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Confession #6

December 1, 2009

I don’t eat at parties.

Nor receptions, nor happy hours, nor cocktails, nor house parties. I don’t eat at them.

This may not seem like that big of a confession, but let me let you in on the weirdness:

Tonight a few coworkers hosted a surprise party for an intern who is leaving. I made my trademark chocolate peanut butter pie, which I love. I didn’t have time to eat dinner because I was making the pie, so I arrived at the house at 7:30 thinking that I’d leave around 8:30 and just have a late dinner.

However, it was surprise party, so nothing went as scheduled. The intern showed up around 8:20, and I didn’t leave until 9:40.

I didn’t eat a single bite.

Of course, I was really hungry when I got home, so I made dinner and ate immediately.

Why don’t I eat at parties?

  1. At a party, I want to be talking, not eating.
  2. I wore braces on my teeth for 5 years when I was younger, and I honestly don’t think I’ve ever recovered from the self-consciousness of the possibility of having food in my teeth.
  3. In addition, I’m self-conscious about having food on my face.
  4. I’m an extremely slow eater, so even just a bite takes me out of commission for conversation for a minute or so.

Are any of these great reasons? Not really. And tonight I really thought I’d eat…after all, I had my delicious pie on the table, I was legitimately very hungry…and yet I didn’t eat. I didn’t even gorge when I came home. I had a very healthy dinner and that was that.

Also, I should add that I eat three regular meals a day–putting off eating is simply something I can’t do. I get migraines if I do. But at parties, I just can’t do it.

Does anyone else understand or experience this? I’m not looking for a solution. This isn’t something I want to change. I wish I could have done something differently tonight so I wouldn’t have thrown my schedule so far off, but I still don’t want to eat at parties.

My last confession was about gambling.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. krw permalink
    December 1, 2009 1:43 am

    I thought you weren’t supposed to refuse the cake…?

    I’m the opposite; I always end up munching on the snacks at parties and then think, “why the hell am I eating this?”

  2. December 1, 2009 1:47 am

    But I made the cake!

    (Seriously, good point. It’s a catch 22. I guess in the case of a house party, I feel that my presence is the equivalent of eating the cake. It’s like my rule about flying to someone’s wedding–if I have to fly to your wedding, the plane ticket is my gift to the couple.)

  3. Dionne permalink
    December 1, 2009 1:25 pm

    Hmmmm so what you’re saying is all this stems from “anxiety” or rather “social anxiety”. I can related on soooo many levels. I don’t have the eating-in-public aversion, but I do have other aversions that really do change how I interact in social situations. Crowds and strangers are my main ones. I, literally, have to walk into some places with another person or I won’t go in at all. I always get some place early and have to wait till a friend gets there before I walk in. My friends sometimes get annoyed because I could have already found a table for all of us. I usually lie and don’t say I’ve arrived to a place yet when I have because I’ll know they’ll want me to walk in ALONE!!

    So yes Jamey, there is a word for this….Social Anxiety.

    • December 1, 2009 9:28 pm

      Social Anxiety–yeah, I’d say that’s pretty close to being accurate. I understand your aversion to walking into a place where you don’t know anyone (or where you don’t know if you’ll know anyone). I can do it, but I’m always wondering what’s going to happen when I walk in and don’t see anyone I know right away.

  4. December 2, 2009 8:33 pm

    Although self-consciousness in social situations can create all kinds of unique coping behaviors, I was fascinated by your choice to skip the food. I often feel a bit nervous in a crowd, but for me food is not the problem… it’s the solution. Is there a lull in the conversation? Fill the silence with artichoke dip on sourdough. Don’t have anything in common with the person standing next to you? Talk about how excellent the vegetarian dumplings are, or try to guess what that unusual spice is. Love this group, but realize that it’s high time to mingle with some other people? Just say, “Hey, I think I’m going to go try some of that chocolate peanut butter pie!” Then grab a slice of pie and slide right up to the next group. On the other hand, if someone you’re standing with doesn’t get the idea, and follows you, saying, “Yeah, think I’ll try the pie, too,” here’s hoping you really enjoy their company… you might be stuck with them for a while!

    All this talk is making me hungry: is there any chance of getting that pie recipe? My husband loves chocolate and peanut butter, and the last chocolate peanut butter pie recipe I tried was OK, but I’ll bet yours is better.

    • December 2, 2009 10:11 pm

      Cara–Thanks for your comment. It is an interesting choice of mine, I agree. But I’d say that it’s not that different than what you describe, using food as a solution for social self-consciousness. I think I just need to make sure I eat before the party in the future.

      I’d be happy to post my recipe. It’s actually very easy, and it’s a great light dessert to follow a heavy meal.

      For one pie, open up a graham cracker pie crust. In a bowl on the side, combine a heaping spoonful of creamy peanut butter and confectioner’s sugar. Roll the two together between your fingers until it stops being sticky and turns into little balls. Pour that mixture into the pie crust to line the bottom.

      All that remains is making the chocolate pudding. Always use cook and serve, not instant. It takes about 10-15 minutes and you have to stir constantly, but it’s worth the effort. Pour the pudding over the pie and put it in the fridge for a few hours. It’s best served with homemade whipped cream and peanut sprinkles on top, but I usually just go with a squirt bottle.

      Let me know what you think!

      • December 4, 2009 12:17 pm

        Yummmmm… That sounds delicious, and so much easier than the recipe I used before. Mine used melted baking chocolate instead of pudding, making it a lot harder to get just right… and the ratio in that recipe made the peanut butter overwhelm the chocolate. I’ll try yours in the near future and get back to you. Thank You & Happy Holidays!

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