Shared Stories: The 'F' Word

Now that the holidays are over, Kacie Cooper’s essay is a timely reflection on a topic that is a source of  frustration for many of us  Shared Stories is a weekly column featuring articles by participants in a writing class at the Norwalk Senior Center.  Bonnie Mansell is the instructor for this free class offered through the Cerritos College Adult Education Program.  Curated by Carol Kearns

By Kacie (Kathy) Cooper

Yes, you’ve heard the word in mixed company before and probably wished you could make people stop.  But the truth is, they are not going to stop using this word.  So in order not to insult anyone, I will spell it out:  F-O-O-D.

Yes, this is the “F” word for me: food, food, food.  Can anybody out there talk about anything other than food?  Food is my arch enemy.  I know we can’t survive without it, but why does everyone have to talk about it so much?   It seems that 90% of TV commercials are about food, and usually from fast food places.

I often think about food around midnight, which is the worst time to be thinking about the “F” word.  I eat plenty of veggies, but carrots and celery have no appeal to me at that time of night.  At night is when I’m craving turkey and pie. I feel like it’s Thanksgiving.

I think I could look like a model who weighed only ninety-eight pounds if it wasn’t for my eating so late at night.  If I stick with the changes that I have made in my habits, I still might have a chance to meet Tyra Banks.  Tonight will be the fourth night that I have not gone back into the kitchen to feed my midnight addiction.  Oh, Lord, help me!    

If I ever opened a food place, it would be referred to as the “slow food” place.  It would be a place for humans who don’t like eating in their cars.  Perhaps this place would serve only snacks with fruits and veggies on the menu.  There would be no heavy meals, no heavy foods – just items like salads, soups, and raw vegetables.

I’ve gone to a local chicken place and asked for raw vegetables three times now.  I always get a look from the waitress as if she is thinking “What the heck is that?”  I always add, “You know, not cooked.”    

I eat plenty of veggies, and I am trying to eat more fruits.  I also eat chicken, but you know, there is cholesterol in chicken and eggs.  So perhaps I should concentrate on going vegan.  I would like to live a few more years and enjoy my grandchildren.

As a teenager I was proud to work at Taco Bell.  But I’m not sure I would feel the same way today.  Back in the 70’s we served beef, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, tortillas, taco shells, and hamburger buns for the Bellburgers.  Now people are bombarded with eighty or ninety items on the menu.  There’s just too much food, too many items, too many choices to make.  It’s no wonder the “F” word is everywhere.

I say. “Get the “F” outta here, Food!”  We’ve had enough and we’re not going to take it any more.  We’re going to leave it.  We’ll all be a lot better off if we make some changes.  I know I will, if I could just stop thinking about that other “F” word – Fudge.