Daze of My Life: Dessert With My Wife

Daze of My Life
Dessert With My Wife

Continuing the theme from last week's column, after I've finished eating dinner with my parents (either in or out), dessert is next, usually cake, cookies, pastry or ice cream. If dinner was filling, I'll probably pass on dessert because (A) I ate at home before arriving at my parent's house so I really am full or (B) I'm sort of leaving space to have dessert at home later with my wife, Dina.
Conversely, if dinner was less than filling, I might be interested in dessert because (A) I didn't eat much at home before arriving at my parent's house and I am still hungry or (B) I'm not sure what Dina's dessert interest's are and given her unpredictable work/social schedule and what her expected time of arrival at home might be, I will have some definite dessert now over maybe not having dessert later (like it would kill me if I didn't have dessert).
So now I'm confronted, after dinner, with the identical problem that I had two hours earlier before dinner while at home, wondering whether or not to snack and/or eat there before going over to my parent's house, not knowing whether dinner there will be in or out and/or whether the meal will be filling or not.
So, should I eat dessert or not? Should we take a short drive to the former Kohr's, now Sprinkles, for soft ice cream, my father's favorite? Should my mother defrost some of the miscellaneous birthday cakes and desserts she has frozen in her freezer? Or should I try to anticipate the future and abstain now while with my parents so that Dina and I can possibly have dessert together later when I get home?
What actually happens, and you can probably guess if you read last week's column, is the following. If I decide to eat dessert with my parents I'll go home full. When I get there, invariably Dina will be home and hungry for a light meal or a dessert, typically a bowl of ice cream. First she'll ask about my parents and what we had for dinner and then dessert. If I make light of my dinner and no mention of dessert (even though there's an excellent chance that I've already had something sweet), Dina might ask me to dip her some ice cream. If on the contrary, I admit to having had dessert already, she'll be less interested in my dipping and in turn will go without (then I'll have had only one dessert). I won't be deprived but Dina might be, even though she doesn't really have a sweet tooth.
But as I've said I won't know if this dessert scenario will actually play out until after I've already had to decide on dessert earlier in the evening at my parent's house, and that decision will be based partly on whether dinner was filling, or not, which was partially determined by what I ate at home at 4:00 before I even left for my parent's house at 5:00. And since I can't predict the future, I am forever stuck in this present imperfect. And so again, I'm damned if I do: eat dessert twice and damned if I don't: eat dessert not at all.
Granted there are bigger problems in the world, but for me, three nights a week, it's a big problem and it is, along with yours truly, becoming a bigger problem by the meal.

Kenneth B. Lourie is a regionally syndicated columnist who resides in Burtonsville, MD.