The other day, when all of the summer campers were sitting together eating lunch, I sat monitoring them, making sure the kids with the peanut allergies weren’t too close to the kids with PB&J sandwiches.
The other teacher came back from the kitchen, after warming her massive cinnamon bun in the staff microwave. The first thing she did, which was extremely polite, was offer me some. When I declined, the dreaded question we all know quickly followed.
“Why not, are you on a diet?”
“My whole life is a diet.” I answered with a smile. Because, technically whatever I eat *is* my diet. She laughed and the issue was dropped.
But for me, it wasn’t. For the rest of the day, and clearly since then, I have been pondering on that encounter. Why is it that just because you refuse an offer of food, your choices are called into question? Why can’t you just decline a food because you don’t want that particular item at that time?
For full disclosure, yes I am watching what I eat. Yes, I chose not to take that cinnamon bun bite because I didn’t need it, and had my own lunch. But why should I have to verbally defend that to her?
I know I am biased. I know that my outlook on food vastly differs from hers. And I know her question certainly wasn’t meant to send me down this road of societal reflection. I guess the question then becomes: what was it meant to do?