Note from the Eldercare Underground: Nutrition Nazi Edition
Went over to see my mother at the Hotel today after my Zumba class.
I figure if I can withstand 45 minutes of strenuous (but fun) dance routines to songs like Shakira’s “Rabiosa” and Arash’s “Boro Boro,” I can withstand 45 minutes of visiting with my mother. Fun not necessarily included.
Plus, the sound systems for Zumba and my mother’s TV share about the same decibel range for creating nerve deafness, give or take the loss of a few inner ear hair cells.
When I got there, she had just finished having her lunch in the dining room.
The Retirement Center (aka the Hotel, as I call it) has chef prepared meals that are nutritionally balanced. The noon meal is typically the largest one of the day, with the evening meal being lighter due to the elderly clientele’s general preference for that kind of thing.
When my mother and I go out anywhere for lunch, she always complains about the size of the portions of the meals, to which I always tell her she doesn’t have to eat it all if she doesn’t want to. Everybody has different appetite levels and not everyone eats like a sparrow like she does.
Being the Virgo that she is (laser-like in her observations of others), she has taken to commenting to me about the eating habits of her tablemates in the Hotel’s dining room. She observed that several of them usually left most of their vegetables untouched on their plates.
The other day she said that none of her friends had eaten their carrots, even though she’d told them “You’ll eat your carrots and like it!”
(Some of you may remember this is similar to what she’d told my brother at a family dinner years ago, right after he’d told her he couldn’t eat a particular Mexican dish because he was allergic to cilantro. Pay no attention to that man swelling up with anaphylactic shock over there.)
So today she launched into a critique of the lunch; its size being too big, its general fat content being too much, and the fact that the pumpkin pie they served for dessert had a huge mound of whipped topping on it that was just too much for words, so on and so forth ad infinitum.
I started to say that she didn’t have to eat all the dishes of the main course if she wasn’t that hungry and that she could always scrape off some of the offending topping if she so desired, but I was quickly cut off when she casually remarked:
“But, I ate it.”
Ah. I see.
And I’m sure she liked it, too.