I'm having an affair.
My kids know, of course, because they're usually with me when it happens.
I know its wrong, but no matter how many promises I make to myself, I seem unable to stop it.
Much as I hate to admit it, I'm in love… with McDonald's french fries.
Of course, it doesn't have to be McDonald's.
It could just as easily be Wendy's or Burger King.
McDonald's just happens to be closer to my house... and when you're having an affair, proximity is everything.
I truly loathe my weakness.
I know its bad for my relationship with my thighs, but I can't seem to help myself.
I tried going cold turkey, but that didn’t work. So, I thought maybe if I brought it out into the open, it would help me to quit.
But my friends were less than supportive.
"Ugh. How can you eat that stuff," asked my friend Dana. "It's so bad for you."
"I know, I know." I agreed. "But it tastes so good."
"Yeah, it does," said Dana longingly.
She, too, has done battle with her french fry demons.
Finally after much soul searching and weight gain, I decide to come clean to my husband.
One night after a healthy dinner of tofu and vegetable stir-fry, I faced him. "Honey, I have a confession to make."
He looked at me, his eyes filled with love and trust.
"I've been eating french fries."
I was so ashamed.
But he reached across the table and took my hand.
"How did you know," I asked increduously. I thought I had been so diligent about hiding the evidence.
"There was salt on the dashboard in the car. And I could smell the grease."
I buried my head in my arms. "I thought I'd gotten over this. The health club. The Atkins diet. But after the kids were born... it was so hard to stay away."
"I understand," he said. "It happens to a lot of people. If not french fries, maybe Twinkies. You need some help. It’s nothing to be ashamed of."
I thought about all those days sneaking around… eating in the car… rationalizing to myself, "They’re just potatoes. Potatoes are good for you. It’s not like I’m eating chocolate, for goodness sake."
But the truth was, they weren’t just potatoes. They were fried potatoes. And I had made a promise to myself and my husband on my wedding day that like caffeine, my fried food days were behind me.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t something I could just turn off. It was a constant battle.
However, once I got past the shame, I was able to look at the whole affair more honestly and objectively.
"French fries smell good and they taste good and they make me feel good when I eat them, gosh darnit!"
"But how do you feel after you eat them," asked a reformed french fry eater, who shall remain anonymous.
"I don’t feel so good about myself," I admitted.
"That’s good. That’s the first step in giving up the fries," she said.
I’ve now been french fry-free for almost two months.
Some days I drive past McDonald’s and I feel a familiar twinge.
But then I get home, I take out my tankini and I feel good about how far I’ve come.
Now I’m eating baked potatoes.
It’s not quite the same, but someday, with some sour cream perhaps, I hope to break the french fry habit for good.
©2006, Beckerman. All rights reserved. Tracy Beckerman writes the syndicated humor column LOST IN SUBURBIA™. For more columns, visit her at