In praise of the unemotional non-eater.

This past weekend, during a gathering, in the course of absorbing and sieving through peripheral conversations, not overtly paying attention, but allowing my subconscious inner ear to filter out dialogue that “mattered” to me (not quite “eavesdropping”), I heard a woman repeat an old refrain: the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

I didn’t join the conversation for I am not a joiner, especially in the realm of “small talk at parties,” but I’ve ruminated over that idea in the days since.

I thought of how “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” might describe a good portion of males, but it fails to describe me.

I wonder if it frustrates people that I turn down offered food most of the time.

Food is the great connector, the social glue that binds our collective culture, especially in today’s gluttonous, foodie environment. I’ve turned down food enough times, and I am skinny enough of a runt, that people have given up trying to randomly feed me. And if I do take your food, I’m only doing so because I really want to taste it; you will assuredly curry no favor or good will from me on account of said food.

I like food. I like different tastes and textures, but it is only food. I am an unemotional non-eater.

I suspect this troubles some people who are used to manipulating others into a state of camaraderie and mutual adoration through the use of strategically placed goodies. If food is offered for free or laid out on a desk, watch out. The vultures sweep in. I usually can’t be found at such times, not because I’m resisting food, but because the importance and attraction of food fails to preclude my distaste for people and small talk.

Many men are in fact one-dimensional simpletons.

Dull-eyed sloths of little mind and little clarity. Base animals whose sole path to happiness is a tray of donuts or a monstrous triangle of pizza. Such men are pliable and predictable. And in fact, their hearts and minds are subject to commandeering by the properly motivated weekend baker. Many men are one-dimensional constructs and their predictability is comforting to others. People like me, men whose hearts are not subject to culinary barter, tend to thwart the narrative but this usually implies degrees of alienation that those who wantonly enjoy eating do not experience.

The battle for the path to my heart is occluded and mysterious and it’s easier to pass me by for the easily definable man than to solve me.