And there is. Ice cream.
Can the sins of the father be passed along to the son? I say: most definitely.
My mom and dad came through last weekend to watch my older daughter perform in her middle school play (she was excellent, BTW). We were having our normal Saturday morning coffee chat when we started talking about the blog post I used to heap blame on my mom. We talked about how weird food habits seemed to be formed at a young age. They both talked about the fact that I was a chronic food sneaker even as a little kid. Their favorite story:
- Once upon a time, there was a remarkable seven year old boy named David (OK, the "remarkable" adjective was my contribution)... Mom and dad were getting ready to go out for the evening. They had not quite closed the door to leave the house when they heard yours truly call out: "Hey guys, mom and dad are gone. Let's sneak!"
Fine. Guilty as charged. I was a seven year old food larcenist. Apparently, I was not a particularly bright one at that. My folks have gotten more mileage out of that story than I could ever hope to convey. Yet it all begs the question. From where did this sneaking habit originate?
My dad was confessing this past Saturday that he still raids the ice cream coffers when nobody is around. Apparently, to this day he cannot help himself. If ice cream is in the house, it is wholly unsafe.
Lots of us sneak. What I find interesting is that I have EXACTLY the same weakness. Ice cream. If ice cream is in a large container in the house, I will attack it like a crack-addled hun. The second I pull the lid and wield my spoon-weapon, I get all fuzzy in the head. My pulse jumps up to 140+, and I completely lose myself. It starts innocently enough with a single layer removal. Then I have to dig for a golf ball of cookie dough. Then I have to evenly eat around the hole I just made. Then I take another layer out. And so it goes until at least half of a container is gone. The sad part is that it does not even matter what size the container is. When I was in high school, I actually ate an entire half-gallon of ice cream in a single sitting.
I really cannot think of a single other food that has the same kind of narcotic effect on me. I really just cannot control myself around ice cream, particularly if it is in bulk form. For the life of me, I cannot explain why I feel this way. It almost seems animalistic when my ice cream frenzies happen. Sure ice cream tastes great, but lots of foods taste great. Ice cream has a unique emotional hold over me that I will never be able to explain or understand.
So how do I handle it? I really push to make sure we do not have big containers of the stuff in the house, and certainly not in plain sight. If I have an ice cream, it is almost always in the form of a Weight Watchers pre-packaged ice cream treat. Even then, I often find myself having two. When I take my kids to the ice cream shop, I almost never order my own cone. Why? I don't trust myself. If I shoot up ice cream once, won't I become an addict?
I now treat ice cream a little bit the way ex-smokers treat cigarettes: with as much avoidance and zero tolerance as can be mustered. When I see an ice cream cone, I try to make myself think it is 423 PointsPlus values. I may have to resort to imagining it being covered with elephant waste. Clearly gross and immature, but whatever it takes, right?
Fortunately, ice cream is pretty unique in that I almost have to treat it like a DEA Schedule III controlled substance (you know, like crystal meth). It's kind of sad really, because the stuff really does taste good. I generally don't endorse the practice of banning food groups, but sometimes desperate measures are required. For this, I blame my dad for whatever horrible mutated DNA strand he passed along to me.
So that's my kryptonite. What's yours?