I’ll Have Fries With That

By Alice Muschany

I’ll Have Fries With That

While my husband and I sat in our lounge chairs watching TV, I read an article out loud that touted the benefits of proper eating. Ignoring me, he cranked up the volume on the football game as he crunched Doritos.

When I persisted in sharing the dietitian’s suggestions, he turned to me and said, “That’s your problem. You believe all that crap.”

Lord knows I’d harped at him constantly about losing weight, but it was for his own good. Our golden years were just around the corner, and I wanted to spend them together, in good health.

Nothing I said or did changed his poor eating habits. He continued to scarf down chips and dip while watching me count calories and carbs. As far as he was concerned, salads were rabbit food. Vegetables? Only if I found a way to fry them. Skim milk. Why bother? Exercise was a sore subject. A waste of time. He had real work to do.

One day, I asked what he wanted for supper. Out of the blue, he suggested a salad. I’m not sure, but I think I blinked twice before asking him to repeat himself.

“A salad sounds good,” he said.

Where’d that come from?

I smiled while I prepared a delicious spinach salad, thinking my nagging had finally paid off. Later, I found out the real reason for his change of heart. Fear.

When he’d gone for his annual check-up, his blood pressure was sky-high, stroke level, off the charts. The doctor gave him an ultimatum – lose weight or else. No ifs, ands or butts. He warned my husband to go straight to the hospital if he felt tingling in his arm or tightening in his chest.

The next morning, my pork sausage, biscuits and gravy man fixed himself a small bowl of Raisin Bran. At first, I was elated that he’d decided to change his ways. He even helped plan low-fat nutritious meals. We switched to grilled foods, whole-wheat spaghetti and pita bread. Dessert was a no-no.

Pounds melted off him – not me. He lost five, then ten, then twenty. Soon he needed a smaller pant size and complained his belt was too big. Friends and family commented on his weight loss. I was happy for him, of course. But come on, I’d been exercising and eating healthy for years. Why hadn’t the scale rewarded me?

The final straw came one day when I caught him standing with the refrigerator door open muttering about the yogurt I’d purchased.

“What’s the matter?” I asked.

He shook his head and turned to me. “Honey, this brand has nineteen grams of carbohydrates.” Puhleease.

There’s nothing worse than a reformed man. I kept my mouth shut until it was time to go shopping. In a soft, innocent voice, I asked, “Sweetie, would you mind going to the grocery store from now on? I’m not sure what foods will work for you.”

He surprised me when he said, “Why don’t we both go?”

As long as I’d known him, the man had not set foot inside a grocery store. We each grabbed a cart and parted ways with our separate lists. Ten minutes later, I rounded an aisle and stopped in my tracks. There stood my husband reading the nutrition label on the back of a package. I couldn’t stop snickering. He looked up and grinned.

Recently, I didn’t feel like cooking, so I suggested going out to eat. But no matter what restaurant I chose, it wasn’t on his diet. Jeez! Believe me, it took all I had to refrain from pointing out all the times he had sabotaged my weight loss plan – tempting me with a deluxe pizza or an ice-cold Bud on draft. Never mind the warm Krispy-Kremes.

Fast food was out. By the time he made his choice, my stomach was growling. When it was time to order, I let him go first. Naturally, he chose baked chicken, steamed broccoli and mixed vegetables. My turn.

It’s true there’s nothing quite as sweet as revenge. His eyes opened wide when I ordered a deluxe double cheeseburger with the works. So what if the scale climbed higher the next day. It was worth every calorie-laden morsel to watch his reaction.

When the waitress turned to leave, I added, “And I’ll have fries with that.”

About this writer

  • Alice Muschany Alice Muschany lives in Flint Hill, Missouri. Now that she’s retired, everyone wants a piece of her. When she does find free time, she enjoys writing, photography and hiking. Her grandchildren are her biggest joy.

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7 Responses to “I’ll Have Fries With That”

  1. Debby Schroeder says:

    I really enjoyed ready “I’ll Have Fries With That”. Oh how I can relate to a husband who eats junk food. You work hard so you can spend your golden years doing things together. So of course you nag your spouse to take care of himself. Alice has a way with words that makes you laugh and wish you could have wrote it yourself.

  2. Hilarious!! Alice is my new “Erma”!

  3. barb foster says:

    I loved this feature. It hit home I’m sure with a lot of women and the come back was right on. Keep up the intuitive writing and story telling. Thanks

  4. What a wonderful essay. Alice Muschany’s writing is wise and witty and lots fo fun!
    Donna Volkenannt

  5. Alice has a great style of writing with a humorous twist. My husband gave up fries for a month – it just about killed him!

  6. Love the story, Alice! What a great read.

  7. Marcia Gaye says:

    Oh my, Alice! You are so wicked. It just isn’t fair that weight drops off men and we ladies must work so hard at it. But the wonderful point is that now your huuby is healthy, and so are you. Here’s to many happy years together.

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