There’s something about movie popcorn.
I know that eating food for emotional reasons is a big no-no. I’m a SAHM after all (no, not Seeking Available Hot Man) and that means the occasional accidental Oprah. And that Oprah, she’s all about telling us how not to comfort eat whilst looking like the most comfortable butter-pawed cat you ever saw.
But I do think the food-feeling relationship is hardwired into us so regardless of how much self-help we do (or how much self we have to help), food is always going to be more than just fuel to humans. The first relationship a baby has with food is the same relationship she has with her mother’s breast and by extension, her mother. Do we really want to say that’s not about feeling something?
Popcorn is comfort food because it feels fun. You don’t eat popcorn at a work conference. You don’t eat it at a wake. If you live with an infant who likes to practically hoover the floor each day in search of dangerous things to inhale, you don’t eat it at all.
Movie popcorn in particular is one of those evocative foods. We don’t actually eat it because it tastes good. Barring salt, there’s no recognisable naturally occuring flavour going on, and it’s usually too cold, and falls down your front and itches. You have to scrabble around a grossly overpriced paper bucket for it and you get scummy fingernails as a result. But it’s salty and buttery and barely resembles reality and thus the perfect accompaniment to a blockbuster.
Thanks to the wonderfully modern invention of Cry Baby sessions (how else are yummy mummies meant to keep up with what Angelina’s post-twin body is doing these days?) I’ve been to a few movies with the Bean. I’ve not been totally deprived of bigscreentime. But the popcorn has been sadly lacking. Even if I tried I couldn’t carry a box of the stuff as well as a nappy bag and a squirmy baby without risking dropping the whole lot at my feet faster than you can say major choking hazard.
Which brings me to the real point of this – comfort food is more comforting if you have less of it!
Yesterday, the Fireman and I were allocated a few Bean free hours and we chose to spend them indulging in the very best mutually pleasurable delight on offer. We went to see Quantum of Solace. He delighted in the car chases, I delighted in Daniel Craig – now that’s bonding. But anyhow – pretty much the best part of all was the sharing the totally over-flavoured and under-warmed popcorn. One big shared box of that ‘you’ve got no responsibilites for a couple of hours and it’s dark in here so no one will notice if you cop a feel and/or fall asleep’ festive feeling did us a world of good.
See – comfort eating totally can be good for you in moderation. Take that, Oprah.