The first time I had dinner with my future husband I noticed he had some rather ‘odd’ table manners. He sat with his non-eating hand curled possessively around his plate and inhaled his food. He never came up for air or conversation until everything was gone from his plate. Needless to say, that took all of about six minutes, regardless of content or amount.
I soon discovered he was one of four kids, three of them boys. Dinner was a war zone and his brothers and Dad were the enemy. It wasn’t just matter of eating fast to finish first, but finishing first to get seconds! Every time I dined with his family I was … well, shocked. Not at the feeding frenzy, but at the overall quantity of food consumed. If his mother cooked fourteen hamburgers, there wasn’t a burger left in sight by the end of the meal. Heck, there wasn’t a crumb from a bun left in sight! He told me there was a time when his parents actually had to padlock the backup refrigerator-freezer in the basement. I believed him.
His table manners have improved somewhat, but his appetite is still the same. We never have leftovers. If dinner isn’t ready when he gets home he’ll stand at the stove and eat anything that is ready, straight from the pan. I never put anything in the refrigerator and expect it to be there when I want or need it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve peered into a cupboard or the refrigerator, only to realize something I had plans for is long gone. Keeping him fed can be a full time job, which made me pity his poor Mom, who had two sons just like him and a husband who was as bad when he was younger.
My eating speed increased greatly for a while. It was a matter of survival. But I eventually slowed down, which means I have to pinch-grip my plate or my husband will clear it from the table and finish anything I haven’t polished off myself.