Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Emotional Eating Day

I hate Valentine's Day. Maybe I am still bitter from all the years of spending it alone. Not alone, actually. Always with some comfort food. To me, Valentine's Day is really all about eating. In fact, one of the foremost thoughts associated with February 14 is Chili's (the chain Mexican restaurant). My best friend from college, my roommate at the time, joined me at Chili's for anti-Valentine food therapy. We would savor some decadent dessert, a pie of some sort as I recall, that involved Snickers(R) and Oreos(R), maybe an Oreo crust with Snickers ice cream filling, topped with hot fudge and caramel sauce? Who can remember the details? The point is that we would not share a slice; we each had our own. Drowning our sorrows in dessert.
That tradition continued for me, sharing the day dedicated to love with my favorite junk foods. The abundance of chocolate made it only too easy to wallow in my misery while ingesting appalling amounts of sweets.
Even when I finally had a valentine (the man I married), I still focused on food. At what fabulous restaurant would we eat? I sat at home for too many years with pints of ice cream and boxes of chocolates. Now that I had a bona fide date, I was all about the fancy meal. I wanted every occasion to be celebrated with a $200 dinner.
I did get over that eventually, but the connection between Cupid and food persists. Now it mostly involves my children. Last night, I made dozens of sugar cookies from scratch for my daughter's class and washed and cut three pounds of strawberries for my son's class. Then, for good measure, I made a cake mix for our family to share for dessert tonight.
I guess I have always been an emotional eater. And on a day when we are force fed an emotion that we may or may not be experiencing, it always helps to wash it down with something indulgently yummy.

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