Bloggin Classics: The Ice Cream Test

I've been reading through some of my old blog posts, and I think some of them deserve another go-around out here on the web...I'll be releasing them in the next couple of weeks (under "Bloggin Classics"). It's funny to see where I once was, and often I'm finding that in some cases I'm so different, and in some cases, I'm still dealing with the SAME issues! Arrrgh? Yes. But also it's good information to fuel my future change-making endeavours. :) Here is a post from September 2010, called "The Ice Cream Test":

Last night, after a large dinner that my brother and I cooked for my parents and aunt and uncle, we took a walk to find some Gelato. My digestive system suggested to me, not too subtly, that I skip out on the dessert this time.

“What?” I asked my stomach. “Are you serious? This has NEVER been done before. You don’t know what you’re asking of me.”

“But of course I do. And if you don’t listen to me, I will give you a sign much more blatant than a whisper.”

“Fine”

So, I gazed, from a distance, at all 20-something flavours, as my caravan chose 2 flavours each. Then we sat down, and they began scooping it down the hatch with those little plastic shovels.

Anxiety. How do I interact with these gelato-scooping aliens? How do I relate? What do I look at? I can’t just stare at their ice cream. Then it will be obvious how much I want some, and they will feel obliged to offer. It’s not polite to stare at their faces while they’re eating either. What if they dribble on their chin and didn’t want anyone to notice?

So, I defaulted to the floor. I noticed everyone’s shoes. I complimented my uncle on his leather slip-on loafers.

I checked my cell phone, even though I knew nobody had called, texted, or anything.

Thumb-twiddling.

The situation was so foreign to me, being the only one without a treat. The discomfort tells me something. Something about how I use food to relate to people. To be socially included. Oh, and it’s not just food by the way. The occasional cocktail/shot/pint have also been imbibed in service of this mission of social engagement.

Things that make you go “hmmmmm” and tap your face.

I encourage you to try this. Next time everyone is stuffing themselves with dessert, just sit back and do not participate. See if you can get away with it without, a “Hey, why aren’t you eating? You’re making me feel bad about eating all this dessert. Is something wrong? Are you sick? What are you, on a diet or something?” (This could come from the people around you, or from inside your own mind)

If it makes you uncomfortable, you’ve hit on something. Food is being used for something other than nourishment.