She didn't even sense the danger as she sat there in the living room, dipping her hand into an open bag of snacks.
Over and over again, the sounds kept amplifying in my mind: Crinkle, crinkle, crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch.
My nose twitched; my mouth watered; my hands clenched into a fist.
I had to do something – anything – Lest I ambush my daughter for the salty dust at the bottom of the bag.
“Fruit bowl,” I remind myself. “Eat a banana.”
Three weeks ago I would have ridiculed her taste in snacks. In fact, I probably have said things to the effect that she was being hoodwinked by corporate marketing. Eating broken bits of pretzel, heavily coated in sugar and spice, as the result of some corporate wiz-kid's suggestion someone sweep crumbs into a bag and sell them at a premium.
But, in a moment of weakness after 21 days of eating nothing but meat and eggs and kale, I might fight the cat for the mini-marshmallow she's been batting around under the table.
I knew this would happen.
Dieting not only makes people crazy, it makes them boring and rude to the point of fanaticism.
Can't go to restaurants. Can't go to dinner parties. Can't have normal conversations without turning them toward your newly adopted philosophy of food.
Don't believe me? Ask someone on a diet if they would like a slice of chocolate ganache covered decadence? Even a once-in-a-lifetime experience is offered by a royal chef, the woeful dieter will not only decline, but give you the full rundown of all the things they can't possibly eat, and all the ailments each ingredient could cause them if they “cheat.”
“All you do is talk about this crazy diet,” said someone I dearly love, who was gently trying to intervene. “You can't even lick your fingers when you make me a peanut butter sandwich.”
I hang my head in shame.
The diet I was on before this one included going out to dinner but never ordering a meal because I KNEW at least two members of our entourage would never-in-a-million-years eat all of their French fries and chicken fingers.
Of course, later, once everyone else had gone to bed, I'd be hungry and watching late-night TV so I would find my way to the bottom of an ice cream carton with a spoon.
But as much as I hate the way I feel after I polish off a pint of espresso chip, I miss the creamy taste coating my mouth as it disappeared down my gullet. I kind of hate the person who came to replace her. The one who can only talk about all the food she's not eating.
Part of the problem is that I have lost 10 pounds. And, for the most part, I feel good.
“When are you coming back to us,” asks Iittybit. “When are you giving up this stupid diet? It's no fun eating pie by ourselves.”
“Ten days,” I tell them. “In 10 day I'll eat pie. But only one slice.”