Corbin H. Crable

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I never realized how much I enjoyed living alone until I began living with another person – especially when it comes to what goes on in the kitchen. Or, in my case, what doesn’t go on there.

My new roommate moved into my house last month and is a friend of my brother’s – I literally didn’t meet him until he moved his bed into his room late one night. For the purposes of this column, I’ll call him “Robert.”
Robert and I could not be more different – a notion with which I was immediately faced. He is a dreamer, an eternal optimist – almost annoyingly so. He seems to be able to find the good in everything and everyone (something with which most of us struggle, I’m sure). He’s very religious. He’s very conservative. And he’s a health nut who preaches against the evils of processed foods.

Or so he wants me to believe.

While I stockpile tortilla chips and diet soda, Robert seemingly sustains his good health on little more than steamed vegetables and energy drinks.

Although he has never admonished me personally for indulging in junk food, I can always spot the immediate look of disapproval on his face when I eat the occasional cookie after a long day.

One day, however, I arrived home before Robert did and noticed that someone had been eating some of my delicious, fatty snacks. The general rule in the house is, “If it belongs to someone else, ask if you can use it, eat it or drink it.”

I don’t recall Robert doing any of those, however. But I do recall seeing 10 Oreos disappear in a 24-hour period.

I have yet to confront Robert about being such a flaming hypocrite, mostly because I’m a people pleaser. I want people to be happy, and I don’t want to stir conflict in my new home.

But don’t get between a chubby kid and his junk food. Just don’t.

Now I’m locked in an awkward dance of “I know you’re eating my food despite claiming to be a health-conscious exercise fanatic” with my new roommate. I don’t want to have to take a nightly inventory of the pizza rolls in my freezer – I simply don’t have the time for it – but let’s face it, when you’re living one healthy dietary life out in the open and living another totally separate dietary life in which you hoard Chocodiles in your bedroom, there’s a disconnect there that probably should be addressed.

Last night, I finally decided to strike.

“Would you like some crackers to put in your soup?” I sweetly asked Robert as I saw him taking a pot of chicken noodle soup out of the refrigerator. “I don’t have any Saltines, but I do have a box of Cheez-Its.”
Robert shook his head. “No thanks,” he replied. “Those aren’t too good for you.”

I could feel my teeth grind and my blood boil as I dramatically put the box of crackers back in the pantry.

“Oh? You really seem to like them,” I responded. “This box feels lighter than I remember it being a few days ago.”

Robert treated the accusation of food theft lightly as he placed his bowl in the microwave.

“Oh yeah. Sorry about that,” he casually said. “I need to stop eating all of that junk food and focus more on going to the gym.”

Robert ate his soup, got dressed and did head out to the gym. It was 11 p.m.
I felt like some sort of intervention counselor – I had, in my own way, got my roommate to admit his theft of my food and, by extension, his own struggles with food itself.

Regardless of that small victory, though, it may still be a good idea to hide those crackers. Just to be on the safe side.