Friday, March 14, 2008

One More Thing That Makes Me Wonder About People

When did people start eating at every event they attend, including the grocery store, WalMart, and church?

When I was a kid (oh stop) we had three meals and maybe one snack. Yes, we were HUNGRY when it was finally lunch/supper time; maybe that's why we ate what was on our plates. (usually, and often under duress, but we eventually ate it or went without.) We knew it was a long time till the next time. Parents who fix Courtneigh and Jerameigh some toast when they don't "like" the meal are doing them no favors. But then, I don't even think restaurants should offer burgers and nuggets and hot dogs on the children's menu. Smaller portions of what everybody's eating, that's what it should be. It makes me shudder to see kids eating chicken nuggets at the Chinese or Mexican place. Why even bother going? Let your kids get hungry and THEN see what suddenly looks good. "My kid will go for a week without eating unless I fix him chicken nuggets." Yeah, well, if he passes out, put him to bed. When he wakes up, offer him whatever the family is having. I bet he gives it a one-bite.

Now, wherever I go, people are drinking and eating. Can't we push a cart down the grocery store aisle without nursing a bottle of water and a granola bar and a sack of cheesy goldfish?

I was reading Laura Ingalls Wilder yesterday, and a page dealing with Laura bringing Pa his midday drink of water struck me: I bet most people these days would feel abused if they had to wait a MINUTE for a drink, let alone hours and hours when the sun was broiling hot and they were doing hard, really hard, physical labor. Back then, people got up at dawn, had breakfast, worked four hours, had a drink, worked two more hours, had lunch (dinner, back then) worked three more hours, had another drink, worked three more hours, went home, did an hour's worth of chores, had supper, sat around talking for a while, and went to bed. I don't mean that I think the good old days should be brought back, but what happened to us that we honestly believe everything must be accompanied by food? And that we must drink and eat the very second, EVERY second, we feel hungry? And often when we aren't even hungry; we just want it!

If I owned a store, it would bother me to see customers and children handling the merchandise with wet, cheese-encrusted fingers, spilling food and drinks on the carpet, etc. Are there really people whose kids are so out of control, they have to be placated with a plate lunch while riding in a grocery cart for twenty minutes? Well, of course there are. Nobody likes them, either. Are there really adults who feel they must quench every thirst the very minute they sense it? And you really don't want to get me started on people who start eating the food before it's even paid for, at the grocery store. You see them all the time, pushing their baskets full of kids and food, opening the bags, helping themselves to food, nibbling, nibbling, nibbling, sipping their water. . . . They've turned grocery shopping into grazing! And it's not yours until you pay for it, so technically, you're stealing! You can't wait a single minute more? You'll really pass out cold if you don't dig into the white seedless grapes right NOW? Your kids will scream if you deny them a fruit rollup the second they demand one? Isn't it bad enough that you allow your kids to DEMAND a fruit rollup in a store? Or anywhere, for that matter? We've become a nation of pigs. People who simply can't wait a single second for anything. Are there really people like this?

Well, to our shame, of course there are. And their habits are making the population fat, and entitled to instant relief of every "need," and you can't convince me it doesn't have something to do with rising prices in stores, men males who visit prostitutes, students who don't feel they have to do any work, and probably 3/4 of all welfare recipients. (the remaining fourth are people using the system as it was intended: TEMPORARY help for which we're supposed to feel a tinge of shame, that we are striving as hard as we possibly can to get out of and back to work so we'll be productive members of society, not leeches.)

Your kid tells you he's STARVING, and you're not at home and can't feed him IMMEDIATELY? Well, the mountains will fall and the stars will explode and the four horsemen will gallop down your street, won't they. Your precious child's arms and legs will break off, and he won't ever love you again.

Let the kid wait. Maybe some of his pickiness will miraculously disappear if he's truly STARVING. Oh, and if he bitches about the wait, don't give him any dessert.

If he's old enough, show him some pictures of people who really are STARVING, and tell him to be ashamed of himself for even using that word to describe a kid who eats pretty much any time he wants to.

We have lost the fine art of waiting, which is, of course, just another way of saying that these people have no patience, and no conception of the fact that when you wait, it's even better.

Tell your teenage daughters.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 4:35 PM | |


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