*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.
I dated a man whose mother insisted, "Ladies don't drink when they eat." I'm not talking about alcoholic beverages.
My boyfriend's mother didn't believe a woman could eat food and drink a glass of water at the same time. She liked to consume her food dry, and so, she expected me to do the same.
It was a typical date night with my boyfriend until his mother made her entrance. She had strict rules about eating that she demanded guests follow. I never expected that I would become subject to them as well until the fateful day when I took a sip of my water while finishing the last bite of my dinner.
I'll never forget the adamant yet slightly amused way his mother looked at me. She informed me that "ladies don't drink when they eat." It wasn't just alcohol or soft drinks either; she didn't believe a woman could consume food and water in harmony. They should be separate activities. To her, consuming food dry was the only proper way to consume meals.
But why? What purpose did this bizarre ritual serve? Was it a remnant of some ancient rule or simply her own eccentricity? As often happens between mothers and their son's love interests, no real answers were ever given. Adhering to this strange trait quickly became commonplace during meals at their home. I didn't want to upset the apple cart.
I endured months of dry dinners under their roof until finally, I started to explore why this ideology existed in their household in the first place. Eating without washing down your food with a refreshing beverage displayed self-control and refinement, according to my boyfriend's mother.
On more than one occasion, she asked my boyfriend not to pour me a glass of water at the table even after he offered to get it for me. I think she was secretly trying to make me choke on my food. Or maybe it wasn't a secret.
While eating without drinking may be an interesting quirk, it's not a practice that should necessarily be encouraged or followed. Studies have shown that proper hydration is essential for the absorption of nutrients in the body and to keep our energy levels up throughout the day.
Eating without drinking can lead to dehydration, which can cause long-term health problems. Additionally, drinking during meals helps us digest food properly, as well as aids in regulating our blood sugar levels, and helps with satiety, the feeling of fullness after meals, which helps prevent over-eating. In short, there are definite benefits to having a drink while eating your meals. At the very least, having a beverage during meals allows us to savor and enjoy our food more completely.
What do you think? Comments are welcome.
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