2011.11.30 One thing at a time

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

In her book “Starting from Happy,” author Patricia Marx writes about sitting next to a psychoanalyst at a dinner party and watching him segregate his various food items.

“He intently pushed his food into neat little no touching piles.” And later: “And next to Imogene, the psychoanalyst was quarantining carrots and making pariahs of his potatoes.”

The image of a psychoanalyst acting obsessive is a rich one, indeed, and Marx’s book is filled with rich ones, indeed. It’s most amusing.

The description of the wacky psychoanalyst did bring to mind a recent dinner table incident, however, it’s somewhat of a mystery. I can’t quite pull it back into clear focus.

I was sitting across from Morenci mayor Keith Pennington at some public meal and he noticed that I was eating all of one item before moving on to the next one. I suppose most people take a bite or two of this, then have a bite of that. They move around the plate while I stay in one place to finish off that one food before digging into the next one. I know it’s all going to be mixed together before long, but I’m just a one-thing-at-a-time guy and Keith spotted my behavior. At least I think he did. Was this just a dream?

I thought about this on Thursday when my plate was over-filling at the Thanksgiving meal. There was no room for worries about one thing touching another, but that’s not much of a concern of mine. My green bean casserole will have a little mashed potato on the edges, but that’s OK. I’ll eat the green beans and then follow that mixed border into the potatoes.

I’m not obsessive about this. It’s not something I have to do; it’s just something I do. There’s no hard and fast rule in my head like the oddball psychoanalyst.

I often eat out of a bowl and I think this points toward one thing at a time. Now we’re getting into pretty strange territory. At our less-than-formal meals, I’ll take a bowl while my wife uses a plate. The main course goes into the bowl and when that’s gone, I’ll load the vegetable into the bowl. On rare occasions, I’ll place some of the “other item” such as a vegetable on top of the main item and eat that off before digging into the remainder.

Now I’m feeling like that psychoanalyst. Well, not exactly, I’m just feeling like I’ve placed a major oddity on display for hundreds of people to snicker over. But maybe they have culinary skeletons in their closet, also.

Of course I had to ask Mr. Google about eating foods separately and came upon Dr. Bass and his theory of “Ideal Health Through Sequential Eating.” It’s the forgotten concept of strata digestion, he says.

You eat your tossed salad, then you go on to corn on the cob, then you eat your meat or rice, etc. As the bottom layer leaves the stomach, the next takes its place. 

He has a list of bad food combinations which could open up some new avenues for obsession. He simplifies things with a basic rule: Eat the most watery foods first, and chew everything to a near watery consistency before swallowing.

I think Dr. Bass might fall into most people’s “wacko” category, but I’ll hold off because I already have a good start on his approach. I’m sequential, but probably out of order.

My wife is often amazed or disgusted when I place a new item in my used bowl or on my plate containing residue of the meal. I guess I’m talking about dessert. I can put a piece of cake onto my well-cleaned dinner plate where she insists on having a new dessert plate.

Imagine my shock Saturday night when Colleen allowed me to place some broccoli into a dish that had previously held pineapple and grapes.

“Are you sure?” I asked before dropping the broccoli.

I should have been elated. I should have welcomed a new era of loosening up a little, but that wasn’t the case. It was just disturbing. It wasn’t right. After all these years she can’t suddenly put broccoli onto a little fruit juice. 

It seems that one of us needs to spend some time with a crazy psychoanalyst, but   Dr. Bass would smile. At least she had the sequence correct. 

  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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