Monday, September 23, 2013

Self-Gratification -- Instant or Prolonged

Good morning. I had an incident with a piece of brown bread the other day and it got me thinking. I know, first of all you're probably wondering, what in the hay-zoo is brown bread?

When I was a kid, every Saturday night we would have beans. Beans and hot dogs. Or beans and hamburgers. Or beans and pork chops. I don't really know what it was with beans, but there they were. When I was really little, my mother would make them from scratch in her big bean crock. They would cook all day in the oven and when she took them out, man, I can still smell them.

And then she would open the can of brown bread. I suppose it's called molasses bread in some places, I'm not really sure. I do know it's thick, and sweet, and sometimes has raisins in it. I also know it's steamed and not baked. It's not "traditional" bread, and I don't really know how to describe it. But it was always there on the table on Saturday night.

Having moved down South, I've had to give up a lot of food I took for granted when I lived in the North East. Fresh quahogs, fried clams with bellies, plums without pesticides, coffee milk, johnny-cakes, Twins Pizza, spinach pie, dough-boys --  the list is endless -- and brown bread.

Anyway, my mother found a can of brown bread at the local supermarket one day. She called me right away, nearly giddy with joy. "You'll never guess what I just found at Lowes Foods." When she told me brown bread I nearly cried. She was of course, making beans and hamburg for supper, and wanted me to come for dinner. I didn't feel good and I didn't want to take the chance I would give whatever malady I had to my father (his immune system is compromised) so I begged off. However, I told her to save me a piece of brown bread.

She sent me a chunk later that night. Probably around three slices if I cut it just so. However, what I did was leave it on the counter. Saturday, Sunday, Monday. Finally, Tuesday night I cut off a slice and smeared butter on it and inhaled it in one bite. I left the rest for another day.

It has now been 10 days and the second piece of brown bread is still on the counter. It's not that I don't want to eat it. It's not that I didn't even go to the store and buy my own can and can have brown bread whenever I want. It's not that I'm afraid of the zillion calories I would consume if I ate it.

I've found the reason for prolonging my self-gratification is I'm afraid. I'm afraid if I eat that last piece, I'll never have it again. Even though I have my own can in the pantry. How twisted is that?

I did it with books the other night as well. I finally put the Kindle reading app on Monster's lap top so I could finally read books in bed. (I still don't have a real Kindle -- go figure. Santa can you hear me?)

So after I put the Kindle app on the lap top, I trolled through the stacks of books on Amazon. I hit several categories. I found so many books I have wanted to read for the last however long, but I didn't buy any. I've been saving money so I could buy them. I have lots of money so I could have bought as many as I wanted, but I didn't.

You know why, I wanted "real" books. Paperbacks. Okay, so maybe my "lots of money" was only $20 bucks and e-books are wicked cheap and I could have bought at least 15 books. But somehow, reading in bed constitutes turning pages, bad light, and twisted pillows. The thought of reading off a computer screen in bed totally turned me off. What gives?

I didn't buy e-books because I wanted paperback and I only had enough money for one or two, so in turn, I didn't buy any. I couldn't make up my mind which "One" to buy so I put it off.

Do you do this? Do you prolong your self-gratification for whatever reason? Or do you just "go for it"? Have you ever had brown bread?

Anne Gallagher (c) 2013


Jennifer Shirk said...

Oooh, it kind of depends on my mood. Sometimes I delay and sometimes I say, "what the heck-go for it" LOL

Maria Zannini said...

Prolonging self-gratification is part of my Catholic upbringing. LOL!

While I agree I still prefer paper books, my frugal side wins out and now I read almost entirely in digital format.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Never had brown bread. Don't know if I want to ever try it. Bread in a can just doesn't appeal to me. Maybe it's better that way, if they have lots of calories! :)

I have the same problem with books. I want lots of them, but prefer the paper. I had a gift card and finally broke down and bought the digital books that didn't come in paper. At least I have a reader (Nook). Not sure I would have done that for a laptop app. I do enough reading on my laptop as it is, I don't want to read my books that way, too.

