On eating in bed

As far as I’m concerned, there is no food that can be safely eaten in bed. I abhor the concept and often wonder if the person who came up with it was rational. To be fair though, he was probably concerned that if he had to get out from under that mammoth fur blanket to eat said mammoth kababs, he’d freeze to death. So he solved his problem by deciding to build that fire and keep that meat right next to his thatch bed. And yes, ingenuity of that sort is responsible for the genius of mankind today. So with centuries of evolution, why hasn’t this vestige become extinct like that mammoth? Do people want to be consumed by fire ants in the dead of night? Do they need their bed to double as a ‘now-serving-a-free-buffet’ diner for rodents? Do they dream of your bedroom being marked as a hazardous area, where a dog wouldn’t venture, he who sniffs himself?

Eating in bed is way up there in my list of pet peeves, right above women with hairy armpits wearing sleeveless blouses and hairless cats. Some things just initiate the gag reflex much faster than others. The thought of it repels me. If I dwell on it long enough, I’m liable to break out in hives. And as sure as lunch, I’m going to dream of a thousand critters laying siege to my bed tonight just for writing this. Even though I don’t let food into my bedroom, much less my bed. And to think that some look forward to things like this! The whole yin yang thing boggles the mind in its applications.

I have of course, considered the possibility, very much unlike Bruce Willis through the course of Sixth Sense, that the problem is all mine. Others would be justified in thinking such censure is pricey coming from one of the most accident-prone and messy eaters alive (my not-so-secret shame!). But there is extensive research that supports the need to eat sitting peacefully and without distraction, and certainly not courting the liability of falling asleep if you change position.  We look for houses with kitchen dining and formal dining and TV rooms, yet we bring the TV into the bedroom along with the food and then never want to leave. There’s a head scratcher for you.

As much as I deplore the concept, I have to admit that there is one time when it is perfectly okay to indulge in it. Any time you find yourself hooked to softly beeping machines is a perfectly acceptable time to have someone bring you your meal in bed. That is the time you need to be lying down to deal with the oddly wobbling jelly shaped like a cabbage. The most iron stomach would need to lie down for stuff like that.

I don’t know where this aversion (however justified that I self-righteously think it is) stems from. Maybe it has its roots in being told of my sister and her food horror drama. As a young child, I steadfastly refused to open my mouth when forced to eat something I didn’t like, despite the spoon hovering ominously near my lips, all the while ignoring dire threats from mom. Apparently my sister, when faced with similar situations at the same age, diplomatically took her plate and shoved its contents under her bed when my mom’s attention was diverted. Foolishly optimistic about its condition, she would let it stay there until the pervading smell or cleaning day caught her out. After the first couple of times of such unwarranted discovery, my mother started checking under my sister’s bed daily. And with startling clarity of detail, she chose to pass these stories on to me. Little did she know, she’d be scarring me for life. And every time I hear of people waking up to ant bites because they ate biscuits in bed, I am thoroughly and eternally grateful to her.

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