Not that long ago, while I was at a scouting event, one of the ladies helping serve the food at the event kept handing me Rice Krispies treats whenever I would walk past her. I certainly asked for the first one, because who doesn’t want a Rice Krispies treat, but I ended up with four before all was said and done. While discussing this phenomena with one of my scout parent friends, she asked me why I didn’t just say no to getting more (I’m guessing she assumed that I wouldn’t want four Rice Krispies treats for some reason?) and my response was to joke that I just assume everyone wants to be my mother and I couldn’t let her down.
While it was a joke, I’ve spent some time considering this line of thinking, and I’ve started to realize that whether or not they actually want to be my mother, I have a standard relationship with people in my life where they try to take care of me, generally through food. When I was a younger man, I would always be the one sent home with the leftovers, something which, to be honest, still continues today, although I don’t have nearly as many reasons to be offered them in my life nowadays. In fact, it seems like whenever there is food available, I have someone who is ready to offer me way too much of it.
I actually had to make a decision at one point in my life to actively turn down food because, as someone who grew up feeling he needed to clear his plate, I would often end up feeling uncomfortably full. It’s honestly a surprise that I am not a much larger man, based purely on how much food I’ve been offered and then eaten because of my lack of want of turning down more food to my world of mothers.
So, maybe I’m living some sort of Freudian nightmare where all the people in my life want to mother me…but also, I’m not sure it’s that much of a nightmare. It’s nice to have people who want to take care of me. And I’m definitely not complaining about the extra servings. Besides, as someone who has crossed over a certain threshold of age, you have to latch on to every single one of those things that still allows you to feel young.