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The one in which we determine if we could be friends in real life.

Yesterday, a girl from Aura’s class and her mom came over after school for lunch and some playing. When it was time to leave, the other mother turned to me and said, “This was great. We’ll have to do it again.”

“WE CERTAINLY WILL!” I replied heartily, giving her an affectionate nudge that made her stumble a bit. “ANY TIME!”

It wasn’t so much that the get-together had gone well, although it had, with the girls playing hair salon and hide-and-seek and a variety of other things that resulted in the general destruction of the house and the unfortunate (depending on how you look at it) beheading of a Polly Pocket.

All that remains of poor Polly: an uncomfortable backpack, unfortunately designed board shorts, and an empty tiki mug. RIP. Kind of.

No. The reason I’d have that particular mother-daughter pair over again without a second’s hesitation is this: The mother ate her entire sandwich. Then she helped herself to seconds of the pretzels. And then, as if she wasn’t already perfect enough, there was the coup de grace: A hostess gift of Keebler Fudge Stripe cookies, which I hadn’t eaten in decades but MAN ALIVE ARE THOSE SUCKERS GOOD.

(It’s as if the high fructose corn syrup in each delicious, delicate little stripe is laced with a hint of magic.)

(I once read a similar description in an article about food addicts but I think it’s safe to say that this is totally besides the point.)

Now, I’m the first to admit that I’m a Big Eater. I’m not ashamed of it. I eat a lot. It’s a confirmed fact. Adam will tell you the same thing, as will my mother, my close friends, and the waiter at the Carnegie Deli who, when clearing a plate that had formerly contained a triple-decker pastrami sandwich, patted me on the back and bellowed, “WOW! GOOD JOB! WE NEVER EVER EVER SEE A WOMAN FINISH ONE OF THOSE!” (It was the second “EVER” that cost him a better tip.  As I am a Big Eater, I can appreciate gusto, especially Exuberant Gusto. But I draw the line at second EVERs.)

Honestly? I hardly ever see another woman finish sandwiches that size either. And that’s the problem. On moms’ nights out, I sit back in dismay as the other women order soup, or salad, or if it’s a particularly crazy night and they’ve already tied on a mango-ginger martini, both soup and salad. I feel cowed.  Also, fuzzy with confusion. How do these women survive? Don’t colors seem duller, sounds muted, life…faint with hunger?

Allow me to demonstrate, courtesy of this toy food the good folks of China made:

What other women eat:

What I eat:

So. New rule. While I will hang out with you and feign fondess if you’re a small eater, know that I am only suffering you out of mere and woefully suburban convention.

However, if you are a fellow Big Eater, I will be your friend for life. We Will Bond. We Will Share Secrets. We Will Judge Those Who Insist On Ordering A Dessert And Splitting It Five Ways, Because, Truly, Those People Should Be Locked Up Anyway. This Also Goes For People Who Say “This Meal Is So Huge I Can Take the Leftovers Home And Have Three More Meals Out Of Them Tinkly Laugh.”

Let the chips fall how they may.

(Yum. Chips.)

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