For many years I harboured some secrets. They were in my bedroom closet, hidden away from impressionable, young eyes. Once a week I’d bring them out. My spouse was in on my secret. One could argue, is it still a secret if your better half knows? Yes, because it’s something we kept from my young adult son.
Anyone with a teen or young adult male in the household might be keeping the same secrets —for survival purposes.
When my son left the house, I’d watch him disappear around the bend, wait ten minutes, and then call to my spouse, “He’s gone!” We’d race to the bedroom and eagerly open the closet door, or crawl under the bed for the contraband.
Now that we’re on the subject of the forbidden, I kept a stockpile in my nightstand too. It wasn’t kinky toys or other naughty paraphernalia, nor was it bottles of wine, beer or other mood enhancers. We’re dull people. We had to hide food. Yep, you read that right — food.
My son had a hollow leg accompanied by a fast metabolism. He’d eat dinner, have seconds and thirds, and an hour later rip into a bag of Doritos. And he wouldn’t just eat a few, or leave half the bag for later, or heaven forbid, leave some for us. No! Gone in one go.
Our breakfasts might start with us finding only a dribble of milk for the cereal. We’d decide instead to start the day with toast, only to find that Wonder Boy had used all the bread for a midnight gobble. Then perhaps an egg dish? They had flown the coop too!
We felt like the Dad in A Christmas Story when the Bumpus hounds made off with the turkey. We were so gobsmacked that sometimes the cussing didn’t come out right.
Leftovers were lost. Nutella, none. Pop Tarts, pilfered. Granola bars, gone. Cookies, crackers and chips disappeared. The milk went missing, and the peanut butter.
We started to buy doubles of items, and hide them, at first in other parts of the kitchen, but he somehow managed to sniff them out.
When we wanted to watch a movie with a snack, we were like old Mother Hubbard with cupboards bare. Complaints and entreaties fell on deaf ears, probably because the crunching of the chips was too loud.
We were forced to hide food in our bedroom, and even toyed with the notion of getting a mini fridge installed in the wardrobe so we could have milk and yogurt in the morning.
Eventually Hungry Harry went away to college. No more stake-outs or secrets. We could finally live our true lives … out of the closet!