Monday, April 4, 2011

A strange thing on the way home from the store

I did a strange thing the other day. Or I found it odd. I have a love-hate relationship with potato chips, as I am sure many others do. I love chips, I hate the empty calories and the heavy, bloated feeling that so often occurs after eating them. Interesting isn't it, even though I know they make me feel bad, I somehow still think they will make me feel better.

My primary deep fried potato challenge in Ruffles, All Dressed Flavour. I was at the store the other day getting a quick lunch, not super healthy on its own, but not deep fried, when I saw the sale display. Two bags of Ruffles for $5 - such a deal! I immediately told my self 'no, don't do it' and proceeded to get what I had come for. Then I had to walk past the sale again. It was a walk by chipping, I didn't even slow, almost of its own accord my hand whipped out and grabbed a bag. Even as I walked to the till I was feeling the shame. With a quiet defiance I bought my salty-carby treat and headed to the car.

As I drove home I kept looking with guilt at the bag. I justified away. It is only one bag, not two like the sale could have rationalized, I do not have to eat them all at once. I can give some to the boys. I pulled into the left hand turn lane at a light and as I sat waiting, I read the sign of the homeless man on the meridian. "Broke, Hungry. Anything helps" In a moment of pure impulse I lowered my window, reached over and handed over the chips saying "they're all yours", he thanked me, tucked them behind his sign and I raised my window.

A cascade of emotions rushed through me, I was giddy with them. Relieved that I would not be eating the chips, oddly guilty that I gave them to someone who could likely have used a much more nutritious option, surprise that I would give anything to the meridian sitter at all.

It took some time for me to come down of this odd high. I am still conflicted - proud and shamed, guilty and relieved. What a strange relationship I have with this crappy bag of fried starch and artificial flavour. In a house where food is important and we believe in minimally processed, fresh, healthy food most of the time why does this little oval disc of potato hold such power?

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