I push my tray along the cafeteria line.
“Mashed potatoes, Miss? Gravy?”
My diet says no to that. Too many carbs. “Not today,” I sigh. I pass by the rolls and butter too.
“Broccoli au gratin?”
I nod. It is the only vegetable I can see on the horizon. At least it is green, isn’t it? The server puts a healthy scoop on my plate next to the broiled chicken breast that is already there. I can feel my virtue oozing from every pore.
Then come the desserts.
This cafe is known for its pastries and I have already picked up an extra fork for that course. This is where I will spend my full day’s allotment of calories and fats. I look at the six-layer carrot cake with cream cheese icing. And the rum-laced truffle. And the blueberry pie with its latticed crust. The choice is impossible.
And then…the cashier.
“Will that be cash or credit?”
I reach for my purse. No! It is not on my shoulder! I remember it hangs on the back of my desk chair in my office. Frantically, I turn my pockets inside out. A few nickles from my coat. A dusty quarter and a few pennies from my pants pocket. Slowly I accumulate a dollar in change. The woman waiting impatiently behind me in line offers a dime. At last I have just enough to cover the cost of…the broccoli.