“Food, love, career, and mothers are the four major guilt groups.” – Cathy Guisewite
I spend so much time hanging my head in shame that I’m worried my head will eventually snap off! I am on the receiving end of a lot of guilt – particularly from the Professionals in my life. People who are paid a fee to perform a service for me – make me feel guilty!
I feel guilty when I go to see my Doctor because I have fallen off of the diet/exercise wagon – again. I feel guilty when I go to the Dentist because I don’t floss as often as I should. And, if I do floss, I am not doing it properly. I am reminded that I need to wear my night guard every night because my persistent night-grinding is causing my teeth to crumble into dust.
The Chiropractor reminds me that I need to do the prescribed daily exercises (rolling around on a foam roller and walking 20 feet with a huge elastic band around my knees) because my successful healing is contingent on my contribution to the program.
The Car Mechanic reminds me that if I maintained a more faithful tune-up schedule I would not require expensive emergency service on my vehicle. How often are you supposed to change the oil anyway?
The Doggie Groomer reminds me that if I would bathe and brush my dogs more often, I would not need to bring them to her in a filthy, tatted and unrecognizable condition.
My most recent guilt-inducing incident occurred at the Vet’s office. My cat, Grommet, was placed on the scale and it was announced he was marginally overweight. I was reminded overweight animals are prone to all kinds of health issues. The following conversation ensued:
Vet: What type of food do you feed this cat?
Me: The kind that comes in the tin can.
Vet: What brand of cat food is it?
Me: Well… I’m… Whiskies? Friskies? The can has a picture of a cat on the front. I think it is a white cat… yes… it is a close-up of a white cat and I believe the cat is leaning against its own little cat paw… and sort of gazing into space.
Vet: I see. What percentage of crude protein does your cat food provide?
Me: Uh… that is something I do not know.
The interrogation escalated and I continued to blurt out lame and inept answers. I squirmed uncomfortably until the appointment was finally over. I paid my $200 bill and was given strict instructions to read the ingredient list on the can. I was also told to keep a food journal and record every single calorie that goes into my cat’s mouth. I promised that I would follow all of the advice I’d been given and I walked slowly to my car – with my head hung low.