Methinks the Lady Doth Protest Too Much

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.

9 thoughts on “Methinks the Lady Doth Protest Too Much

  1. Ha ha! My mom wouldn’t eat her vegetables, either!!

    I maybe had too many vegetables at dinner, but hey, she could of been polite and at least tried a bite of each.

    I think those were her own words coming back to her.

    Funny how the tables turn on the aged when their kids get in charge.


  2. *giggle*

    my friend Studley has a standard bad joke he uses in restaurants that always makes me smile – even though i’ve heard it a million times.

    server comes to the table to clear obviously empty plates. “How was your meal? Is there anything else i can get you?”

    to which he replies “It was horrid! Obviously defective! i think you need to bring another plate full… yes, we cleared that one, but it was only so the chef wouldn’t feel bad about himself…”

    sometimes gets a smile from the server…


    • Ha! That reminds me of what Woody Allen said in the movie “Annie Hall”:

      “There’s an old joke – um… two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of ’em says, “Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.” The other one says, “Yeah, I know; and such small portions.” Well, that’s essentially how I feel about life – full of loneliness, and misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and it’s all over much too quickly.”


  3. I was thinking of that exact quote from “Annie Hall” when I read your post! My elderly father’s appetite is still intact but so is his love for convenience which isn’t such a great thing for a guy with a serious heart condition. He hates cooking so he buys frozen dinners sky-high in sodium. This habit of his is almost enough to give his cardiologist a coronary. My brother has practically eliminated salt from his diet in an effort to set an example for our father. Our dad thinks my brother is a loon with an aversion to food with flavor.


  4. Oh my God, my MIL says the same thing every time we eat together (except when she makes the food): The portions are too big! It’s too much! I can’t eat all that! etc etc etc. I see we’re on the same slippery slope….

    Can’t they leave what they don’t want, without the outraged commentary?!


    • Actually, when walking down her hallway the sound level isn’t too bad. Her room is the last one on the right at the end of her hall and right now the room next to her is vacant. They have the rooms designed so that the bathroom and closet of her room is on the same side as the ones in the room next door. I would think that would kind of help to muffle the sound from her neighbor. But, they’re all pretty deaf so it probably doesn’t matter much. 🙂


  5. After reading Ms. Penny’s comments about Ryan Gosling, this thought came to mind: “Methinks the lady doth protest too much.” I ran into your blog by doing a Google search for that sentence.

    Actually, I’ve done very little with my blog, for a year or two, but put my various comments on my facebook page. I’m the Gerald Baker that’s wearing a blue hat.


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