Just One, My Ass

“I survived the work holiday party.”

Normally I hate these things.

I’m just not a “hanging out after hours with my coworkers” kinda gal.

But I’m also not stupid.

I understand that with employment comes expectations … one of which is to get dressed up on a Sunday evening and drive three cities over to hang out with the same people I already see five days a week.

My “plus one” was my new boss, a lovely woman with whom I’m enjoying a budding partnership. But, as much as I like her, she’s my boss so there’s some pressure there to behave oneself, watch one’s words.

But, surprisingly, at this particular holiday party, I was actually having a good time.

The conversation was easy and the food spectacular. Once dinner finished, the people at my table starting leaving and returning with small plates piled high with expensive, ornate sugary concoctions.

My disease took one look at the chocolate-dipped cake on the plate of the man beside me and saw an opportunity.

“Oh, you can have just one,” it said. “Just don’t binge.”

Fortunately I recognized “just one” for the big honking lie it was. I knew exactly what would happen if had “just one” … I would indeed have “just one” … until I got into my car later that night and then it would be all systems go.

I would leave the party and drive directly to the nearest food-selling establishment. There I would load up on junk food, eat it while driving home home, stop once again before I reached home to buy more food and then binge until the late hours of the night.

I would be deathly sick by the time I could no longer get one more bite into my stomach, crawl into bed and toss and turn all night, in too much pain to sleep. I would wake up the next day nauseated and hunched over in pain.

On many post-binge mornings, I call in sick. However, on this Monday morning, since I’d just seen my new boss at the party, there’s no way I could get away with it. My normal excuses of either “stomach problems” or “food poisoning” wouldn’t fly since she’d eaten the same food and most likely experienced neither. Which would mean that I’d have to spend an entire, miserable day in the office, sick, bloated and sleep deprived.

“Just one,” my ass.

Thank God I remembered that, for a compulsive eater like me, there is no “just one.”

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