After twenty-eight long, very long years of marriage, things begin to become clearer.
As the relationship drags on, you become painfully aware that you’ve fucked yourself
so bad that you won’t return your own calls. Things about your partner that you may
have overlooked, or just chosen to ignore as a kindness, rear their ugly head so much,
it’s like a constant horror movie.
As the relationship soured, we did less and less together, which was fine with me. My ex-wife was never a pleasure to be seen with; she was uncouth, loud, and tipping the scales at 275. One of my most memorable, and painful memories, of my ex-wife involves and eating binge of epic proportions. If only I was exaggerating this tale; but why lie, when the truth is even more outrageous?
The morning started as most mornings did. I made sure I was out of bed, coffee in hand, and laptop on, before my big bundle of misery entered the house after working the night shift as a nurse at a personal care home. The reason she like the night shift was there were no bosses around, the patients spent most her shift sleeping, she could sit, eat and rifle through the prescriptions. I’m saying she stole prescriptions, but people left or died . . .
At 7:15 am the “Big Fat One” came bursting through the door, complaining about sleeping patients, new policies, and having to cut and paste patient reports all night. She plopped herself down on the couch, grabbed a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup from her bag, and began going through her night at work. I, of course, was so uninterested at this point, that if it wasn’t for the small chunks of chocolate leaving her mouth as she spoke, I wouldn’t have even looked at her.
“You know,” she stated, “I’m hungry. Let’s go to Eat n Park for breakfast. Are you drinking coffee?”
“Obviously,” I replied taking a long pull on my blueberry coffee.
“Get me a cup, then we’ll go. Remember, I want seven sweet and lows, and about an inch and half of Irish Creamer.”
“You know it’s blueberry coffee, right?”
“So? I want Irish Creamer! What difference does it make?”
I dutifully make her creamer and sweetener, with a dash of coffee. In the meantime, she has order a sausage breakfast bowl. The pre-breakfast done, the BFO changes, sans showering, and we head on out the door to begin an unforgettable odyssey.
We get to Eat ‘n Park. The BFO requests a table near the salad bar, orders a diet Dr. Pepper and the all you can eat breakfast. I get coffee, black, and the all you can eat breakfast. I should point out that, at this time, I had just had stomach surgery, and was transforming, with diet and exercise, from a fat pig to a more natural weight. My food intake habits had seriously changed, for the better. This was also a strain on the relationship, needless to say.
Trip One. The BFO heads to the salad bar, muscling a five year old, who was blocking the plates, out of the way. Two scoops of scrambled eggs, six strips of bacon, two sausage patties, a biscuit, and one scoop of fried potatoes, and she’s off to the table. I had a couple of eggs, a sausage patty, potatoes and toast.
Eight minutes later, Trip Two. She gets five pancakes, because they’re small, three sausage patties, potatoes, a couple of cream puffs, and buries the pancakes and sausage in butter and syrup. I grabbed some eggs, toast and cantaloupe. She gazed over the blur that was her fork, and asked, “What, ain’t you hungry?”
I calmly sipped my coffee, and reminded her of my past stomach surgery. Watching the BFO eat was at times, and at others, disgusting. It always amazed me that a 5’5,” 130 lbs, woman could expand into a 275 lbs and blame it on an “overactive thyroid condition. That, I must tell, was self-diagnosed, as was her deviated spectrum. The problem was never the constant stream of food to mouth, and exercising on the couch.
“Well, I’m just a leeeellte bit hungry,” she said as she pushed herself up and out of the booth.
Trip Three. She returned with a mountain of eggs, potatoes and sausage, three pieces of toast and a chocolate muffin. By this time the waitress had place our bill on the table; obviously in the hopes of suggesting an end to the assault on the breakfast bar. Ah, we all live in hope.
Trip Four. Time to eat healthy. Two pieces of cantaloupe, strawberries, a slice of green melon, a couple of pieces of watermelon, and a scoop of ambrosia. The rainbow of colors swirled and vanished before my eyes. Heads began to turn, and I could hear the whispered conversations about the plates stacking up in front of the BFO.
Undaunted, Trip Five. I often wonder what motivates a person to do the things they do, and I sat in wonder as she returned from the salad bar with an assortment of breads and fruit. In the space of less than an hour, my ex, had consumed enough food to feed a small African village. I knew I had just witnessed something special in the annuals of eating, but little did I know that my adventure in Gluttonyland was just beginning; I had just stepped through the serving tray.
To be continued…