This article was originally published on Better After 50.
I think I have a problem with my husband. He is health conscious and fit and he has will power. Wouldn't that be enough to make you nuts when you don't? I am addicted to ice cream, chocolate and jelly beans. He can pass up dessert and skip dinner. With shoulder surgery this winter, he has been particularly conscientious about what he puts in his mouth.
Frankly, it's getting on my nerves.
We have been house bound most of this endless winter here in Boston while he recuperates. I have been in charge of the shoveling (which of course makes me hungry). When Mike had a meeting in Florida last weekend, I decided to go along for the ride. There was no way he was going South alone.
So, we found ourselves at the Omphoy hotel on a beautiful Saturday morning, the only semi-reasonably priced hotel on the ocean in Palm Beach. Just a few clouds dotted the sky, the temps were in the high 70's, kids were screaming those happy kid screams while they made sandcastles on the beach -- and I could totally ignore them. Life was good.
We walked past the breakfast buffet to our table on the terrace, overlooking the ocean, breathing in the scent of freshly baked chocolate chip croissants as we were led to our seats. I was ravenous.
The waiter came over to take our order: "And what can I get for you this morning?"
I really, really, really wanted the Eggs Benedict with hollandaise from the breakfast buffet, but I couldn't get away from the thigh fat peeking out from under my cover up. I decided to be "good."
"I'll have the two eggs -- poached please, the turkey sausage, and the whole wheat toast, with a side of avocado. Can you add two of those home made tater tots I see on that gentlemen's plate over there?"
I was feeling quite virtuous. I had passed up the buffet. After all, who knew what lunch would bring -- that would be the discussion during breakfast, of course.
"Wonderful. And for you sir?
"I'll have the 'Smart Start' -- with the Greek yogurt." The "Start Smart," of course,was the healthy option on the menu, fresh fruit salad with a dollop of either cottage cheese or Greek yogurt.
"You can't have that!" I said to him calmly, while the waiter waited, clearly amused by my declaration.
"It's too healthy. I won't enjoy my breakfast. Don't ruin it. Get pancakes."
"I don't want pancakes."
"At least get one of the chocolate chip croissants on the side. I'll have a bite. How about an omelet?"
"I don't want that. I want to eat light."
"I hate you. You're ruining my day."
"I hate it when you eat healthier than me. I thought I was being virtuous, but you are being uber virtuous. I can't deal. I'll have the Smart Start too."
"You're nuts. Get the eggs."
At this point, the waiter totally bowed out. I think he might have been scared I was going to ask him if I looked fat in my bathing suit.
"Look," I say, "I don't want to eat more than you, weigh more than you, and I certainly don't want you to be able to fit in my jeans if god forbid, I mistakenly put them in your drawer." I knock on wood for luck. "You have to be taller than me, a little bigger than me, a little less fit. That's part of the deal. I thought I wrote that into our marriage contract."
"Don't be ridiculous. I'll make it up to you."
"I promise I'll eat twice as much as you the rest of the day. And I'll drink more. Trust me."
I felt better. And then I felt guilty. Of course I want him to be healthy. I want him fit. I like him without a gut. But do I? Maybe, but maybe not really... if it means he is being healthier than me. And then I thought: What kind of a sick puppy am I?
I go with my original order.
Twenty minutes later, the server brings out our breakfasts. And as if on cue, he tries to put the eggs in front of Mike and the fruit and yogurt in front of me.
We both crack up.
"You promised," I remind him. "French fries and beer at lunch."
"Ok" he says. And because he is a good guy, he eats one of my tater tots.
And as I wolf breakfast down, licking up the last of the drippy yellow yolks with my toast, I ask, "So, what do you want to do for lunch?"