We’ve all been to homes for pleasant meals, but once in a while we’ve been to a house that worships food. Food equals love: to give love is to force feed, and to receive love is to gain l0 lbs. ? like this:
A dinner is scheduled and a great fuss is made over who is to bring what. The telephone lines hum like it’s a summit conference. Everyone arrives fashionably famished. A big fuss is made over getting the food out of the car and into the kitchen. It is l0 times the amount needed, but there might be a flood and we could be stranded. Guests help with ‘the work’. (Why relax?) The food is prepared with great fanfare and put on the table. The guests are seated at cute name plates. They carry on about these, the table setting, and how good the food LOOKS. This could take a day, but the food might get cold.
Someone says grace over the loud music (the only calm moment). Then it’s time to start passing of the food (‘LET THE GAMES BEGIN !!!’). Pass this and that ‘and this over there and here … he didn’t get enough and oh, I’d rather not, but oh, you must, Aunt Hattie made it… well, I don’t have room on my plate … well it’s special’. The hostess jumps up and down from the table, getting this and that ? anything less is an ‘insult’. Everyone eats, talks, and passes and passes faster and faster (to the sounds of the WILLIAM TELL OVERTURE).
Everyone’s plate is heaped. In most homes it would be quiet now with people eating, but the hostess, with her mouth full, insists everyone talk, talk, talk. They talk, but no sentence gets started before someone interrupts to serve food, rave about it, or remind someone to eat some dish while it’s still hot.
This makes people nervous and they eat more. They fill up while joking about eating too much ? ‘ho, ho … how good it is’ … and how they ‘really shouldn’t be eating so much, heh, heh, heh … ho, ho.’ They’re stuffed, but wait … this is the moment the hostess was born for. On hand and knee she begs and pleads for the guests to have 2nds and 3rds.
‘Please, we have to finish this … it’s a special dish; it’s so tasty; Aunt Florence made it … but you didn’t get any of this … just a little more ? here you are’ … flop … it’s on your plate.
By now the guests are straining to find room. They are very uncomfortable and need to leave table … but … wait … ‘special desert’ is rolled out. It’s rich (and rich food equals rich love).
Finally it’s over. The young guests are so full, they lie on the floor. The hostess finds this amusing, and serves 2nds on desert, whether you want it or not, which has to be eaten before it melts. Then it’s a fuss over coffee (to bring us back to life). People stagger out of the dinning room, but the hostess begins cleaning up! And since she has been so ‘magnificent’, people have to help her.
Later when it’s time to leave. Extra food is portioned out in doggie bags with more raving about it, and promises to trade recipes. People waddle to their cars assuring the hostess they can’t thank her enough – their diets ruined, their first stop the hospital.
How much nicer to go to a house where the atmosphere is relaxed. You get to enjoy the people; the food is fine, as a part of the evening.
Fellow guests, let us march forth with shields to fend off these compulsive hostesses armed with serving ladles. We have nothing to lose but our weight.