NOTE: This post was hastily written this morning after the "big" stage debut of a play I had written, directed, and starred in last night, so it may not have the polished smoothness you may be accustomed to!
I’m one of the few teachers that doesn’t love snowdays. Most see them as free days off. Time to catch up on some sleep, soaps, or housework. But for me, they’re somewhat stressful. Sure the snow looks pretty (for about an hour) and is fun to play in (for about ten minutes) but during the other 10 hours of the day, there’s nothing to do but chase after the baby and eat – food that is, not the baby!
Every storm that brings 4 to 6 inches of snow adds four to five pounds to my weight. I’ll take off my shirt and realize that the weather outside isn’t the only thing that’s frightful.
Part of the problem is my wife loves watching the cooking channels, so all day I’m bombarded with images of food. I’ll watch Bobby Flay grilling up some chipotle chicken and then go out into the kitchen and fix myself a snack, usually something involving E-Z Cheez. I’ll come back and Paula Dean is deep frying peanut butter, which sends me off in search of another fix. Then there’s Rachel Ray, who needs 30-minutes to make her meals - but give me 30 seconds and I’ll wipe out an entire tube of Thin Mints. Giada is the only one who inspires healthy eating, as after watching her show, I always find myself craving melons.
Sadly, I’m not a chef, so there’s no replication of their recipes, meaning my mango chutney is a jar of grape jelly and a can of tuna is what passes for fresh tilapia. But I really don’t care about flavor, it’s the calories I crave. I’ll eat handful after handful of stuff I don’t even like, complaining about how terrible it is between mouthfuls. Then I’ll look for something else to get the taste out of my mouth.
At work, I often feel hungry, but I wisely do not keep any food in my classroom, so with no options, I can ignore the pangs until lunch. But at home on a snow day, lunch is an all day event.
I do burn off some calories shoveling snow, but then I come in and start shoveling through a carton of ice cream. Which makes me cold, requiring something hot to eat to warm me up. Then my stomach starts to feel funky, so I look for things to settle it: crackers, pretzels, bread…lots and lots of bread.
During all this, Sarah has not gotten off the couch, and after five hours of Food Network, she’s starving and inspired to make a great meal. Pots and pans and skillets are sizzling. She’s cutting and chopping and grating. And I’m cruising by and stealing bites of her ingredients. By the time supper is ready, I’m stuffed. But she’s worked so hard to prepare a nice meal, I have to eat something. And I can’t hurt her feelings, so I make room for seconds. Later, doing the dishes, it seems silly to put three spoonfuls of mashed potatoes into a Tupperware container, so I put them into me instead.
As I write this, the weathermen are calling for another 11 to 18 inches of snow between tonight and tomorrow. Luckily the cupboards are still pretty bare from the last storm, but chances are I’ll find something to eat. Let’s just hope it’s not the baby!