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In my studies of my husband's eating patterns, I've noticed a few distinct problems that have to do with his maleness or my interpretation of his maleness:

  • I give him larger portions of food than anyone else at the table —even when we have company and there are other men present. He is bigger, stronger, hungrier, and all those quintessentially macho things. Breadwinners are supposed to be bread eaters, or something like that.
  • I give him my unfinished foods. I know it's a sin to waste food, so I never throw out a leftover ... I give it to my husband, the omnivore. If I can only eat half of the banana, I never force myself to finish it, but give it to my husband, who quickly makes "all gone." He performs the exact same function for our son (the type who takes one bite, then says he's finished).
  • I cater to his food needs because he's the king of the castle. Even independent women make sure the cabinets are stocked with their husbands' favorite foods. They usually serve them too.

While I am not a slave who waits on any man, if I am going downstairs to the kitchen to get a pen out of my purse, I ask Mike if he wants anything. "Yeah," he says, "maybe an ice cream sandwich." I go downstairs (using a few calories), I get my pen and the ice cream sandwich and then go upstairs, using a few more calories. I have nothing to eat and have burned some calories and exercised my leg muscles.