As someone who does not join in the celebratory culture of food, let me tell you that it is no easy task to live amidst people who do exactly that. My appetite is a horrible surprise to everyone I meet. And the butt of all jokes and insults irrespective of whether I asked for it.
“I pity you for not being able to enjoy food.” “What a sad life it must be, not enjoying food.” “You will die soon if you continue like this.”
Do you not realize that you are plain rude? You have assumed that I hate food and that my life must be nothing less than miserable due to the mere fact that I do not enjoy something that is a huge part of your life.
My small appetite arises from both, a biological and a psychological rejection of food. It is an issue that can’t just be “dealt with”. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t like food. It means I have an irregular biological clock that does not feel hunger for 12 hours at a stretch or I get hunger pangs for days together. It means one day, I only want curd rice and chips and my body rejects everything else and on other days, I will eat anything. It means on some days, I will eat new food tentatively but on other days, I get nauseous and throw up all the time.
No, I am not faking it. I can’t try over and over and puke more and more. I do not do it to test your patience. I do not intend to waste food. I am grateful to have food but forcing me to eat more and new food, is not the answer.
And No. Life CAN be good with a mediocre appetite. I can laugh and laugh and laugh and none of it has anything to do with food. If you think it cannot, I ask you, who are you to decide whether my life is happy or unhappy?
So if you have ever been that someone who looked at a person who ate poorly and told them to quit it and eat like a “proper” person, do me a favor and stuff it.
I don’t need to be like you. And you have no right to make me be like you. You eat your food your way. And I’ll eat mine, my way.
the Non Foodie friend.