The Territory of a Man's Plate

I’ve notice in my dealings with the opposite sex a rather intriguing approach to food on a plate, and while I haven’t spent a ¬†great deal thinking about it, I imagine that it reflects a different view and approach to life — as most behaviors do in some manner or another.

When I have shared meals with women, or with couples, it is more often than not that the girl will ask for food from a man’s plate. If she’s a good friend of mine, she’ll eat my food; if a couple’s, she’ll want to pick off her man’s plate.

This annoys most men. And while some don’t mind or you’ve just grown used to it, it’s not a natural tendency for a man to let anyone else to eat off his plate.

Men ONLY ask other men for food under limited circumstances, such as — Hey, are you finished with that? That implies the man eating has 1) eaten his fill and 2) would otherwise discard what’s left. In other words — “Is that no longer your plate, can I make it mine?”

Occasionally you have some asshole who tries to pick food off everyone’s plate, but that’s usually a rarity.

Men are territorial about food — most especially food, and women. It’s ours. We fought, killed, died for, and otherwise bought this three-piece fish and chips meal from Dan’s Seafood Hut. No, you can’t pick fries off it. ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU HAVE YOUR OWN!

I’ve noticed, too, that women who have fries on their own plate will still want to eat the one’s from the guy’s plate. Or, in my mom’s case — “Hey, can we order two separate meals, and then share half and half?” And she is not the only one I’ve seen do something like that.

And an addendum to this idea is when I sit with the family I currently live with and their little boy tries to pick off people’s plates. When he does it with mom and “Grammie,” they’re all for it. “Have at it, kid.” When he tries with me or his step-dad’s plate, we raise forks and prepare to kill the intruder. I make him ask for something, and then it’s limited.

What about women demands variety and sharing? Now, if he were my son, I might feel differently, so I’ll throw that out there first. But in general, men don’t like sharing food. We’ll pay for your food, sure, but why do you want what’s on my plate when you have a perfectly good plate of your own? How does sharing my food make you feel better? I’m a provider? Didn’t I just buy you an entire PLATE of food for which you should be grateful? (I’m chuckling as I write this, btw.)

I might conjecture with some degree of accuracy that this all ties back in with the spiders women are — everything is interconnected and thus means more than, well, men obviously will think it means. If they want food from our plate, it’s a sign of wanting to be considered as important as food (which, according to psychologists, the No. 1 overarching need to be satisfied in a man is food, THEN sex, which is why some of those who promote abstinence encourage men not to get full while on dates with women. Not kidding.)

Perhaps women consider it love and consideration that they may eat from the plate of a “provider,” even if that provider doesn’t belong to them. Perhaps it’s merely making an intimate form of connection through the sharing of food from something as intimate as a plate. Maybe women feel isolated or hemmed in by the limitations of their own plates, or that there should be no limitations in the distribution of food among friends. Or perhaps women are just thieves and like stealing fries for the sake of stealing instead of just eating their own and being content with it.

Who knows? I honestly don’t have a hard-and-fast answer to this query, but it is intriguing, nonetheless.

Men are instinctual and animalistic — we seek food, it’s our food. We provide to those we care for, but it doesn’t remove our natural instincts of protecting our assets, even from other assets. We get food for our mates to secure our ability to have children birthed by a quality mother and from whom sex can be derived on a regular basis (should the relationship remain healthy, barring periods of change and the comings and goings of passion).

It’s really just interesting dinner conversation. But in the end, if you can keep an awesome girl who knows how to eat by sharing your hard-earned food with her, by all means! Share! Share!