On Delaying Gratitude

I try to live in the moment and all that hippy nonsense, but my ways sneak out on their own all the time.


This is what I’ve been waiting for!

I need your help trying to figure out if I’m weird or relatively normal in my eating habits.  Let’s explore!
Let’s assume you sit down to eat dinner and you have three items on your plate–call them A, B, and C

A is your favorite thing to eat.
B is pretty tasty.
C is not so good but you’ll eat it anyway.

In what order to do you eat that plate?
(Please disregard things like B cooling down and becoming gross, this is hypothetical, don’t be dificult)
Some folks might just smoosh it all together and gobble it down.  I want to party with these people, although I’m not to sure why.  It just seems like a good time to smash all your food together into a smeary food painting before eating.  I couldn’t do it, but I want to chill with those that can.
Other people are instant gratification types and they will eat A first and end up with things on their plate that they don’t really want to eat. I assume they then get depressed and eat C while wondering what their life has boiled down to or they do something even worse–Throw away food–that’s a dick move, man.
Others nibble things separately but at consistent rates….I don’t understand these people at all.  Seriously, are you following an eating program to make yourself appear human?  Because you’re doing it wrong. Wait, do some real humans actually do it this way?
And then we come to me and my delayed gratification. I eat the things I’m not excited about first to clear out the boring stuff, pretty much instantly forget about it, and then relish in A. Delicious A! When the meal is done, I can still taste A, rather than the bummer that was C…which I don’t even remember anymore but I probably ate it because it kills cancer or makes me poop or something. This is just the most rational approach really.

This also shows up in both my wife and I when we check our freezers. Inevitably, every single year at around the end of July I notice that we have a bunch of venison backstrap that we have been squirreling away….and now it needs to be eaten to make room for the animals we are about to murder.

We have tried to get better about squirreling stuff away, and I think we’ve made some progress, but it’s still a struggle.  I can’t say it sucks to have backstrap on the menu for breakfast, lunch , and dinner, but it is kind of stupid.
Even worse is foods that aren’t replaced every year.  Something really special that gets squirreled away because “c’mon, that’s too special to eat!  We need to wait until it’s degraded and less special before we eat it.”  I really hate it when this happens and it forces me to kick my own ass.

I mostly seem to do this with food and I don’t know why that is.  I don’t delay gratification when it comes to purchasing other stuff.  Fallout 4 was in my dry and scratchy hands on release day, as was The Martian and a number of other things.  I didn’t wait for the “perfect time” to start either of those.  I had them and then opened and enjoyed! Instant!

But what is it about food?  Is it a learned trait?  When I was little I had to eat all my veggies and drink all my milk before I was allowed to get up from the table.  Did that carry over?  Because I love veggies and hate milk so that might be a wash.  Any brain squishers or junior brain squishers want to take a crack at explaining this?  Is it just good old fashioned hoarding?


What makes you think I’m a food hoarder?

What say you folks?  What order do you eat this hypothetical meal in?  And don’t be bound by my categories.  If you eat A, then C, and then throw B against a wall because you don’t do half measures, let me know.


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3 Responses to On Delaying Gratitude

  1. Deb R. says:

    I agree – C, B, A is my preferred method, although the selections are not always that clearly defined. If the meal includes potatoes in any form, that’s what I’ll eat last. Or mac and cheese. And I never eat dessert first. That’s just wrong.

  2. Nicole Clark says:

    OK so for example I went to lunch with friends today and had the chicken enchilada. I know they serve a huge portion so I didn’t bother with the sides of rice and beans – I went for the enchilada and the guac and sour cream until I was done. I didn’t then feel guilty about not eating the rest of the rice and beans knowing the relative cost is minimal and I wasn’t planning on taking it home.

    That being said, my husband and I believe you shouldn’t save things ‘for a special occasion” unless it’s short term. For example our anniversary is next month so we might buy a bottle of wine and stash it for that. But his folks, when we used to live in Alaska and fish, would stash away a couple nice white King steaks we would give them in the freezer “for a special occasion” and then let them get freezer burned. So that’s not good either. Life is for the living.

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