I was at lunch recently with a small group of people and I found myself observing their eating habits.
Let me be a tad more accurate.
I was observing their eating-without-spilling-food-on-themselves habits.
How did their clothing remain unstained through an entire meal when I don’t know what it’s like to walk away from a dining experience without some kind of sauce or salad dressing on my person? Honestly, you can play Name That Restaurant just from the markings across my chest after I’ve enjoyed a meal… it looks more like the meal has enjoyed me.
Here’s the thing. I am, shall we say, well endowed in the area between my head and my lap. Really, let’s just make that endowed. Using the word “well” seems wrong in this particular instance. Basically I have a shelf, which somehow doubles the odds of spilling a food item – any food item – on its way to my mouth. Seriously, I have never understood that “place your napkin in your lap” rule since my lap rarely sees the light of day.
I’m often tempted to stuff a napkin in the collar of my shirt to protect my clothing for this very reason. Granted, I might stand out in a crowd (of more than one). It’s either that or I can just expect to a) dip a clean napkin in my water glass to dab at the already-setting offending stain, b) jab a bright orange Tide Stick (couldn’t pick a less obvious color, could you, Tide people?) into my chest, or c) slink off to the ladies room (hopefully a single stall), rip my top off to soak the spot in a questionably clean sink (impossible without drenching half the shirt), then attempt (in vain) to dry it off under the one-watt hand dryer before joining my party… if they haven’t finished their meal and left by then. That’s not too conspicuous, huh?
My most recent solution to having ‘the girls’ heave themselves forward every time I try to take a bite of food or a frothy drink is to hold them back. Like -- literally. I put my right arm across my chest (I am left-handed) and pretty much try to protect it from incoming morsels. If anyone happens to look up from their cell phone long enough to pay attention they might think I am either hugging myself with one arm or getting my jollies during mealtime for reasons unknown. No, folks – I am simply trying to preserve at least one decent shirt and maybe slow down on the gallon of industrial strength pre-wash that resides next to our washing machine.
As the years go by my shelving has begun a slow descent toward my knees, setting me up for even more unsavory scenarios. This means I am typically (loudly) reminding whoever was the last to use the kitchen or bathroom sink to Dry The Counter Off so that I’m not dipping into puddles of water left to evaporate on their own.
Even the cat thinks I am designed for her lounging convenience. She sits in everyone else’s lap. When she gets to me it’s straight up onto my chest for a satisfying sprawl and nap (see my profile photo for proof).
There’s no getting away from the fact that my lap is completely overshadowed by other -- umm -- assets. I can only hope that the whole napkin tucked in the shirt thing will become a fashion trend... even if you are more than a year old.
2014 © Janine V. Talbot