Eating Wiener Schnitzel

He wants Wiener Schnitzel and egg rolls –
a complicated request, yet she will try
to acquiesce, selects a restaurant where
the former is a speciality, hopes he’ll forgive
absence of latter – it’s busy here
and she’d rather be home,
or somewhere quieter
(though she’d never say so)
feels her insecurities sliding into the seat
beside her, drama welling up in her throat,
tries to push it down but resentment
takes a seat at the table and brings along disgust –
why is she eating in a place she would never
choose for herself, with a man who does not
notice, let alone appreciate?

Restaurants take her back to another life,
when the heat of the kitchen consumed her,
yelled orders, was yelled at,
rushed about to cater to the whims
of guests that may or may not tip –
A real education, her father told her,
but she came away with sore feet,
a broken back and none the wiser
about relationships –
has dined here before with former lovers,
friends, felt the stuffiness of the ochre walls,
brocade upholstery, close in on her,
wondered why she came,
doesn’t even like milk-fed calf.

Her mind wanders to other walls,
now crumbled, remnants of dreams,
boundaries she’d once built when she was
just a pup – believed her good-natured loyalty
would win over many hearts, instead
it only shattered her own –
so many incarnations she is ashamed
to think of it: enthusiastic house mate,
trophy mutt, Heinz 57 – now she feels like
an over-aged, overstuffed mongrel,
beaten down by years of neglect.

It’s a rocky path she travels, these days,
has lost the concept of solid ground,
finds herself teetering on the brink
of flight but has no legs to carry her,
no wings to lift her up, resigns herself
to meals of processed foods and
deep-fried suicide rather than
the curries and stews she craves,
convinced that compromise and
making others happy matters more
than what she wants or needs –
takes a bite of baby cow and smiles.


No Show

Cooking challenges
are not for me –
inviting self-assured guests
to partake in my over-sized
oven-ready breasts –
show time!

Why should I
care about competition;
agree to act fancy,
ground myself down
with expectations?
I’d be afraid

my dependents
would run out from behind
my wings and topple
the repast before
it’s served up, along with
my reputation.

I have ample
bosom, but that doesn’t
mean I like to cook –
reservations are my specialty –
especially when fare tasters
speak Foodie

What kind of language
is that? Really?
I accept that I somehow
missed the gourmet gene,
that my home is not a
culniary castle;

would love to belong
to the fit and healthy
but renewal for me
is a place to lie my head,
having fun

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Me Want Cookie!

Cravings, no better than a
tower-sized Cookie Monster,
prowl, growl, stampede –
threatening my very core.

Give me sugar!
Me want cookie!

I flee, take shelter in forests
of broccoli, stalks of celery,
hope this infantile impulse
will pass by, forgotten; then –

Give me sugar!
Me want cookie!

I will drown the inclination
in a shower of water, cleanse
my mind of such sinful desire,
nourish myself with liquid –

Give me sugar!
Me want cookie!

No amount of rationality
appeases the ravenous
creature, fists balled tight
in a childish fit of conviction

Give me sugar!
Me want cookie!

I am losing ground, tension
building – raise the alarm –
run for shelter – the key is
to remain inconspicuous –

Give me sugar!
Me want cookie!

Close the door! Do it quickly,
if no one sees, it doesn’t count –
just one will do it, maybe two –
try not to leave any crumbs.

Me got sugar!
Me had cookie!

I collapse into a puddle of guilt,
self-loathing, disappointment,
while the inner muppet smiles
tummy momentarily satisfied.



 No longer tolerating
highly processed,
artificially sweetened
offerings; am sickened
by the whiteness of
bleached presentations;
bloat at the suggest of
southern fried coatings,
am pained by inorganic
solutions, or beefed up
regimens; cannot digest
milking; find the endless
pursuit of bread gut-
wrenching; have no palate
for genetically modified
ideas; find fatty concepts
unappetizing; am loathe
to consume further fishy
tales; avoid intoxication
by heady bouquets; have
no stomach for saucy
accompaniments; am
intolerant of gluttony;
craving a sustainable
form of nourishment.

A Cup of Tea

My husband and I recently returned from a trip to the US, and as usual, the first thing I wanted on return was a cup of tea.  It is the one thing – next to my own bed- that I miss the most  when I am away.

What is it about a cup of tea?

Raised by a Brit, tea is part of my heritage.  Growing up, we started every day with a cup of tea, and quite often ended each day with one also.  I especially remember that as teenagers, my siblings and I would convene at the end of a night out and share stories over a late night cup of tea.  Every dinner would end with someone putting the kettle on.

My children’s father was also a Brit, and he introduced me to tea time – a ritual cup every day at four o’clock, always accompanied by a sweet or biscuit.

