The fam« an older post

Mindless eating


Sam, Jackson and I went to the movies today to see Shrek the Third. I can't say I can watch any Shrek movies without having flashbacks ("Layers? Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. Parfait! Everybody loves parfaits!"), or without trying to analyze the techniques and effects during the whole movie. This one was the closest I came, but I still watched with a critical eye. I'm surprised at the number of human characters in the movie, but they started that trend with the previous sequel, so I shouldn't have been so surprised.

When we arrived, I didn't know the movie-going rules, and said, "Sure!" when the boys asked for popcorn and pop and a Slurpee/Icee. I did draw the line at candy though. I can't say that drinking a large class of Sprite is much better than not having a candy bar, but hey, slightly less sugar is better, right?

We arrived about 20 minutes before the show actually started, so the three of us sat there watching commercials and advertisements. We were in the front of the top balcony, smack dab in the middle of the theatre. Sam wanted to be in the very back, at the very top, in the last row, but, well, he lost that argument with me. I wonder how many more years I can win those arguments with him. I give myself another 5.

As we were sitting there, Jackson on my left drinking his Slurpee/Icee, Sam on my right drinking much of his ginormous Sprite, and me in the middle with a large bag of buttered popcorn. After a few minutes of muching on popcorn, and vaguely gazing at the movie screen, I looked down at Sam.

Sam was eating popcorn, too. Rather than taking a few kernels at a time as I was, Sam was taking giant fistfuls of popcorn and shoving them into his mouth as quickly as he could. He was gazing at the movie screen even less focused than I was.

Watching him reach for the popcorn, grab a handful and shove without being aware of what he was doing, immediately annoyed me. I don't know why I reacted as strongly as I did, but watching this small boy mindlessly consuming high amounts of sugar, fat, salt and media, all unconsciously without awareness, frustrated me.

I tried moving the bag slightly. Instead of reaching into the bag of popcorn where it was before, Sam's hand grasped nothing. Again without awareness, he reached around for the bag, grabbing at the air, finding nothing. After a few moments, he became aware of the missing bag, and turned to look. When he saw the back was moved, he leaned over reaching in, grabbed a handful of popcorn and continued the fistful eating.

So, I moved the bag again.

With the same results.

A few minutes of this, and he became frustrated. He looked at me and asked me why I kept moving the bag. I explained he was grabbing handfuls of popcorn, instead of eating a few at a time. If he ate a few at a time, I would keep the bag still.

My compromise worked for two popcorns grabs before the fistful feeding returned. I closed the bag and told them we weren't eating any more popcorn until after the movie had started, and maybe not then either. Both of them accepted my statement really easily. They're both good kids, I just wish the American model of full consumerism wasn't taught to them so young.

Especially the mindless consuming part.