Today, I existed in the same space as a woman who had recently rebegun a low-carb diet. She was carrying a box of donuts, but she would not allow herself to be tempted by them. No she would not – for she had lost four pounds already last week, and even though she hadn’t lost any yet this week (it’s Wednesday – and there is still time), she was going to persevere and put those donuts down on the counter for other, non-low-carb dieters (or – one could only hope – wavering and weak low-carb dieters), to enjoy.
If this woman didn’t take the time to say all of what I have recounted above, I guarantee she would be using her mouth to chew one of those glaze-covered, carb-heavy nothings, before she walked away from the still half-filled box. I know this, because the only reason I could come up with for why people insist on filling the air with such inane sounds, is that they think that if other people know their intentions, they will be held more accountable to them. This is why we make promises. This is why a verbal agreement should be binding.
Today, I shared breathing room with an obese woman who said she hasn’t been eating enough salads at home, and that was the reason she chose to buy a salad for lunch. Her voice was a mix of guilt and longing, and I can guarantee she will be finishing off the donuts left behind by the carb-reducing woman who is now held accountable to her diet by all of the office’s eavesdroppers. The salad-eating woman only admitted to needing to eat more salads at home, which leaves her open to eat shit at work in upcoming days, as long as she gets her domestic greens.
I assume she is displeased with and ashamed of the current state of her body, and maybe she reckons that if she does not acknowledge that she is dieting (she is only eating salad to try to be healthier – not slim down), no one will realize she is overweight. If she doesn’t acknowledge it, then no one will realize when she inevitably gives up. The salad-eating woman’s failure to acknowledge her desire to lose weight to her peers as good as shamefully ate 1-3 of the carb-reducing woman’s donuts for her.
Both of these women were idiots, and I hope I never grow into a salad-guilted or carb-reducing middle-aged woman. I aggressively ate exactly one personal-sized pepperoni and sausage pizza and one donut to keep this hope alive. I am a vegetarian (although I am not strict and prefer not to define myself by dietary choices) and I hate donuts, but I hate useless, albeit innocuous, small-talk more, so I will eat every god damned thing I can get my hands on as an act of rebellion.