Posted by: ritagone | April 21, 2010

It’s Not Fair!!!

I’d like to talk this morning about something  that isn’t fair.  It’s not about the lack of justice or equitable treatment among all races and peoples or bad things happening to good people, those macro issues that we read and think about much of the time.

It’s about going to Idaho last week with three long-time girlfriends.  They are all thin.  I think I weigh more than all three of them put together.  And they are the most focused people I have ever been with in terms of food and wine.  They talk about food, recipes, restaurants, menus, constantly.  While they’re eating one meal, they’re planning the next, talking about what they cook at home, what their husbands and families enjoy (while I’m thinking of my poor husband, home on his own, fending for himself food-wise while I’m gone).  They’re discussing which wine goes with what kind of food.  They do wine-tasting and speak in educated conversation about flavors and aromas and bodies of various wines while they’re sipping their way through any particular restaurant’s choices.  They marvel over textures and nuances of what they’re putting into their mouths…all the while I’m shoveling the food into my own mouth silently, hardly enjoying it because somewhere along the way – I blame it on college, which of course I graduated from over 40 years ago! – I learned to eat fast, as if, in caveman fashion, I fear someone is going to come along and steal my dinner.  They eat slowly, chewing and enjoying and oohing and aahing!

And they never gain weight!

And that’s what’s not fair.

I gain weight just thinking about food.  Of course, I am not JUST thinking about food: I’m eating it.  While they’re exercising in a mighty way to compensate for the delicious consumption they indulge in, I’m languishing on the couch, wondering when the next episode of “Law and Order” will air.  They hiked, they walked, they explored the terrain of northern Idaho, all the while working off the calories they had consumed in order to prepare them for the calories they were going to consume later.  I stayed home, had work to do and obligations, all of which consisted of sitting and staying put.

So maybe what appears on the surface as blatantly unfair upon closer inspection isn’t so unfair after all.  They are willing to work hard to work off the calories they consume in their favorite pastime: eating.  I’m not that willing.  And so I pay the price, unless I’m terribly careful: extra pounds.

Blame it on my DNA, the genes my chubby parents handed down to me.  Or blame it on my height; one of these gals is six feet tall, which can allow for a whole lot of eating spread over a quite elongated frame.  Me, I’m like that old joke: I’m not fat, just too short for my weight.  This is unfair too, the genetic makeup we go through life with.  Surely there are genes that allow some people to eat anything and not gain weight, but those genes aren’t in my system.  Some people unfairly have the metabolism of a hummingbird; they are constantly moving, going, burning calories to keep their energy supply high.  But you can’t very well get mad at people whose genetic makeup is different from yours, just as you don’t want people to ridicule or punish you for your own chromosomal composition.

So I’ve decided to embrace the differences between myself and these three thin ladies.  I’ve decided not to hold it against them that they focus so intently on food and beverages (we did a beer-tasting once too, at the Salt Lake City Airport, no less) while I’m focused on what NOT to eat and drink.  There must be genes that I have that they are sitting at home wishing they had.  Right?  I’ve decided to love them anyway.  I’ve decided not to worry about the unfairness of metabolisms and calorie consumption and food focus and just love them.  Because our relationships are much more than food and drink.  Jesus knew this.  He even talked about it in Matthew 6:25: “Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”  He knew that people would have differing interests in food and drink and clothing, and the intensity of these interests should not be the measure of how we determine who will be our friend or not.

So look around you today.  What do you see as mildly unfair in your own life situation?  Analyze it.  Is it really, ultimately all that unfair…or are there other factors that you’re not considering objectively?

And then go have lunch and a glass of wine.


Regards,  Rita

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