I had a lot of beta readers for How to Date Dead Guys. One commented that there was a lot of eating going on in my book.
Perhaps other people don't remember college like I do.
It was all about the food. Free food, in particular.
A group of female friends would descend upon Chi-Chi's Mexican Restaurant on a weekly basis for their Free Taco Bar Tuesdays. I'm sure they hated the sight of us Cheapskate Sisters, because we only ever bought ONE margarita each, but ate as many tacos as we could cram into our hungry mouths.
I never appreciated Mom's cooking until I endured dorm food for a while. To make money, I took a job working in the same dorm cafeteria. Every time a back room dishwashing shift came up, I'd end up scraping some dead mouse or cockroach off the floor as the other girls screamed. It didn't bother me to dispose of the vermin, but it did put a damper on my appetite for the food served there.
Once I moved out of the dorms, I started grocery shopping. It was fun at first. My cart overflowed with huge bags of animal crackers, boxes of cereal, and cups of yogurt. It was the era of carbo-loading, low-fat or no-fat diet. Nowadays, the medical community is falling all over itself regarding the Atkins diet. The pendulum swings so far back and forth on everything, it's a wonder the doctors and dieticians don't get whiplash.
If a person really is what they eat, in college I would've been a pretzel. Or maybe an unbuttered bagel.
One college roommate wanted to share orange juice to cut down on costs. But instead of mixing in two cans of water with the OJ concentrate (per the directions), she'd always pour in three. When I complained of the taste, she pretended she had no idea what I was talking about.
Liar. I can tell the difference, you know.
College students are such cheapskates. They haul home weeks of laundry at a time, as if their tired moms don't have better things to do.
And when college students go home for the holidays, they gobble down the free food like they haven't been fed in weeks. Better put a lock on your refrigerator door.
From undergrad through vet school, students were lured to meetings with the prize of free pizza, ice cream, or sub sandwiches. I once suffered food poisoning from one of these free sandwiches (so bad that I even called the nurse line to inquire politely how many episodes of vomiting constituted an emergency), but it didn't stop me from lining up for the next free handout.
The lure of free food continues on as an adult. Meetings, store openings, political groups. Everybody's trying to reach your heart by way of your stomach.
So, in other words, I stand by my decision to let my characters eat. After all, when I think back to college, it was all about the food. Free food, especially.