How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Fries

A bowl of tomato soup rumbles in lazy circles inside the microwave.

Not far away, a grilled cheese sandwich sizzles delightfully in a frying pan.

It what I hoped to have for lunch.

Across the house, my wife peers over the top of her novel and sniffs the air like a cat.

“Ooooh,” she says, “can I have a just a tiny bit?”

“I asked if you wanted lunch,” I tell her, “and you said no.”

“I don’t want a whole sandwich,” she says, “just a bit of yours.”

It was I who wanted the whole sandwich.

“And the soup?” I ask.

“Just a little,” she says.

I doubt if I have enjoyed the whole of anything since the day we met.

On our first date, she reached across the table and deftly snatched a french fry off my tray.   A dangerous move. Others have risked limbs trying just that – but the stirrings of love spared her.

The next time I told the clerk to supersize my fries.

“Don’t do that!” she exclaimed, “have you any idea how much salt and grease go into fries?”

I did – but I didn’t anticipate eating the whole thing.

Back then, all this was endearing. Now, not so much.

It is not that I mind sharing, nor do I mind cooking for her.  It is just that it is nice to know in advance how much of what I make I get to eat.

As I gazed longingly on the sandwich, dwelling upon all of its wholesome wholeness, I pondered these questions.  Have you ever wondered why a slice of bread is the size it is, or why Kraft Singles have the dimension that they do?

I have.

The good people of the food industry have invested considerable time and treasure in getting portions just right.  Their goal was to precisely apply the Goldilocks rule.  Never too much and never too little. They even took into account spouses who snatch things off their partner’s plate.  It is why they invented supersizing.

But alas, none of that was doing me any good.

I fell back on an old ploy.  “Aren’t you dieting?”

“That’s why I only want a bite,” she claims.

“I hoped to eat the whole thing.”

“You shouldn’t,” she says.

I just stare.

“You could diet too?” she adds.  It is an old ploy she falls back on.

So I cut her off a quarter of the sandwich and poured a ladle of soup into a separate bowl.  These I set out on the kitchen island.

A few moments later.

“Could you cut me off a little more of that sandwich?”

“And the soup?”

“Why thank you.”

Moments pass.

“What are you doing?” she asks.

“Making more soup and another sandwich.”

“Don’t do that!” she exclaims, “you really need to watch how much you eat.”

How do I say what I really want to say?

Let me count the ways.

Author: Almost Iowa

53 thoughts on “How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Fries”

  1. Sharing food is a sign of true love, particularly if we’re rather hungry at the time. Or so I tell my husband each and every time I help myself to his fries.

  2. I have to disagree with your theory of the manufacturers’ intentions. Maybe I’m Oliver Stone, but I think they make things just small enough that one won’t satisfy – especially if 1/4 goes away to a spouse. In the olden days, they weren’t so greedy. Portions were bigger. But now they know we need a square and 1/4 of cheese. So that’s 2…


    1. It’s getting SOOO difficult to keep conspiracies quiet these days. Someone has always got to blab. That’s probably the last time you are going to be invited to join an evil cabal. Geez!

  3. I once knew a family — father, mother, and son — who loved eating in restaurants. Every time I joined them, father and son would wait until the mother had ordered, and then they would order the same thing. When I inquired of the son (in private) what was going on, he said it was due to his mother’s habit of looking at everyone else’s plate and whining, “I wish I’d ordered that, instead.” Inevitably, someone would end up trading plates with her, and eating what she had ordered. The only way around it was to order what she did. They didn’t always get what they wanted to eat, but they did eliminate the whining.

    1. How about this for a solution?

      Father: I’ll have the Chef Salad and Mother, why don’t you order the steak?
      Mother: But I want the Chef Salad.
      Father: Try the steak first and if you don’t like it, we can switch.

  4. You know, there’s another dimension to this supersizing, disproportionate portions thing: the assumption that EVERYBODY has somebody to snitch their goodies.
    I think I just solved the U.S. obesity epidemic! 😮

    1. You have to wonder if people count on that. Sooooo, to test the assumption maybe we could find someone eating a supersized meal alone and help them out.

    1. I used to run 10 miles a day during my lunch hour when I worked for the police and could (and did) eat as much as I wanted.. Things got so bad around the shop that they banned me from their potlucks.

  5. Fries almost ended our relationship before it started. Peggy and I were on our way home from Disneyland where we had taken Peggy’s kids. We stopped at a McDs. Peggy ordered fries. I didn’t. But having just spent a fair amount of money on our pre-married family outing, I didn’t see a problem with snagging one lonely fry! Talk about a mistake! We still laugh about it. –Curt

  6. I’m NOT married, and I get it.

    My SO is fighting some of the normal middle-aged stuff (high BP, high cholesterol, etc…) so he’s got all the dietary restrictions. I don’t…so he’s always sneaking a little something off my plate.

    1. Oooooh, going through the same stuff. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, pre-diabeties. I lost thirty pounds last summer – but put twenty of that back on over the winter. I had hope of getting my running going again – but this winter will not let go. Today, I had to wear my January gear just to walk the dog.

      1. We seldom eat fast food. But when we do, the husband orders fries and we share. If that’s snitching, then, yes, I am a snitch.

        My snitching is more like, “Can I have a sip of your beer?” I use that when I want to try a new beer without committing fully to trying a new beer. Or when I need a few swallows of beer on a hot day but don’t want my own full bottle.

  7. Very true of married life.
    Y’know, it also reminds me of a phenomenon at the office of my first job: whenever someone made Ramen, several other people would wander to the kitchen area and have the same. The stuff’s terrible for you, but smells great.

  8. Now I sympathize with her related to the fries, you can’t eat just one! Even my grandkids know I am going to sneak a few when they aren’t looking. 😊

    1. Anyone who grew up in a large family would never try that. 🙂

      GUEST AT OUR HOUSE FOR DINNER: Why does everyone in your family hold a fork in their spare hand while they eat?
      ME: Keep watching.
      SIBLING 1: OUCH!
      ME: See?

  9. 😂😂😂 Funny how those things we thought were so cute and endearing when we were dating don’t always stand the test of time!

    You are a good man, Charlie Brown. And your wife will always be super clever and sharp as a tack. Enjoy your happy marriage!

    1. How many couples have been attracted to each other because they liked the same music and pizza topping? We laugh at such things because we know that over time tastes change – but then nature has the last laugh because years later when all the things we love change, our love for each other doesn’t.

  10. There should be bread for married people – it should have perforations baked into it. After that, they can go to work on popcorn, ice cream cones and Mike’s Hard Lemonade.

      1. My wife likes to take the first sip. I’ve tried giving her her own bottle. As it is, when I’m done, I am of the opinion that since I have not actually had one yet, I will open another.

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