I hadn’t eaten since 1:30 and dieting leaves me constantly hungry. I am accustomed to eating something every three hours. I snack on fruit or yogurt between meals so the lengthy gap was taking its toll. I got Daddy a dinner at Long John Silver’s on our way through town. I stopped at Subway to pick up something for me. I opted for a 6” ham and turkey sandwich. As I approached the cashier, I picked up a bag of Baked Lay’s. They’re baked . . . that’s healthy, I reasoned. The perky little cashier asked if I wanted a meal and I told her no. She rang up my purchase and cheerfully noted, “Did you know that for one penny more, you can get a meal?” No, I did not know that. I had a freshly mixed bottle of Crystal Light water in the car so I didn’t need a drink, however Daddy didn’t get a drink with his meal. Oh, why not? I paid her, got a cup from the dispenser, and filled it with Sprite. I wrestled with the lid to the drink cup, running my fingers around the rim in an effort to get it to fit.
“What kind of cookie do you want?” asked the cashier. Cookie? The word got my attention away from the lid. “It comes with the meal,” she continued. I heard myself ask, “Do you have Macadamia Nut?” She reached the tongs into the display and retrieved a golden brown cookie. My eyes followed as she placed it in a paper sleeve and then slid it into the bag with the sandwich and chips. I hoped it wouldn’t get broken as she lifted the bag and handed my supper to me. I put the bag into the back seat of the car. I planned to eat the sandwich and chips on my way home. I was unsure about the cookie.
After Daddy was settled at his house, I got back in the car and brought the Subway bag up to the front seat beside me. I opened the chips and unwrapped the sandwich before pulling out of the driveway. By then I was starving. It was dark and I could barely see what I was eating as I drove toward home. When tidbits fell from the sandwich onto my lap, I just picked them up and plopped them in my mouth. If you’ve ever seen a movie where a king is depicted sitting at a table laden with meats, fruits, cheeses, and wines, remember the part where he picks up the nine-pound drumstick and gnaws at the meat. I imagine I looked very much like that king, minus the beard and crown. I had scarfed down the sandwich in time that would match any pie eating contest champion. I finished off the chips by turning the bag upside down and shaking the crumbs into my mouth. That left only the cookie.
Why was I born so weak? There was a cookie in my car and I was helpless against it. I tried to resist, honestly I did, but to no avail. As I pulled the cookie from its paper envelope, I knew I was about to sin but the little red devil on my left shoulder had beat the socks off the little white angel on my right. I took a bite and, as the sugary sweetness swept over my taste buds, they jumped for joy. I chewed slowly, holding onto each morsel of macadamia nut mastery. I would have closed my eyes had I not been driving. Bite after delicious bite I continued, savoring the flavors for as long as possible. Then it was gone.
My taste buds shouted in unison, “More! More! More!” I had nothing with which to appease them. I could stop at the supermarket and get a bag of cookies, I thought. My mouth watered as my salivary glands were whipped into a frenzy with anticipation. No! I had to get a grip on myself. I bared my teeth and passed the grocery store without stopping. I took a drink of raspberry water hoping it would satisfy my taste buds’ cry for sugar. It worked . . . for a few moments. Then the craving started again. There was a convenience store just up the road. They would have little packs of cookies. I clinched the steering wheel then took another drink of water as I tried to clear my head. Water – if I drank enough water, it would drown those evil taste buds. I continued on, taking a drink each time I got the urge for a cookie.
The water bottle was empty by the time I got home. Let me say that in another way: I drank a pint of water right before bedtime. I was up twice during the night but the cookie crisis passed. I was able to stop after just one cookie. It may be a small accomplishment to some, but it was a giant victory for me.