Short Stories All the Time

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... a few of my thoughts about 875, mostly contemporary, short stories.
Showing posts with label Berg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Berg. Show all posts

03 September, 2016

Elizabeth Berg, "The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted"

"The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted" is the first story in Berg's collection The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted and Other Small Acts of Liberation. The collection was first published in 2008. I just bought the paperback re-issue dated 2011.

The first-person narrator tells of the day she left Weight Watchers and gave herself permission to eat whatever she wanted until midnight. And, she does just that with a stop at Dunkin' Donuts for starters. But the story is not about just that. It's about self-loathing, judgments, society's disdain for fat people, and the powerlessness over how other people perceive them. I recently read some Jean Toomer stories and the themes are similar, the lack of power over how a person is perceived by others.

My favorite:
"Telling you this, I just remembered this woman I really liked a lot who died and she loved egg salad more than anything and didn't eat it for years because it was bad for her and then when she was on her deathbed and could have anything she wanted, she was given an egg salad sandwich and she couldn't eat it anymore."