The other day I met up with an old acquaintance for coffee and conversation. The conversation came easily; the coffee… not so much.
There was a long back and forth exchange between two baristas and me as I tried gallantly to find a tasty drink that had no added sugar. My friend stood by my side, her simple iced tea order already place, waiting patiently through it all. She picked up a biscotti and she picked up the tab. Eventually our drinks were ready and we sat down to sip and chat.
And my friend, who could not possible have missed the ridiculousness of my quest for a sugar-free drink, broke off part of her biscotti and handed it to me.
“Oh, no thank you,” I quickly said.
“But I got it for both of us,” she replied as she put a small piece down on a napkin in front of me.
What? Really? All the times in the past we’ve met for coffee and she never pushed food on me before. Yet today, with me
making a complete fool out of myself while ordering clearly trying to avoid sugar in my coffee, she gives me a cookie.
So what did I do?
I ate it. It was only an inch of biscotti, after all, which, if one has to be force-fed a sweet, is a pretty low-fat low-cal option. I felt awkward. So I partook. And immediately after it hit my taste buds, I felt that sensation when the first bite leaves me wanting something more. But more than that, I felt a huge array of mixed emotions in the blur of what was just a few moments. I didn’t want the biscotti. No craving (before I ate it). So why didn’t I just ignore it. Or pass it back. Or more emphatically insist, “No thank you.” Or say something about watching what I’m eating or avoiding sugar or sweets. Or that I didn’t want to spoil my dinner. Or that I had just had a snack before I came. Now that it’s days later, I can think of all sorts of ways I might have handled it differently.
Then, to add insult to injury, my friend didn’t even finish her (albeit twice as large) piece of the darn thing! What’s with that?
And in case you are wondering, that one bite did not pack on any pounds or lead to any overeating or binging. But still! I ate something I didn’t want. Because of someone else. And I held an internal debate about the ridiculousness of over-thinking an inch of biscotti. Quite frankly, it seems I can over-think anything!
Anyhoo, there is a point to this. And that point is – how do you get your point across? How do you graciously say “no” when the first time doesn’t work? Other than the old standby “I’m on a diet” because, for me, I keep on the down low about my eating issues. Has something like this ever happened to you?