Saturday, August 8, 2020

Saying ‘no’ to my inner teenager


On a whim, I went to the movies by myself last night.  It was right after I worked out and I had not eaten dinner.  So, of course, I was hungry.  The theater didn’t make it any easier on me, either.  Tuesday is “Bargain Night” so, in addition to the movies being cheaper, some of the concessions were, as well.  I didn’t even notice until I ordered a small popcorn (no butter) and a small lemonade (16 ounces, I believe, unlike another theater I had gone to previously) and the person behind the counter informed me that I had ordered the “combo” . It was then that I saw the sign on the counter.

The sign read $6 for a small popcorn and small drink, $7 for medium sizes of these items and $8 for a large popcorn and drink.  My inner teenager was itching to get out.  He was already agitated that I had passed on the Nathan’s hot dogs, pizza and pretzels they sell there.  I had also turned him down when he asked for an Icee and candy.  Now, he was complaining that I was going to cheap out on the popcorn and drink when for “just $1 more”, as the concession person told me, “you could get the next-larger size.”

His tantrum didn’t last long — maybe 30 seconds or so, until I got tired of listening to him.  You see, I didn’t really want popcorn for dinner, I just wanted to tide myself over until I could get something to eat.  Also, I drank 6 or so glasses of water at the gym so, I wasn’t exactly parched.

So, my teenager was silenced for the rest of the night and I enjoyed my movie.

Looking back, he’s gotten his way a lot.  He convinced me one time to get a larger popcorn and dump M&M’s in it so that they could melt against the heat of the popcorn and then wash it all down with a Coke.  He’s convinced me to eat doughnuts for breakfast, Chinese take-out for lunch and more than my fair-share of a large pizza for dinner, all in the same day.  He’s gotten me to rush home from work on nights where my wife and son were out just so I could eat a burger and fries in front of the TV, uninterrupted.

Really mature, huh?

What kind of adult allows a teenager to control his/her thoughts and actions?  Teenagers, very often, are going to be immature, impetuous, self-centered and prone to bad decision-making.  It’s not because they, themselves, are bad.  It is simply a part of the transition from child to adult.  However, when a person doesn’t progress much beyond the teenage stage, they are going to have a lot of problems.  That’s what I’ve seen with my eating.  My inner teenager likes his junk food and, me, just going along to get along, has given in time and time again.

But, last night, I said ‘no’ and it felt good.  Here’s to hoping that he gets used to hearing that word from me more often.

JP Smith
the authorJP Smith
I'm taking on the challenge to lose the pounds that take me from a big man to a not-so-big man. Join me.