A Room Of One's Own

Yup. Virginia Woolf. I went there, baby.

Living in a two-room Manhattan apartment is tough sometimes. Here's a good example.

My husband is buddies with a teenage kid who lives downstairs (yes, really). Sometimes the kid comes up to play video games and whatnot, and occasionally the kid brings friends. The kid's nice and all, but sometimes the kid's visit coincides with dinner time. That happens because my husband, though he has many talents and strengths, cannot think ahead for shit. His sense of cause and effect doesn't always present itself in a fully developed manner. Sometimes it's hilarious, sometimes it's infuriating. Mostly it ends up being somewhere in between.

But I hate it when it fucks with my dinner.

That's a somewhat normative reaction. I mean, who really likes to be 10 minutes away from food, really hungry, then, BAM! COMPANY!? "Why didn't you consider our general evening schedule before asking this person over? That's not polite to your spouse/living partner" is a reasonable question to have in that circumstance. It's normal to dislike that kind of situation. But you know who *really* dislikes that? People with eating disorders or related issues. We haaaaaate it. Our food is our ritual is our space is our time is our self is our identity. Fuck with our food and we will fuck. you. up. (Yes, I'm spelling it out today, as you may have noticed.)

You know the most really, truly horrible freakout I remember having? It was over some braised lamb. My dad made it in the summer of my first major recovery from anorexia and it freaked. me. out. It was a whole big scene, but suffice to say, it ended with me weeping at the table and choking down most of my meager portion of very healthily braised lamb. The point being, OH MY GOD, I have my FOOD PLAN for the day or minute or meal or week, and do not FUCK with it, because it is what helps me deal with EVERYTHING ELSE.

This still comes up from time to time, only, now it comes up when I'm, you know, annoyed that two teenage boys are at my two-room home and my dinner just got here and, dammit, I don't want to eat in front of them because it may be silly, but I'm self-conscious about eating in from of people to whom I'm not close (I don't know if that will ever go away). Am I explaining this well? I don't think I am. Well, suffice to say, now that I'm a moderate way along Recovery Road, I notice the food OMGWTF stuff pop up when it's really about something other than food. Which I suspect it mostly always was. Or so the psychologists tell me.

But you know what? Now I can realize what it's about; take the laptop into the bedroom; and "verbalize" a little later without having a meltdown over chicken parm and two teenagers.



  1. Ugh, I cannot stand eating in front of people I don't know well. I can barely stand going to lunch with coworkers even though I've done it before.

  2. I hate having company sprung on me ANYTIME...EVER. But to have people show up unannounced when I'm about to eat? I don't think I'd be able to hide my disdain. I don't even answer the phone then.


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