own plate piled high with bad choices!

erin said...

This encounter makes me cry. It seems as though he has developed an eating disorder doesn't it. I feel so sad for him. Having an eating problem myself it is so hard to stop eating when you do not see the good in yourself. I wish there were a way to help this man from here.

 

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