It’s the social grease of back fences, front porches, and stitching bees. Or, more locally, of book clubs, school parking lots, walking routes, and wherever else two or more women gather. Gossip: Automatic sin? Or one of the great grey zones of female communication, that dicey – but navigable — intersection of entertainment, information, and, sometimes, just plain mean injustice?
I ask as someone who’s passed along her fair share of tidbittery about her fellow man (and, er, woman). And yet, now that I’ve recently been on the subject-matter end of some very snarky gossip of the worst kind – fiction – I’m feeling a little less cavalier about the topic.
I admit it. I think about food pretty much all the time. Always have. Probably always will. Much as I envy those lean, food-nonchalant aliens who look at the clock in surprise and declare their sudden hunger because gee, they haven’t eaten in hours, this has never happened to me. No matter how busy I am, I tend to be perfectly aware that it’s 11:30, 11:45, 11:50, 11:55, 11:56…oh good, noon, time for lunch!
The silver(ware) lining is this: Where I once thought constantly about food in a less-than-healthful way, like a plump raccoon frantic for scraps — what can I nibble? what can I nab? how many calories? is this a “fat” day in which I can’t eat much or a “normal” one in which I can? — now my food-think is calmer, happier, healthier.