Men and Food

Photo by: vmabney

Is it me or do men seem to get very grouchy if they are not permitted to eat at expected times?  While we love them dearly and think that they are generally interesting to be around, I must say, they do not seem able to tolerate wild changes in eating habits. I learned this when I was newly married and still used to my single days and ways.

Knowing that I had a million chores to do on a Saturday, or in preparation for a houseful of guests, I would jump out of bed, into the shower and then into the car to be able to get things done.  My husband would say, “what! and not eat?” Sighhhhhh. Now I’m no stranger to food believe me, but sometimes you just have to get moving and if you don’t you find that the day has gone.  Whenever I acquiesced to his need to stop everything and have a full breakfast, I’d find that we were delayed by hours-you know, it takes time to sip coffee and mop up egg yolks with toast! I would have preferred to hit the mall, get what I had to get then stop at a diner, comfortable in the knowledge that my mission was accomplished.

I notice that if a meal is postponed for whatever reason, men get irritable and almost panicky.  It’s as if they worry they will never eat again; despite having cabinets and pantries full of food, not to mention supermarkets and restaurants down the street.  This is a man who is actually a good cook and likes to cook, mind you.  I wonder if this is a throwback to the primative brain.  Does an alarm go off signaling impending starvation or something?” Men help me out here.

If we were at a family gathering and I made the mistake of saying that we’d be eating “soon” that word would start an invisible stopwatch in his head. Tick tock tick tock…I would continue to chit chat and not long after the conversation would begin:

“I thought you said we were going to eat”

We are.

“When?”

um, I don’t know, soon

“Well no one’s cooking”

We’re going to order from someplace

“How long is that going to be?”

I’d get a menu for him to peruse which would settle him down for the time being but the dye had been cast and dinner had better be coming soon before his stomach rumblings got the better of him.

The suggestion of food can stave them off for a bit.  “I’m just going to stop at my mother’s house for like a half hour, then I’m making a nice Baked Ziti for dinner when I get home.” Oh! Ok! comes the response.  But don’t wait too long or you will be faced with a crestfallen look and the pout of a 5 year old boy, with a temper to match!

It’s always when I’m fully engrossed in a book or movie that I’ll hear, “what are we going to eat.” Sighhhhh.  One “trick” that has worked wonders is to put a pot on the stove and place some food on the counter when I’ve been delayed in getting to dinner that he is now expecting.  Even though I haven’t chopped or sauteed a thing, seeing the pot brings hope and reassurance and me some time.

By now I’m sounding horrible aren’t I?  It’s not that I don’t like to cook or that I don’t like to make him happy.  It’s just that if I’m busy, I don’t care if I eat at 5pm or 7pm. I know it’s going to happen!

I learned quickly that I could not eschew my husband’s need to eat promptly because like a puppy that refuses to walk one more little padded step, he would balk at going shopping or helping out in the house before breakfast. It’s all in the delivery. If I say, “can we go to Home Depot now?” or “can you put your dirty clothes in the hamper?”  The answer will invariably be no.  If I say “can we get a few things done then go to a restaurant for a nice brunch, you know that place where you like the sausages?”  (Never underestimate the power of pork ladies) What a transformation! He would then move heaven and earth, taking out the garbage, putting tools away, gladly driving me to several shops that he hates to go to…you get the picture.  And like that same puppy, he would look at me with all the eagerness and trust his eyes could hold when he knew that our jobs were done and the time had come.  When I got back in the car  and said yes when he asked if we could get something to eat now,  the tension could just be felt slipping away. The aforementioned irritability dissolved with each forkful of food he took and after his belly was nice and full he would be much more cheerful.  I could almost make out the movement of a contentedly wagging tail.

