Monday, June 27, 2011

sinking the PIETANIC


Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.

~Erma Bombeck

I hear this sort of thing all the time. The smug quips about how happy women eat dessert, and life is uncertain so eat dessert first, and people who don't like chocolate are communists. And it's supposed to make me stop and think about how precious life is, and how I should never deny myself anything ever, and I deserve that second cookie.

Here's the thing, though.

Do you even know what they served for dessert on the Titanic?

Check out the dessert menu for Second Class on the night the Titanic sank:

WINE JELLY.
COCOANUT SANDWICH.
AMERICAN ICE CREAM.
NUTS ASSORTED.*

So you know what?

I would have been one of those women who had passed up the dessert cart. Because all of that sounds horrid to me, honestly. Maybe they were having red velvet cake in First Class, but I highly doubt it.

Oh, wait. They had fruit pudding, some jelly, more ice cream, and eclairs.

So put me down for a maybe on the eclairs.

Anyway, I used to be a girl who never turned down dessert. I promised myself that I would never pass up a piece of cake or a cupcake. And I thought, "This is all part of my general philosophy to never miss an opportunity to experience something marvelous."

The upside was that I ate a lot of yummy things. The downside was that I ate a lot of trash food, looking for happiness in sugar molecules. And the darker downside was that I didn't like my body and spent a lot of time trying to hide my stomach and feeling wretched.

The truth of it all is that I never found a single crumb of happiness in sugar. There was comfort. But it never lasted.

And it never satisfied.

That Snickers commercial? Is a lie.

So I was thinking about it today. If I died in my sleep, would I regret not having indulged myself? Would my last thought be, "I should have had a cupcake yesterday?"

And for me, the answer is no.

I would have regretted the fact that I didn't go to the pool with my kids yesterday, that I didn't get more writing done, that I never took a flying trapeze class, that I didn't buy another horse, that I didn't get Lasik, and that I never got to go on a cruise.

Years of diligent research has shown that food can't make me happy.

Experiences do.

Eating dessert on the Titanic wasn't about eating every dessert you see. It was about being on the Titanic.

So I want to save up my indulgences for when they'll really count. I want to make memories, not pounds. And maybe I'm more likely to experience dessert on vacation/doomed cruise ships, but not if figgy pudding is the top choice. Only if it's something really amazing that I'll regret having missed.

Most of the time, I think I'd rather always be hungry, always be questing. I'd rather be dreaming my dreams than hunting for happiness in food.

I think Erma Bombeck was wrong this time. Being on the Titanic was the dessert.

And that, dear friends, is why I'm not eating a tube of raw cookie dough for breakfast, even though I really, really want to.

At least, that's what I'm telling myself.

Oh, and one last bit of advice:

Always check the dessert menu before getting on a cruise.


*



*Taken from the actual menu page pictured here.

4 comments:

violetclove said...

I've enjoyed your blog for a long time, but honestly these posts about slow carbing and the evils of sugar are as much fun as someone telling you about the new religion they've converted to. Glad it's making you feel healthy and good though.

Also, there's a difference between enjoying one cookie every now and then because life is short, and feeling like you have to enjoy all the cookies all the time.

Virginia Valerie said...

I just read the caption in your top photo and I am busting up!

delilah, the unruly helpmeet said...

Thanks for your honesty, violetclove. I'll cut it out. =)

Kristina said...

I love this...that being there was the dessert, the bit of sweetness. (Well, until it sank of course.)

I agree with you but I am also a convert to a different food pyramid.