As is wont to happen this time of year, the birthdays are coming fast and furious here at the office. On birthday days, two dozen donuts and a coffee cake appear in our breakroom, without fail.
Today, I stared at the donuts. I stare at the donuts every time they bring them in. As I’ve just done another spate of reading about hungry women, women who deprive themselves, furtive attitudes toward food, the binge and purge cycle, and etc., I carefully went through my own food-obsessed thinking in weighing my decision to cut a thumb-sized piece of coffee cake from the enormous loaf looming aside the donuts.
I resolved to have this one piece, to curb any later compulsions. It was sufficiently small, I reasoned. I was hungry. I had a craving for it. There was, in fact, no good reason not to eat it. It wasn’t like I was going to eat the whole loaf. I haven’t had a binge eating session in almost a year.
I hid in the breakroom and did not take this carefully portioned piece of coffee cake back to my desk. I ate it standing up. I hoped no one would come in and see me. I busily poured coffee and turned my back when one of the architects came in. I furtively chewed the remainder of my stolen piece.
I returned to my desk, satiated.
And thought about women and food, and how we’re not supposed to desire anything, and why is it the only women we see eating in films and TV are the ones who’re supposed to be evil, psychotic, or just plain fat (which is a shorthand for so many Evils these days)?
Because good women don’t eat. Good women don’t get hungry. They’ve transcended their bodies. They’re good little anorectic girls.
I rage about a society that wants me to be smaller and quieter, and here I am, feeling those pangs because I’m not smaller and quieter. Failed woman. All over again.
I’m not a stupid person. I’m in fantastic health. I’m smart.
Fuck transcending the body. My own inability to transcend social mores really pisses me off.