On the way to the store, she said I needed to go on a diet.
She then volunteered to diet with me.
Rather than reflect on what she was really saying, I quickly agreed, least we find ourselves headed into uncomfortable territory.
At the store, we went our separate ways. She to fill the cart with good things that she will never eat. I to snatch bad things off the shelf – which I fully intended to eat every last morsel of.
Until I dropped them into the grocery cart.
“Have you no self-discipline?” she asked.
She knows I do not.
On the other hand, I saw nothing in her cart that inspired me to diet.
There were bags upon bags of leafy substances that bore strange names and revealed an equally unfamiliar appearance. They were the sort of plants that grow everywhere in abundance because bovines, birds and bunnies turn up their noses at them – yet the stuff is still hideously expensive because only people who force themselves and their spouses to diet, are willing eat it.
There were cartons filled with grains from exotic places, places where all the people are skinny – because they too refuse to chew or swallow the stuff.
Then there were the containers filled to the brim with powders, potions and promises.
It was all so uninspiring.
But that is just it, she was right, I have no discipline and never have had any. Unlike my wife who can summon up the iron will to diet for a few weeks, whenever I am challenged by temptation, I quickly apologize to temptation for having to go to all the trouble of challenging me.
In short, I like to get out ahead of temptation by indulging in whatever inspires me.
As a kid, I never did my homework and had to be yelled at to do my chores. Never once as far as I know did I do anything that I did not want to do voluntarily.
But still I have enjoyed a lucrative and satisfying life without once resorting to the joylessness of discipline.
But she is right, I put on too much weight over the winter and need to take it off.
On my walk, I talked this over with Scooter as he pulled on his leash and panted in the heat of the day.
I told him I needed inspiration – and he being the dog he is, pulled me to the right instead of the left at the crossing of two gravel roads and under a blazing blue sky and white hot sun, we took the long, long way home.