Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lifetime Food Quotas? Is It Possible?

Have you ever thought that for certain foods you can only eat a specific amount during the course of your life? A lifetime quota, so to speak?

I was contemplating this question not too long ago when Mr. Gooch and I were planning the menu for the "Freedom Party" (to celebrate my leaving the law firm). We were thinking burgers and hot dogs with the usual sides when I realized that I don't like burgers and can't eat hot dogs any more.* So we ended up getting brats instead of hot dogs.

Getting back to the "can't eat hot dogs any more," I believe that my lack of love for the hot dog is a direct result of eating my lifetime quota when I was between two and four years old. Some background: My mother loves to tell this story as a reminder of my stubbornness as a child. Usually this is around the same time that Mr. Gooch and I are talking about having a kid with Mom telling me she hopes my child is just like me.

Again, getting back to the story. When I was two I decided that the only thing I would eat for lunch and dinner was hot dogs. If I didn't get hot dogs, I either wouldn't eat or pitch a fit. So like many parents my mom took path of least resistance and just made me hot dogs. After a period of time, she became concerned that only eating hot dogs could be detrimental to my long term health and growth so took me to the pediatrician.

My pediatrician, not yet having grasped the stubbornness lurking in my heart, told my mom that the solution to the "hot dog problem" was to stop feeding me hot dogs. That I would soon become hungry enough to eat whatever she fixed for dinner. My mother, also not yet having grasped the level of stubbornness in my little body, agreed and stopped fixing me hot dogs.

Apparently this well-thought-out plan began to go wrong at the very next meal. Not having a hot dog on the plate in front of me, I didn't eat dinner and went to bed hungry. This cycle repeated itself over the next couple of meals. No hot dog meant no eating. My mother, thinking that the end had to be in sight since not many two-year-olds will miss several meals before just eating, kept strong. Strong until things reached their breaking point.

During the weekly trip to the local grocery store, things came to a head. Mom had placed me in the seat in the cart and began her trip around the store placing various items in the cart. I was quiet and wasn't trying to place all the sugary treats found at kid eye level in the cart, not my usual self. Near the end of the trip, I made a noise and went limp. After not eating for several meals, I had apparently fainted from hunger. Mom freaked out, grabbed me out of the cart leaving all her groceries behind and headed home. Headed home to make me as many hot dogs as I wanted.

My poor mother. I was a trial to her in many ways.

The rest of the story is of me eating nothing but hot dogs for about another year or so. It make me shudder just to think about it. Now I cannot stand hot dogs, refuse to eat them, even the smell of them makes me a little nauseous. So the joke is that I ate my lifetime quota before I turned four. Which begs the question I posed at the beginning of the post, do you have a lifetime quota for certain foods?

In my case, I would say the answer is yes for hot dogs but no for anything with containing chocolate or smoked salmon.

*The only exception to the "no hot dog rule," since all rules seem to have exceptions these days, is Yesterdog. Their cheddar dog is heavenly. I try to make a trip to get one or two whenever I visit my home town.

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