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “Men and Food

  1. I think you have it with the primitive signal idea…LOL And I love the “puppy that refuses to walk one more little padded step.” Perfect! I’m posting this on fb and will see if I can get a discussion started on my wall…but…I’m still waiting for the Easter Brunch post :)

    • Thank you for the support Shellie! Only because I adore dogs and men for that matter that I equated the two but there did seem to be some similarities :D

  2. Hi. I randomly stumbled upon your blog. I have to say, I found this post kind of amusing. I guess it’s true, what and when am I going to eat is usually a pretty important part of each day. For instance, I just woke up, first thought on my mind is “What’s for breakfast?” I’m going to church in a bit but I’m already trying to figure out what am I going to eat afterward, lol. Also, I hate it when it’s lunch or dinner time and the person I’m with tries to launch us into some project. I think hunger is part of the reason why I’m like this but not the only reason. I definitely don’t see food as mere fuel or eating as something we have to do in order to live. To me it’s always an event, a demonstration of God’s grace, and a delicious feast to be shared with friends. To me, that’s when life happens, when you’re sitting at the table, sharing a meal, talking. And for these reasons I take food time very seriously. :)

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I agree that food should be savored, enjoyed and shared. Sitting down with family and friends is a beautiful part of life. Hope you enjoy your Sunday!

  3. my wife knows I would die of starvation if something happened to her. I am completely incapable of feeding myself without a professional attention from somebody else. If restaurants, mom, and wife ceased to exist, I am pretty much done for :)

  4. oops, that should have been a sad symbol, not a happy symbol :(

  5. fullwellytillitgoesbang

    When I was married (‘was’, the more observant of you may have noted), my wife always said I was the easiest of men to look after (as opposed to ‘live with, you can also note….), because I didn’t mind when she fed me, or what with, or how unvaried the diet, or how often, or how it was cooked…. If it was cooked, or even if she fed me at all…..
    It was real good whilst it lasted (10 years, in case you’re wondering)
    Yup, easy going on the food front, …..but you’d better not be whining on the back of the mo’sickle…. LOL {:o)

  6. purpleowltree1234

    First I will admit that I can get panicky and desperate and tunnel visioned if I’m hungry and there is no food in sight. Perhaps that stems from growing up in a village 44 kilometres from the nearest road when I was about three to six. If it was dry season, there was rice and dried beans, and it was VERY EXCITING if you could get hold of some pumpkin. I NEED to know I have food for the next meal, at ALL times or I’m dreadful to be anywhere near.
    After that confession (I didn’t feel it was fair to say this next part without being up front about my own crap), I’m so glad someone else hates having to wait for their partner to slowwwly eat and drink their tea when there are things you NEED to be getting done as soon as you can! :o) How is it that some men can dilly dally when there are important things to DO? I used to get to the point with my ex that I’d get so frustrated with his dilly dallying that I’d say okay honey, I’ll be waiting for you in the car. I’d regularly sit there a good HOUR while he continued to fart around inside, before we could get going. But I still found this less stressful than waiting inside the house with him, watching him fart around like an old man who can’t remember oh yah, I’m going out, maybe I should get ready now. If I know the food is there for the next meal, I can get busy doing what else I need to do first, and then, like you, relax sitting down to eat. Farting around when there are deadlines looming and even passing by, is not my style. It’s refreshing to hear someone else feels similar. :o) Ahhh, I’ve had a HUGE whinge now!!
    Rach.

  7. riknieu

    When she is hungry, it is best to approach my wife with a nice and heavy iron pan. Both to signal my intent to appease her with food preparation and to use it as a shield. A spoon or spatula could be useful too, in case her the attacks start coming at you from different directions.
    For some reason her internal wiring got all mixed up at birth and her mood seems to have been unintentionally synchronized with her blood sugar levels.
    This means that being aware of when we should eat and how long it’s been since the last meal probably needs to be regulated by the authorities and that being lax with the schedule could, quite possibly, result in mass casualties.
    A hungry man is a sorry and whiny thing to behold. But a hungry woman? That is positively lethal.

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