Unless you are lactose intolerant, a fun date can include a stop for ice cream. When you arrive, you step up to the counter and study the menu intently, knowing you only get one choice and you want it to be the most perfect one. After a long conversation of, “I’ll take the … no. I want the … wait. Umm, maybe the ...”, you finally follow your heart and choose.
The joyless teenager behind the counter hands you exactly what you ordered and a smile crosses your face. You skip to the table with a delicious frozen confection that looks like it could be on a magazine, and just when you prepare to eat the best thing you even have tasted, your smile starts to fade once your date sits down with his dessert. You look at his ice cream, then at yours. Dissatisfaction fills your heart.
You spent so much time making an informed decision, so why does his boring old ice cream cone look so much better than your “triple-dipped, whipped cream-covered, 12-layer, ice cream explosion bowl with mix-ins”? It is at that moment the true test of the relationship occurs. You ask for a bite of his.
This scenario may not be a problem for some people, but I am married to a “non-food sharer.” This means, my subconscious knows I can’t have what he is eating, so my mind craves it. Thus, we have spent years debating the pros and cons of “can I have a taste?”
When our children were little, they ate off of my plate, with my spoon, and even left back-wash floaties in my drink after taking a sip. I just moved on. Whereas my husband, when the kids would ask him for a bite, rather than share, he would just push the plate over to them and tell them they could have it all. He preferred hunger over sharing.
Not only will he not give me a taste of what he is eating, he will not take a bite of what I am offer him, even if I threaten him. I have tried to explain that I have kissed him a million times, so taking a bite of shared brownie will not kill him. Even after that great debate, he will still press his lips together like a stubborn toddler who is refusing a yucky medicine when I offer him a bite.
I don’t know what makes some people more willing to share their food than others. Personally, I will fill my plate, take a bite and find it is so delicious, I am compelled to ask everyone at the table if they would like a taste. You see, to me, sharing is caring.
But my husband, who by nature is a kind and generous man, has “thrown up in his mouth a little” when someone stuck a fork in his plate to steal a bite of his pancake.
I must clarify. When I say I am a sharer, I don’t believe we should be like hogs at the trough. We should still have rules. Like, “permission must be granted before a bite can be taken.” You’re not allowed to put your lips on my burrito without first being invited in. This rule helps weed out those with bad breath, colds or flu, toddlers, or anyone with an open wound.
I also avoid the exchange of bodily fluids. There should never be direct contact with saliva, unless the “share-ee” is someone I kiss on a regular basis. But if a reason ever arises where I do need to share with someone who is more plutonic than smoochable, I do it without shared utensils. I can pinch you off a piece of my pizza, use an unlicked teaspoon to scoop up a taste of lasagna, or pass you a plate of single-serving items, such as chips, tater tots and chicken nuggets without any hesitation, because it is possible to share and not swap spit.
I also avoid generosity with liquids, because you either have the possibly of lip-to-lip overlap on the rim of a glass, or the issues caused by gravity and suction when using a straw. Don’t care how hot or cold the item is, there doesn’t seem to be enough germ-killing potential in a liquid to make me comfortable.
My last rule, and the one I am most passionate about is, desserts should always be shared! They should mandatorily come with two forks, and should never be eaten without offering some to others. If I could just get my hubby to agree with me on this one, I would not feel so much pressure when ordering ice cream, because I know I would actually be getting “two-for-one” when it was all said and done. And really, isn’t that sacrifice written somewhere in his vows, anyway?