I’m 26 years old, and this is bringing out a very ugly color in me.
Oh hello, it’s just me — your friendly neighbourhood emotional eater. Snacking is hands down my absolute favourite thing to do. Well, just eating in general, really. My mother even said so in her speech at my wedding, giving my now-husband advice for how to make and keep me happy.
On another note, I have a weekly guest living in my house on weekends.
He’s my husband’s best friend, and a good friend of mine. He’s got a long a complicated history with addiction, and is still living with his alcoholic, unemployed father in the middle of nowhere which has significantly been impeding on his being able to successfully make change in his life.
Things with his dad can get ugly, and by the end of the week, P needs a break from the toxic chaos and asks to retreat to our home. My husband and I have barely been married for a month, and the weekends are our only real R&R time after a busy week of working full-time.
That said, by the end of the week we can hear the desperation in his voice. Sometimes it’s just needing to get away, other times it’s because his father has gotten physically violent with him.
And so, since we’ve been married, my husband has been picking up P on Fridays after work, brings him to our place, and we take him home either Sunday evening or Monday morning before work.
It’s not easy having an alcoholic living with us on a part-time basis, and there is a certain amount of sacrifice we know we’re making (mainly, our time together as a married couple).
We’re floating around the idea of letting P move in with us for several months when he is ready to take a step to change his life around for himself. We can’t fix him or save him — but we can offer a safe and stable foundation in the form of our home so that he can have a real foot to stand on as he works towards making that change.
I know that, whether he’s staying with us every weekend, or moving in on a more permanent basis, there will be difficulties and struggles ahead. I’m ready to take those on.
I guess I just didn’t expect the hardest thing for me of all would be sharing food.
Food is important to me.
My husband and I are frugal in many aspects of life so that we can splurge on the things we care about most.
Such as travel, and well, food.
My snack of choice are pistachios. We buy the really fancy salami from Costco to snack on, along with fancy cheeses.
Basically, we make a badass charcuterie board for family holidays.
And even being able to afford these high-quality foods to feed two adults takes sacrifice on our end and to our budget in other aspects of life to make it happen.
But add another adult into the mix, who has a hefty appetite and is staying with us on a frequent enough basis but has not come to a point yet where he can contribute to groceries? Now it’s just getting to be a lot.
And apparently I am emotionally triggered by this.
I am rather ashamed of myself, to be honest.
Of all the things to be annoyed about.
Of all the things for me to get worked up over.
It’s snacks — something I can always get more of, and something I will have the rest of my life to enjoy.
It’s embarrassing, as a 26-year-old professional and married woman with a mortgage and sh*t, getting all bent out of shape over snacks.
F*cking snacks, for f*ck sake!
But here I am, acknowledging my feelings and my being transparent about what is currently frustrating me so that I can come to terms with it and move on.
Because at the end of the day, there’s a young man who wasn’t given a fighting chance by his parents and many other people trying to make positive and life-altering changes in his life, in the safest place he knows.
And I have a lot of respect and love for him because of that.
Even more so than I respect and love snacks.
It’s laughable, but it’s true.
Is this utterly ridiculous? Absolutely!
But really, I should be grateful.
There are a lot of things that could be going horribly wrong with this setup of having P live with us on a part-time basis.
In fact, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on what those worst-case-scenarios could be.
Addicts can be horribly selfish and take advantage of their loved ones, and will often do anything to get their hands on their drug of choice (in P’s case, it’s alcohol).
And while we’re still early into him living with us on weekends, if the worst thing to happen is him eating my favourite foods because, you know, he’s hungry and requires sustenance to survive, I think that’s pretty damn good.
Here’s my solution.
I am a business owner, and thus a natural problem solver.
My solution for this issue? Buying my own snacks, that I don’t even have to share with my husband, and happily eating them in solitude.
That, or going over to my best friend’s place to eat snacks.
Regardless, the subtle resentment I feel towards P whenever I see him reach for the good salami to snack on or suggest we make our moose meat steak in the freezer for dinner (haha, good luck with that one, buddy), it’s not reasonable for me to continue holding this against him.
The boy’s got to eat.
And I myself know how great snacks are.
So can I really keep holding this against him? Even when I reach into the pantry for a can of my favourite chunky baked potato soup only to find that all 6 cans that I only eat 1/2 of at a time are completely and utterly gone?
The adult answer is, “no”.
But the answer I’m going forward with is, “Haha, I have great snacks upstairs in my office closet you don’t know about.”