The secret, not practiced in many restaurants, is in the preparation:  the pot must be warmed first, and the boiling water added to the tea and not the other way around.  In our family, the milk went in the cup first, with just the right amount of sweetener to offset any bitterness.

Special tea, a concoction of mostly warm milk and honey, with a splash of tea, is a family recipe for curing childhood ailments.

I don’t drink tea in the afternoon anymore as the caffeine keeps me up at night, and I have replaced the milk with non-dairy alternatives, but I still have a sense that all is not well unless I’ve started the day with that one lingering cup of tea, prepared just the way I like it.

Ahhh, the simple luxuries of home.


Rage and Restraint

Thor and I have dined in a high-end restaurant, and he has gone to pay the bill.  I have chosen my food carefully to watch my intake, but still do not feel satisfied.  I look around and spot a dessert counter, with many cakes, pies, and sweet buns.  My husband is taking a while, and I am getting anxious.  On an impulse, I lunge for the cinnamon buns at the front of the counter, reaching across the cakes and pies, with no regard for social propriety.  I scoff the bun quickly, before anyone, especially my husband, can see me.  I needn’t worry.  He is nowhere in sight.  The room we were dining in is in the basement of the building, with a walkout patio.  Thor headed upstairs to the cashier’s desk.  Embarrassed by my actions, I decide to follow him, but I cannot see him.  I catch sight of him leaving by the front door.  Has he forgotten me?  I run to catch up with him and encounter two teenage boys, one of whom threatens to grab my breasts.  Angry with Thor for leaving without me, I am enraged by this young boy’s brazen behaviour.  “Do it and I’ll beat your head in,”  I warn him.  He makes the grab, and I retaliate by grasping one ear and twisting it, while simultaneously poking him in the eye with other.  I knee him in the groin, and as he goes down, I slam his head against the wall.  “That will teach you!”  I conclude.  I have caught my husband’s attention now, and we walk off together.

Restraint is obviously a theme in this dream: the ability to control my eating, and the need to control my anger.

Thor and I are in week four of Weight Watchers.  He has very successfully been following the plan and losing weight.  I am not faring as well.  It is frustrating, to say the least.

Dining out is the base of our problems.  I am vegetarian and Thor is meatatarian, and rather than cook two meals, it is just easier for us to dine out.  With only 26 points allowance in my day, that is a difficult task.  Last night, I had a veggie stir fry with the sauce on the side (8 points).  Thor, on the other hand, had a seafood linguine with garlic bread. (He has 45 points in the day.)  I went to bed hungry, while he had a midnight snack.  As I often do when watching my food intake, I got cranky.

I am proud of my husband, don’t get me wrong.  The changes he is making to his diet and daily routine are commendable.  I do, however; feel a bit like the woman in my dream:  left behind.

The two teenage boys in the dream are an interesting addition to this dilemma.  When I was a teenager, with new, but fully developed breasts, a boy did grab my breast as he passed me on the sidewalk one day.  I was so surprised that by the time I responded, he had fled.  Thus began a series of sexual harassments that continued well into my twenties.  In retrospect, it wasn’t until I had my third baby, and the weight stayed on that the unwanted advances stopped coming.  This is an aha moment.

Could the anger that I feel when dieting be related to inappropriate attention?  I clearly remember thinking, just yesterday, that the nice thing about being older is that you can be unattractive and get away with it.

I never felt attractive.  One of four girls, I thought of myself as the dumpy one.  I had reached full height in  elementary school, and filled out way ahead of my older sisters, earning the nicknames ‘Moose’ and ‘Linebacker’.  Whenever my sisters and I went anywhere together, everyone assumed I was the oldest, even though there were several years between us.  While they received endless attention for their beauty, I was the goofy looking one.  When I did bring boys home, I lost them once they caught sight of my siblings.

Despite my lack of self-esteem, or maybe because of it, I was always finding myself inappropriately propositioned.  Fathers of children I babysat, employers, boys I went to school with, and later colleagues, as well as friends of my then husband.  And, there was the rape.  I was targeted out of a whole gathering of schoolgirls.  I never understood it, but the more it happened, the angrier I became.  Occasionally, I did retaliate physically, but mostly I internalized it. “Boys will be boys,” my mother would say.  “It’s up to the woman to deter it.”  Like my mother, I learned to be a victim.

Why would I want to lose weight only to make myself vulnerable again, must be the question running through my subconscious.  No wonder I am cranky.  Being overweight is not desirable, but neither is being desirable, literally!   Maybe, I need to have a little talk with myself, and remind my inner young woman that I am a lot older now, and have learned to ward off unwanted advances, and protect myself.

Who knew losing weight was this complicated.

A little restraint please!