Susan's Blog

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Cake is a Lie

The concept of “enough” is one that I am going to learn about my entire life, I guess. This being October, the month of my birthday and Halloween, I have had many opportunities to consider why some things in life, to me, are never enough.

All year I usually try to eat as few carbs as possible–I mean no bread, no sugar, no pasta, no rice, no potatoes.  I do okay with that, but every so often I am around chocolate, and then: GORGE. Tonight, after a day of very low affect, lo carb, shvakh eating, my eye fell upon that beautiful brown bag of Fun Size M&Ms for tomorrow night. My discipline dropped and I reached for the bag, saying out loud, “It’s tomorrow already.” I could not wait. There was nothing that would have held me back. I took one, tore open the pack, picked out a few of the bright colored discs, and popped them down, like vitamins. I hardly even tasted them. I had finished the bag before I knew it.

So I had another bag, this time slower. That was a little better. Soon I knew what I should have already known: I was on a binge. I ripped open the tiny Reeses. And the tiny Milky Ways. There I found some of the deep chocolate mouth I was looking for. Why hadn’t the M&Ms worked? And then, once the Milky Ways were swallowed and swimming down my guts, I felt bereft once more.

Then Ned and I sat down and skyped with Max. Staring at that long elegant face all I could feel was, “I want more.” I wanted Max here, I wanted to kiss him, cook for him, ride bikes with him, help him with some problem, experience his whole Maxie way. What do I mean, exactly? The skyping was good but not enough. I felt like I was playing a role, starring as Mom in the Skype movie, but not really having time with Max.

And so I went and got more mini Milky Ways. And then they were gone. Just now I told Ned about my empty chocolate feeling. “There is no way for it to be enough, ” I said. He nodded, understanding immediately. “You just need to keep eating it to get that chocolate moment in your mouth, but then it is gone and all you can do is keep eating it until you’re sick of it. You have to be sick in order to stop.”

As Max taught me, from one  of his favorite video games, Portal, “The cake is a lie.”

So I am wondering what is that? It seems like a cliche to say I am a chocolate addict, a stupid weak joke, but it is kind of that. But am I other kinds of addicts too? Like relationships? Where I need a certain kind of deep intense experience or it is not satisfying?

I think I live my entire life that way, diving down for the richest of whatever it is I’m doing, and that takes a lot of oxygen. I have noticed that for months now I don’t want to make dinner. With just the three of us most of the time, it feels like a huge waste of energy to cook some Entree and divide into three and then have the leftovers forever. A big production. My refrain at 7pm for months to Ned’s question of, “What’s for dinner?” is “I hate making dinner!”

Last week I said that to Ned during the day when I had just made him a sandwich for lunch. He was so grateful for the sandwich, thanking me and stuff, that I said, “Sweetie, I love making you guys lunch.  I love making you breakfast, too. It’s just dinner that I hate.”  Because dinner is too big, too much!

And he said, “So just make lunch for dinner.”  And that’s what I’ve been doing. Just eggs and a little salad. Or tuna and a bagel and an apple and peanut butter. Lunch for dinner. Not a whole big production. But just enough.

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