Maybe you should create a lottery and pick your purchase that way (whether it be paper or digital).

Sarah Ahiers said...

I've never had brown bread. I've never even heard of it! It's in a can? Why is it in a can? Is it, like, made in the can? I have so many questions about this bread...

Davin Malasarn said...

As I read your post I was searching through my memories to see if I had ever seen brown bread on the grocery store shelves. Really, there are so many things there that I haven't noticed. And then there are other things that I know of that other people don't. It's all about what my mom would buy, and why did she decide to buy what she decided to buy? It's like cave people deciding which berries were okay to eat. Huh? Yes, I do prolong gratification. I'm afraid I'll run out of good things in life. That's not really a fair assumption on my part, though. I think you should buy 6 cans of brown bread, then eat one, knowing that you've still got 5 left that you can not eat.

Anne Gallagher said...

Jennifer -- Funny, for big purchases, I'll spend money foolishly, but for little things like books, I wait and wait and wait.

Maria -- Had to laugh, I'm Catholic too so I hear you about delaying. Yes, which is why I wanted to buy digital for the laptop because I can't part with the $60 for a real Kindle. I kill me sometimes.

Stacy -- The lottery sounds like a good idea. I mean, they're only books. But some just need to be in paper. It's a vicious circle I live in.

Sarah -- I will send you an email and discuss the bread.

Davin -- I think that's my whole problem with self-gratification -- I'll run out. Even though I know I can afford them, or have them whenever I want, it's part of my upbringing as well. We were frugal when I was growing up so we didn't get "treats" a lot of the time.

Donna Hole said...

LOl; I'm a procrastinator in all things. I didn't buy any Kindle books by my favorite authors for a long time, just cuz I didn't want to give up my paper books. I don't even mind the $6 or $7 for a really good author.

But the paper books are hard to give up. I've mostly used my kindle for games and purchasing my online friend's indie-published books. Now I'm in a cramped house with no space for my bookshelves and wondering why I don't just buy the books on the Kindle - I miss my books almost as much as the washer and dryer.

Incidently, my parents used to buy brown bread also. I haven't ate it in years, but I do remember how good it tasted. I'm sure you're savoring fond memories as you enjoy the bread.


Hanny said...

Sometimes I'll go for it and splurge on everything in my Amazon book wish list. Then I fill it back up again and don't have time to read the ones I've already bought. Oh well. I have good intentions and someone will inherit a nice library from their peculiar Uncle Hanny.

I'll have to try that brown bread. I walk by it in the store and never think too much about it. Sound tasty.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Oh yes I have had brown bread, and I love it. Haven't had it in years tho. It's the molasses taste I enjoy. And totally agree with you about the reading. I most enjoy reading in bed at night, and that is NOT on a Kindle or laptop.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

I'm with Jennifer. Sometimes I just go for it. Err, a lot of times, actually. But there are certain things where I become kind of paralyzed, just like this...

Also, that brown break sounds kind of cool. I'd like to try it some day.

Al said...

I tend to "go for it".

On the "brown Bread" the answer yes and no!
I've never eaten your version of "brown bread".
What we call "brown bread" in Oz is simply a regular baked bread made with wholemeal flour.

Crystal Collier said...

Oh my goodness, the advent of the ebook has turned me into a binge reader. Yes, I'll read an entire series in two days if I love it enough. No joke.

P.S. I'm putting in a word with Santa on your behalf.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I'm very good (or bad, depending on how you look at it) about delaying gratification. Saving and sacrificing so I could eventually buy something I wanted as a kid was a way of life, BUT... not so good about that with food. What we used to get was called date nut bread, but it was brown and came in a can just like what you're showing. Eat one piece and let the rest just sit? No way. My hubby and I would eat the whole darned can in one sitting. With cream cheese on it. Yummy! Haven't seen it in quite a few years, but that's probably just as well...