Houston, we have a problem. Date #17 doesn’t like to snack. I repeat: he doesn’t like to snack. He’ll eat his edamame and drink his fancy wine but—and this is a direct quote— he’s “not really into snacking.”
I don’t know how you can be “not into snacking.” That’s like saying you’re not into breathing or taking naps on Sunday afternoons. Of course, I come from a household in which guests are issued a cheese platter before they’re even relieved of their coats—a household in which is it never not happy hour—so it is quite possible that my enthusiasm for snacking is slightly off kilter. But if there is anything strange about my penchant for mid-day munching (by which I mean mid-morning, mid-afternoon and midnight), then Date #17’s lack thereof is equally bizarre—not to mention devastating.
How can I, with my selfless devotion to the Fairtrade chocolate industry, be with a man who doesn’t snack? Am I supposed to just abandon the co-op farmers who rely on my patronage? Should I ignore my God-given talent for arranging perfectly symmetrical cheese platters? Does Date #17 honestly expect me to accompany him to the movies and not order popcorn?
Evidently he does, given the unfortunate timing of his confession. We were waiting in line for tickets to “The Social Network” when the discussion of refreshments began.
“If I get popcorn,” I asked, “will you help me eat it?”
Date #17 just shrugged.
“What about M&Ms?”
He shrugged again.
“How about Reeses Pieces?” I suggested. I was trying to construct a well-balanced meal of both sweet and savory faire but Date #17 was determined to be difficult.
“Don’t you like Reeses Pieces?” I implored.
“They’re alright,” he finally replied, “but I’m just not really into snacking.”
I’m just not really into snacking?
Had this been our fifth date, I would have simply turned on my heel and stomped off, leaving Date #17 to see “The Social Network” by himself. But it wasn’t our fifth date; it was our sixth. We’d already cleared the fifth date hurtle and even though Friday’s post centered around sushi (as opposed to the bout of temporary insanity on my part that nearly cost me the affections of the man in question), I wasn’t prepared for such devastating news as this. I wasn’t even wearing proper stomping footwear.
Nonetheless, I stood my ground: there was no way I was going to sit through a two hour film on Facebook (in the ghetto theatre on Columbus Boulevard, no less) without popcorn. But Date #17’s confession shook me to the core. How could I have let this happen? Was I so blindsided by the array of sushi to notice that Date #17 didn’t actually finish his? Had I been so preoccupied with my entrée during our first dinner together that I overlooked my date allowing the waiter take his plate before he’d licked it clean (not that I actually licked my plate, but you can be sure that none of my Steven Starr salmon went to waste)? Finally, did I forget, thanks to the Jane Austen on Date #17’s e-reader app, that he prefers whole wheat pancakes to harvest pumpkin and even then, that he surrenders his cutlery in defeat before he’s even reached the halfway point?
I think I was so traumatized by the entire “Yes, I’m done with these pancakes” episode that I must have forgotten. Either that or I’m in denial: Of course he likes to snack. Of course he’ll eat more than me—he’s a man!
…A man, unfortunately, who doesn’t like to snack.
Now this might seem like a good thing—no one wants a fat slob for a boyfriend—but I’ve been down this road before and it’s a terrible, terrible place to be. I had a boyfriend in college who didn’t like to snack. Given his aversion to food, I never had to fight for the last scoop of Ben and Jerry’s: I bought the ice cream, I held the ice cream, I ate the ice cream but finishing an entire pint of Half Baked on your own is no fun. Especially if your 30-something year old boyfriend has the metabolism of a 12 year old.
Fortunately Date #17 had the good sense to assist me in finishing my popcorn. And he even ordered a small soda, which, being a movie theatre soda, comprised a small bucket with a straw, but he’s been teasing me about my love of hydrogenated oil ever since—not in a chauvinistic “You’d better watch your figure” sort of way but in a “Did you have extra butter and salt with your breakfast this morning?” sort of way, concluded with his usual, “I’m off for a jog.”
I don’t know if I can handle dating a man who doesn’t snack, especially since snacking comprises such an integral part of my daily (okay, hourly) existence and I haven’t gone jogging in over a year. I know that relationships are all about compromise, but as far as chocolate bars (and movie theater concessions stands) are concerned, I do not compromise.