Eating Light

Emily Stimpson on the Last & Other Suppers

A Saturday morning in December. I am in Pittsburgh, writing in a coffee shop. Two women in their early fifties sit at the table in front of me, each sipping something hot. One makes a confession. She sinned last night . . . with a piece of cheesecake.

The other expresses sympathy. But there is condescension in her voice. No cheesecake touched her lips last night. The first one congratulates the second, and declares herself—not her behavior and not the food, but herself—“bad.”

She is obsessed. They both are. If they’re not eating, they’re thinking about it or talking about it. They move from diet . . .

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Emily Stimpson lives in Steubenville, Ohio, where she divides her time between working on her old house and writing for Franciscan University?s magazine Franciscan Way. A refugee from the world of D.C. politics, Emily previously worked for Senator Jim Talent (R-Mo.) and former Attorney General Edwin Meese III.

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