I have never been to prison. I have never spent a long stint in jail. I have never been in a position where I was starving. I have had times in my life when my cabinets were almost bare but have always managed to get at least a couple of meager meals in a day. So I can’t tell you where protecting my food comes from. I do not like to share. Maybe it is a germ factor. I do not like it when others put their DNA filled fork on to my plate. I figure if I am not in a kissing relationship with you I do not want to use food as a cootie sharing medium.
There is another reason I do not like to ‘share’. It seems I’m usually the guy with the goodies that others want but it is extremely rare that it works in reverse. I should not have to be the one doing all of the giving.
As I got older I thought maybe I was a bit too one sided on the matter. Maybe I was being a little greedy. Maybe there can be a healthy food sharing give and take. I have learned otherwise. For example I like candy. To my doctor’s chagrin, the more sugar the better, the more ‘high fructose corn syrup’ it has the more I enjoy the sweet stuff. Then it happens, I get the ‘what are you eating’ question. My palms get sweaty. Anger swelled in my gut and seemed to seethe out my pores. I think to myself this person has never shared anything with me and the only vice they seem to have in public is smoking and drinking alcohol. I do not do either. My heart rate begins to increase as I come to the conclusion that this is not going to be the beginning of a give and take relationship. Or more to accurately it is going to be me doing all the giving and the other person doing the taking. Most of the time I find it is easier just to concede give up my some of my sweet bounty.
I have had people just take before. I had a roommate empty a bottle of Chivas scotch I received as a gift that I was saving for a special occasion. He drank it and put the empty bottle back into the box it came in. He was gone, the special occasion arose and I went to celebrate with the scotch and it was gone.
Years later I decided to give sharing another chance. I am now able to offer a bite of my meal. Ya know, out to dinner with friends and someone asks if they can taste the delicious delectable that is before me. Then my nightmare became a reality. I was at work. I ordered myself some dinner. I was deliriously hungry. I just wanted something to take the edge off, make the headache go away so I could finish my job, get home, eat, relax and go to bed. A co-worker saw my food. She said she hadn’t eaten all day. I told her then she should order something. Her expression changed to a blank stare for a moment, she asked if she could she have a bite. I reluctantly gave a positive nod. I will be damned if she did not start shoveling the food into her mouth. With her mandibles grinding, she mutters that she is so hungry that she could eat it all. I was in shock as I watched her masticate my food as if it were her own. From that point on in my mind our friendship will be forever marred.
So if you ever see me guarding my food as if I am protecting it from wild animals – I am. Human heifers have hampered my ability to be a gracious food sharer. My momma used to say: Your eyes may shine, your teeth may grit but none of my food are you gonna get.
~Melik / me2upro.com
This column was originally printed in the October 10, 2010 to October 23, 2010 edition.