My father was a cook in the army. Years later, he still cooked as if he were preparing a meal for a division about to take a hill. He believed that food shouldn’t be wasted, yet he cooked potfuls of it for a family of three. “Why didn’t you like it?” or “What was wrong with it?” he’d say when I could only eat one very large plateful. And when I really did justice to his cooking he’d brag, “Paul ate six biscuits!” with the same pride as he’d say, “Paul has a master’s degree from Yale!”
Then one year my metabolism changed. I was afraid of getting fat, so I started to watch what I ate. I felt as if I were letting Dad down by not eating enough to please him, but I was not so starved for his approval (pun intended) that I would risk becoming overweight.