Friday, April 11, 2014

Pet Peeve: People Who Should Be Smacked

"...and then I had three crackers with peanut butter and jelly! I'm such a pig!" -Annoying Lady in Elevator.

  There are many people who deserve a good smacking, but "wannarexics" top my list. I get it, lady, you're thin. And you don't eat much, as you proclaimed loudly on your cell phone to everyone in the elevator. And in the general vicinity. But guess what? We. Don't. Care.

   As it happens, I've been friends with quite a few people with eating disorders. And here's the thing: anorectics do not talk about their disorder. They don't talk about how little they ate. If anything, they try to hide it. You would not believe the number of ways a person can go about pretending to eat normally while starving herself. It's truly mind-boggling. So when I hear  someone going on and on about how little they eat, my first thoughts are 1) shut up, 2) you're not fooling anyone, and 3) is there anything more pathetic than trying to sound like you're mentally ill and failing miserably?

    And all of this is leaving aside the fact that, to a gastroparesis patient, hearing a healthy person talk about such things is just adding insult to injury. At least you can eat, lady. You don't live on anti-nausea drugs and Motilium. You don't have barf buckets placed at strategic intervals in your house.

To quote a brilliant author and survivor of two major eating disorders,

“The bragging was the worst. I hear this in schools all over the country, in cafés and restaurants, in bars, on the Internet, for Pete's sake, on buses, on sidewalks: Women yammering about how little they eat. Oh, I'm Starving, I haven't eaten all day, I think I'll have a great big piece of lettuce, I'm not hungry, I don't like to eat in the morning (in the afternoon, in the evening, on Tuesdays, when my nails aren't painted, when my shin hurts, when it's raining, when it's sunny, on national holidays, after or before 2 A.M.). I heard it in the hospital, that terrible ironic whine from the chapped lips of women starving to death, But I'm not hun-greeee. To hear women tell it, we're never hungry. We live on little Ms. Pac-Man power pellets. Food makes us queasy, food makes us itchy, food is too messy, all I really like to eat is celery. To hear women tell it we're ethereal beings who eat with the greatest distaste, scraping scraps of food between our teeth with our upper lips curled. For your edification, it's bullshit.”
Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia


  1. I like to eat. I admit it. And I can eat. And I do. And after five kids, I'm not the tiny person that I used to be. But if I could loan you my digestive system for a while and let you have a really good meal, I would do it.

    1. Thanks! Luckily my digestive system is giving me a bit of a break right now, so I can eat almost normally!