My wife sent sent me a text yesterday saying "I feel like eating my feelings. Will explain later." Little did I know at the time, she and a co-worker were having a discussion about it and joking about whether a guy knows what that means or not. For the record, I do know....at least...I think I do.
Eating Your Feelings
My general (guy) understanding of a woman's "eating your feelings" is that there is something weighing heavily on her mind or stressing her out. This feeling makes her want to just eat something like the stereotypical carton of ice cream. Granted, in my wife's case, it would probably also include a juicy burger, a brat and some cheddar fries on the side. What can I say...my wife has great taste in food.
The problem with the out-of-the-blue text my wife sent is that I do have a basic understanding of what the phrase means to her. Unfortunately, that puts me in mild panic mode because I was then left wondering what horrific thing had happened. Did she lose her job? Did someone die? Why would she set me up for concern without any details?
Of course, me being the laid back fairly neutral guy I am, I responded with a joke to lighten the mood. Since she used about ten different food shaped emoticons in her initial text, I responded with something like "Is it something serious or were you just looking for an excuse to use all the emoticons?"
She then responded that it's nothing really and she'd fill me in later that evening. That''s when I remembered that she used to cry "every time the wind changed direction." I can say that open and honestly because it is a matter of public record...at least for our family. I jokingly made that comment once while we were dating and one of her brothers used it in their toast at our wedding.
Either way, knowing that little tidbit about my wife helped calm my fears. Even though she doesn't cry every time the wind changes direction anymore, I know that she would have given me more details (and probably not a text) if it was anything serious.
Feelings To Eat
The guy's take on eating your feelings is typically the opposite. That's the case for me at least and i do consider myself to be the "average guy." Because of that, I will write this next part as if it's a universal truth to all guys rather than just me.
Guys only eat because of one type of feeling: The feeling to eat. I'm pretty sure guys don't have emotions, so it really just comes down to feeling like eating. I guess it's like my wife crying when the wind changes direction. A guy would feel like eating when the wind changes direction.
It's lunch time, I could go for a burger a fries. It's Tuesday, I could really eat a pizza. I'm bored, I could really go for a steak right about now. You get the picture. We're driven by a passing thought in our mind about a glorious feast and want to act on it.
As far as dealing with stressors, we have our own means of coping. It often involves things like yard work, tinkering on an engine, getting together with the guys for a card game or the like. Everyone is different, but they all have that activity that gets them through it. I could be wrong, but I think the refreshments (of the hops and barley variety) involved during previously stated activities help a bit too.
Food Is Awesome
Whatever label you want to put on your desire to eat, it's all good. Who cares what the reason is? Food is awesome. Do we really need to label our reason for eating? I suppose the label is more a matter of justification for eating food that probably isn't the healthiest option. Just like with anything else though, if you enjoy it in moderation, it shouldn't be a problem.
I will admit that I'm not the poster boy for that. My "moderation" or portion control when it comes to food is not the greatest. It would help if my wife wasn't such an awesome cook. It would probably also help if my love of food wasn't so great, broad and all encompassing. Let's face it, I still get excited about Mac and Cheese with hot dogs.
I gotta run now. All this talk about food is making me hungry for breakfast. I could really go for steak and eggs with a side of sausage. Unfortunately, I think it will end up being a bowl of Crunchy Granola Raisin Bran. Maybe I should start a shopping list....and figure out how I'll pay for all the food I'd want to buy. Until next time....