posted by Matt W on October 3rd, 2012

People like to put their food on my plate. Apparently, their unwanted food can’t stay on their plate for even a second longer before they look for a better place for these scraps to land. This “better place” is always my plate.  I look at it like food litter. In restaurants, people that aren’t even related to me do it. I think part of this is based on the fact that I’m a Dad, part is I’m a bigger-than-average guy, and part is the fact that it usually gets eaten because I was taught to always clean my plate by my depression era grandmother. Before I start on my diatribe, serious question: do little dads have to deal with this?

It began in high school. My first girl friend, always liked to put extra food on my plate to fatten me up. In her defense, I was really skinny. Her father used to put a steak on the grill literally every time I went over to her house because I was too skinny and looked anemic. I’ll cut her some slack because of my 2% body fat and the fact that she showed pity on me by actually dating me, and by the way, a big thank you to Mr. C for all the steak.

From then on, it started to annoy me.

My wife was next. Early in our marriage, I ate like I had a tapeworm. I once figured it out and I ate about 5,000 calories a day. As I was still growing well into our marriage, my metabolism was amazing. Every time we ate something and my wife is finished with what she wanted from her plate, the rest mysteriously ended up on my plate. While the thought was nice and I’m sure I ate every morsel put on my plate, I would rather she asked if I would like her unwanted food. I have said those words hundreds of times over the course our marriage, to no avail. Somewhere a few years into our marriage, my metabolism dramatically changed. Now, only one of us would like to drop a few pounds, you guess which one.

Next it was my kids, and that is when it really got annoying. Just for the record kids, I will never eat your garnish, the roll you dropped on the floor, the “gross” fat from your meat, the piece of lettuce from your burger, coleslaw, or anything with a slobbery bite mark on it. And while it was kind of cute when you were 3 years old, it is just plain rude in your 20’s. Really. Last week I was gifted 30 jalapeño slices from my son’s Mexican pizza, because apparently he thought they would go nicely with my gourmet mushroom pizza and glass of wine. “Keep them on your own plate!” And don’t even get me started on my mother or mother-in-law. Whenever I happen to eat with them, I basically eat my meal like a maximum-security prisoner, with a fork in my right hand and guarding my plate with my left, not from thieves but from unwanted additions.

Stop, everyone; really. Why would I want your food hand-me-downs? If you don’t want it on your plate, I don’t want it on mine!

Unless of course it’s sautéed mushrooms or pie, I’ll always take mushrooms or pie.

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