Sunday, March 6, 2016

Guest Post by: Carole Fowkes

So What’s Your Category?
Categorizing people is very popular nowadays. It simplifies life. For example, someone is a ‘have or have not,’ a conservative or a liberal, and so on. Now, you may be thinking this seems like an odd blog from an author of a mystery, but it does explain the actions of my main character, Claire. So bear with me.
I have my own way of categorizing others. There are those who eat to live (EtL) and those who live to eat (LtE). I, myself, belong in the latter category and come from a long line of folks who end one meal fantasizing about what delights they’ll eat later.
Before I continue, let me explain that it’s not readily apparent who belongs in which category. Body size or shape is no giveaway. Nor is wealth or lack thereof.
No, it’s the gleam in someone’s eyes when food is mentioned. The enthusiasm one displays when discussing the virtues of a chocolate, chocolate giant muffin. Yes, muffins do have virtues. Claire DeNardo, my private investigator in the “Terrified Detective” mystery series, is, of course, one who lives to eat. To take it a step further, she, like me, craves sweets. Both Claire and I know where we stand. Give us a brownie chock full of chocolate chips, glazed with, you guessed it, chocolate any day. That’s our battle cry. Of course, being Italian, Claire and I can’t resist pizza, pasta, sausage and meatballs doused with marinara.
In fact, many of the LtE people would happily spend much of their time discussing the creaminess of a fat-laden super-premium ice cream than talk about themselves. There is, unfortunately, one aspect of being an LtE. Both Claire and I are terrified of getting hips like Claire’s Aunt Lena. But that doesn’t stop us from indulging. Sure, we dread the morning-after weigh in and running a finger around the waist of our pants and spotting the red, wrinkled line on our skin where the material cut in.
Momentary regret may be strong, but then like a dove calling to its mate, chocolate beckons us. Once again we find ourselves captured within its talons of tastiness, forgetting the scourge of the bathroom scale.
Now the difference in people, LtE or EtL, may seem inconsequential. Believe me. It’s not. The potential for dissatisfaction and unhappiness is great when an LtE is in a relationship with an EtL. They are indeed, mirror opposites of each other. It can be heartbreaking to see the frustration an LtE feels when describing the golden crust of a pizza to an EtL, only to have that EtL yawn or begin answering texts.
To help recognize if you’re about to get into this sort of unbalanced relationship, I’ve come up with a very short, informal quiz for anyone about to embark on a new relationship. Ask yourself: Are you an EtL? Or are you an LtE? In which category is your love interest? 
Respond with a Yes or No to each question
1.     When you reminisce about the glorious dinner you two ate, does your significant other join in enthusiastically?
2.     Read question number 1 again. Reverse roles. Do you join in enthusiastically?

If you answered ‘yes’ to both questions, congratulations. And if you took this quiz and you found you’re opposite of your new (or even been-around-for-some-time) significant other, take heart. Your relationship could still flourish. But if you’re an LtE and your partner isn’t, you may find that you need a support group. Others who understand your need to discuss, drool over, and discover new and marvelous foods.

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