I stood at the drinking fountain with my two small children inside the Baskin-Robbins at the mall. Nearby, a high school girl ordered a double ice cream sundae with caramel sauce and whipped cream, nuts and sprinkles--the works. Her mother was obviously unhappy with the choice. "I'm going on my diet tomorrow, Mom--this is just my last hurrah," the girl explained.
I knew then that her diet was going to fail in short time just as certainly as I know now, twenty years later, that the girl is still fighting that battle. And I'm quite sure that inside her head there has been a catalog of justifications, bargains, excuses and plans.
Visualizing her slimmer frame, she's been telling herself, "in time for graduation . . . " "before my 10 year high school reunion . . . " "before the wedding . . . " "I'll start right after the holidays . . . " "after the baby is born . . . " "when the little one is in school full time and I can exercise regularly . . . " "before my 20 year high school reunion . . . " each time allowing herself to have that one final indulgence before getting serious and really doing it.
Having waged a similar campaign on and off over the last 10 years, I know better than "the last hurrah." It's an act I've never much participated in.
At work, five technicians and one pharmacist are going on the crazy-ass diet as of Monday, January 4. Since, once again, I allowed a few holiday pounds to make themselves a cozy home on my hips and thighs, I'm joining the madness and going on the diet with everyone else. And I've revelled in enough special treats lately that I won't be feeling any deprivation and, in fact, am quite anxious to start this regime in order to get back to healthier eating. I have had no "last hurrah" mindset. None whatsoever.
Still. All it took was working with Robbie on Saturday. He mentioned that he and Tracy would very likely eat fudge brownies on Sunday before buckling down to the rigors of the diet on Monday.
Fudge brownies. Mmmmm . . . fudge brownies . . . . It was all I could think about during the last couple hours of our Saturday shift.
By the time I clocked out on Saturday evening, I was famished. And I couldn't go home to eat dinner because I had to drop some things by my daughter's house first. Just to tide me over, it wouldn't hurt to eat a brownie or two in the car, right? A last hurrah, if you will . . .
Arriving in the bakery department, I realized the fudge brownies that I was craving so weren't cut into convenient pieces. Just a sheet of brownies in an aluminum pan. How could I eat a brownie while driving?
I did the unthinkable. I grabbed a fork from the salad bar. Yes, I drove in the dark, in the rain to my daughter's house while maneuvering a pan of fudge brownies and a fork. I knew without doubt that the paramedics would have no difficulty seeing what caused the accident I was surely destined to die in. There would be fudge smeared all over the smashed windshield and my face would be mingled blood, bone and chocolate.
"It was a classic 'Housewife Special', " they would tell the police officers. "Eating while driving," they'd say with authority.
I'm just going to pre-order my headstone now. It's going to say, "But she would have looked great after the diet!" I think that about covers it.