Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Menu Choices?

I got this great quote in an email this morning:

"As a child, my family's menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it." (Buddy Hackett)

It made me chuckle and reminisce just a little.

Because that was most definitely how we were raised. You could have preferences, but if mom set it in front of you at a meal, it didn't matter if it was the one thing you hated the most, you were going to eat it, or you weren't going to eat. And eating meant eating a little portion of everything that was served, not just picking the more tolerable bits and leaving the rest out. Plus, if you had an attitude about eating, or refused to eat what was set in front of you, not only could you expect to be denied whatever dessert was being offered, but you could expect your bowl of refused supper to appear in front of you for breakfast the following morning.

For years our parents simply informed us that if we didn't like what was set in front of us, we could shop and cook for ourselves. This turned out to be an empty threat. We weren't supposed to cook for ourselves. I learned this the hard way once or twice when I availed myself of this option as a teenager, and faced the ire of a father who was less than impressed that I was refusing to eat the meal my mom had worked hard to prepare.

As an adult, I have definite preferences and have been accused of being a picky eater. But that extends mostly to my own home. If I'm someplace else and someone sets something in front of me, I will find a way to eat even just a little.

And I have to wonder about the various friends who let every whim their child has control their diet, and who are constantly struggling to find enough items that their children will eat to create a sort of balanced diet. Their struggles just make me shake my head.

Because in my house, there were two menu options: take it or leave it.