Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Starving Children in China

No offense here, but on the list of manners I had to endure growing up, cleaning my plate was the one that nearly killed me. More than once, when my mother insisted that I had better be thankful for the food we had, and think about all those poor starving children in China, I explained to her, in depth, just how I would gladly wrap what was left on my plate and send it to those children post haste. She failed to see the humor and I was left at the table staring at the mushy yellow squash that, by now, were cold and even more unappetizing. I did not even attempt an appeal to Dad. When it came to cleaning your plate, the buck stopped at our everyday kitchen china.

Unfortunately, I made my daughters clean their plates. There was no alternative, although I did not subject them to any geo-political guilt. I had been raised (scratch that) reared (My Aunt Kat always reminded me that cows were raised in a barn, children were reared at home, even if they didn't act like it.) to eat it all, so by God they would also.

Long story - short, in my mid-forties, I decided that perhaps I would be a little more attractive if I wasn't the size of a small barn. (Once you learn that they make an 18 Petite and it is not an oxymoron - you should take the hint.) So, after many attempts, and several long years, I worked my way back to a size 6.

When friends asked me how I did it, did I go to Weight-Watchers? or Jenny Craig? I just told them that I only ate when I was hungry, and stopped eating just before I was full. But the most important thing I did was stopped feeling like I always had to clean my plate. One acquaintance, I didn't know well at the time, looked at me and laughed, "But what about all those starving children in China?"

All I can say is that those starving children in China were obviously a universal concern of a lot of mothers in the 1960's.

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