"If it's been in the trash, it's trash." -- Jerry Seinfeld
December 23, 2005 7:38 AM Subscribe
Is there some sort of mental disorder, syndrome or condition that causes people to prefer eating off OTHER people's plates?
posted by grumblebee to Health & Fitness (39 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My wife -- who knows I'm posting this (and is just as curious as I am) -- is obscessed with leavings. If she and I go out to eat and order EXACTLY THE SAME THING, she'll eye my plate enviously. Whenever I eat anything, I gradually become aware of her staring at my plate. If I just hand her my plate, she doesn't want it. She's waiting for me to be done so that she can grab anything I left behind. She gets upset if I completely clean my plate. She can't explain it, but she insists that other people's crumbs taste better than anything on her plate -- even crumbs on her own plate.
I'm a germaphobe, so this goes against every fiber of my being. To me, if food has been near another person, it's tainted.
Generally, we joke about this whole thing, but we've both noticed that it's slowly getting worse. At work, she'll sneak into conference rooms after lunch and pick at whatever is on the plates. (I've actually thought about having a big banquet for her next birthday and not inviting her until after the dinner is over.) In true George-Costanza style, she has started eyeing candy dropped on the sidewalk or half-eaten items in the trash. She doesn't give in to these desires, but just the fact that she'd CONSIDER eating something from the garbage makes me feel sick.
Do any of you (or does anyone you know) "suffer" from this? ("Suffer" is in quotes, because my wife isn't feeling any pain. She's enjoying herself. If anyone is suffering, it's me!) What causes it?