Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chop Chop Chop*

I can't really get to used to it, these people who eat until they are full instead of just until the food is gone. It's strange, and it annoys me. It annoys me how they constantly remark that I'm taking too little. Or that if they were to make a sandwich for lunch they would need many pieces of bread. "That's not a sandwich; that's a loaf of bread," I tell them. It annoys me how they fill their plate, finish it and then go eat my food. It annoys me how they will eat and eat and eat and then talk about how much more they could it as if it's something to brag about. I used to do that too, but I was 13. I didn't know any better. They're adults.

But these adults live with Auntie and Uncle. They don't pay for anything. They don't work. They stay home all day and then gripe about the things auntie and uncle ask them to do. They complain about the foods they don't have. This place has more food than I've seen in one house before. A fridge, two deep freezers, a gigantic walk in pantry, kitchen shelves and cupboards, all filled with boxes, bags, containers of food. Much of it brought back from trips to South Africa or the UK. Sometimes, as I make my daily peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I think it's all too ridiculous.

We weren't poor growing up, but Mommy and Daddy taught us to be prudent and thankful for what we had. One can of veggies split accordingly, a potato per person, and however they divided the meat I didn't eat. That was enough. It was a meal. And a good meal, too. Everybody took a portion, being sure to leave enough for the others to get a decent share. Almost always, there was a little bit left in the pot, nobody wanting to take the last of it until they were sure everyone else had gotten enough.

I'm sure there were times, especially when we were teenagers, that we were ungrateful. "But Mommy, I'm still hungry….." we'd whine. "Too bad. You ate dinner." Maybe there'd be some ice cream in the freezer or cookies on the shelf for dessert. But once the food on the table was gone, the leftover meat put in the fridge, and dessert had, dinner was over. And that's still how it is - sort of.

I may make a big pot of pasta or chili, but I only eat a bowl. The rest goes in the fridge for the next day, and the next day, and the day after that. Don't get me wrong, I eat. I eat frequently. So often my friends poke fun at me. But I watch what I eat, how much I eat. Partly to make sure I get enough of the right nutrients, partly to make sure I only spend what I can.

Uncle Tubsosu likes to gloat as he takes half the rice or spaghetti, piles it high onto the biggest plate he can find, "me, I can chop now. I can finish this-o and still want chop again, abi." Just because you can eat an entire horse doesn't mean you should. I know I can drink a gallon of milk in a day, but I make it last a week. I buy a pack of crackers and split it so that I have a few crackers to take to work each day for my mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. Could I eat a whole pack everyday? Probably, but why?

If they want to eat Auntie and Uncle out of house and home, whatever, but I wish they'd leave my food alone. I work hard to make that box of cereal last two weeks, or that loaf of bread a week and a half. I can't complain because Auntie and Uncle are being so nice and doing so much for me. It is their amala, moin moin and eggs that I eat each week. I feel like I should share what I have, but I get so angry when Auntie Stella takes four slices of my wheat bread. There is no reason anyone needs to eat four slices of bread in one sitting! That's two days worth of my lunches!

Argh. Blogging about this was supposed to help, but now, I'm even more upset. I'm going to eat my three morning wafer cookies now. >(

*"chop" means "eat" in pidgin

1 comment:

Wendy said...

I was complaining I was hungry last night, even after I finished my dinner, but that's because the $8.00 salad consisted of five pieces of lettuce and 3 slices of tomatoes with a few pieces of onions (and i don't mean slices, I mean pieces). At least the salad dressing was yummy.