slice of cherry pie

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“Would you like to split a piece of pie?”

It was these golden words that drew me to my husband like a magnet. Only he wasn’t my husband at the time. We were dating – just getting to know each other.

He also tantalized me with this golden phrase: “Wanna share an order of fries?”

Pies and fries are two of my favorite foods, though I don’t eat them much anymore. It’s an aging and taking care of my body thing. But when I met Rick, I thought I’d found a true soul mate.

Then reality reared its ugly head.

Rick is a much faster eater than I am. We have friends who claim they never see him eat. One minute their food is in front of them, and the next, after they salt their potatoes, or butter their roll, they look up and see that Rick’s plate is empty. Like it never had anything on it.

It has become one of the great mysteries of life.

The same thing happened with me and that shared piece of pie, or plate of fries. We’d each take our first bite; maybe even the first couple of bites. And then it would happen. I’d go back for the next tasty morsel and the plate would be empty.

Licked clean.

Well, okay, maybe not actually licked. But the plate would most definitely be clean. No more pie, no more fries.

I’m a slow eater and I could never keep up. I’d always lose out on what I thought was my fair share. I’d feel a little sting of resentment between us, which I knew wasn’t a good thing. Until I made “the rule.”

There’s an eating rule?

Yes, there is.

Divide whatever food you are sharing before any bites are taken. I also learned to move my portion to a separate plate whenever possible. If not, make sure you clearly mark what’s yours and what’s his. And then patrol your boundary.

I hope you’re taking notes, because this is another fantastic relationship tip. People used to pay good money for these little gems! And you thought this was a blog about horses.

Bud cleaning up spilled grain.

What of Bud and Pepper? Here’s the amusing thing. They have the same situation. They copy us.

Bud is a gobbler. He loves his food and has the dedication of an Olympic athlete training for the Gold when it comes to eating. Nothing gets in his way. He puts his head in the pan and eats steadily until every little crumb of grain is gone.

Then he looks up, and heads for Pepper’s pan, or starts to nose around the snack bucket trying to pry the lid up.

On the other hand, Miss Pepper is a nibbler. I’ve already suggested that she must have attended Weight Watchers sometime in her life, because she chews every bite at least twenty-five times. And while she’s chewing, she’s looking around. She watches the other horses, she stares out into the pasture, she looks at the other pans and buckets in the back of the car. She’s a dawdler. The time I spend feeding is nearly doubled because of Pepper.

We have to divert Bud or he would push her out of the way and finish her grain. Every time. When it comes to food, he is one big hunk of single-minded determination. He likes the same thing. Routine, predictability and no surprises. That’s on his menu.

Pepper also likes to know what she’s eating and isn’t keen on finding something new in her feed pan. But she has cravings. Some days, she only wants snacks, or just a bite or two of grain. And maybe one of those alfalfa cubes….

How about you? Are you a gobbler or nibbler? How does it affect your relationship? And do you find that your animals are like you when it comes to eating?

Inquiring minds want to know.

It seems I just can’t get away from being a therapist and asking intimate questions!

Sorry.

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