#543 That separate compartment in your stomach for dessert

My parents drove downtown last week.

They cruised along wet highways onto narrow streets to catch up with me over dinner. We walked a block from my apartment to a small restaurant where we squeezed into a booth and squinted at the small-font menu under the dim lighting.

Wedged between a couple holding hands and whispering on our left and a pair of chatty girlfriends fast-talking and perm-bobbing on our right, we relaxed, got comfortable, and enjoyed a nice meal.

Now, my mom’s five feet tall and my dad only a few inches higher so I always expect them to eat a small amount of their giant meals, pack a lot in doggie bags, and eat leftovers for three straight days at home.

But they generally surprise me.

Flash forward a few minutes later and we’re scraping our plates and licking our forks as the waiter comes by and asks if we’d like dessert.

There was the classic Dessert Pause where everybody sorta squints and sizes each other up around the table — nobody wanting to make that fateful first move and be the lone Cheesecake Ranger who goes out on a limb and extends the trip for everyone.

But then my mom cracked. She smiled a big slow smile and said: “Awesome thing! The separate compartment in your stomach for dessert!”

My dad’s boxy glasses glinted in the light as he laughed, my mom blinked and smiled quietly, and we looked up at the waiter and quickly ordered three big bowls of ice cream.


Wow! The New Yorker reviews The Book of Awesome

Photos from: here and here

54 thoughts on “#543 That separate compartment in your stomach for dessert

    1. In our family it’s our pudding pipe! You have no idea of the glee this entry caused in my house – I have been saying this exists since I was tiny!

      Awesome thing: when you realise you’re not the only person who does something!!!!!

      Love the website =]

      Ally, UK.

  1. Your parents sound so sweet :) And that is certainly an awesome thing! Even when you can’t finish your meal, there should always be a seperate compartment for dessert.

  2. If anyone has that secret compartment, it’s me. I’m kind of a surprise at the table myself, being so incredibly skinny. I’m made of skin, bones, and a few blood vessels, but nowhere on me can you find a trace of fat or muscle.

    This is why it’s always a shock when I wolf down 8 slices of pizza when the guy next to me is on slice number 2, and an even bigger surprise when I rummage through the freezer to find a pint of ice cream when I’m done. Yep, no matter what I eat, or how much, there’s always room for dessert. Then afterwards, maybe some Jell-o.

    Ooooh…or a pie….mmmm….

    Pie sounds awesome…

  3. I’m especially guilty of times when I “don’t have enough room for vegetables” and then having lots of room for dessert. :) It can only be explained by the separate compartment theory, yes!

  4. Ah, yes. The wonders of peristalsis! Another reason to thank not only your colon, but also the other 27 feet of your digestive system :)


  5. This made me think of when I was little and wouldn’t eat all of whatever we had for dinner (because I didn’t like it), claiming that I was “too full to finish.” Little did I know there would be dessert that night; of course I wanted some. So I told my mom that I did and she’d say, “Hmmm, I thought you were just TOO FULL!” Then I’d explain to her that I had a special place in my belly reserved for dessert, so it didn’t get full like the rest of my belly was.

    Awesome. :)

  6. Yes!! I’ve always had a separate compartment for dessert. And, the mental image of everyone sizing up the rest of the group to see if dessert was happening or not is priceless. :)

  7. Not to mention the awesome thing of your mom shouting “Awesome Thing!” which totally cracke me up.

  8. Great post! I always have room for ice cream, since that fits best in my Dessert Compartment!

  9. I can’t believe I forgot about this one….. Could’ve been a winning post for your contest! Yes, the “dessert stomach.” I am the worst for this one. I typically can’t finish a restaurant size portion, yet there is ALWAYS room for dessert!

  10. I always thought that there had to be some sort of scientific explanation. So perfect, so true, so sweet…

  11. My daughter always says she’s full for dinner and doesn’t finish. Then 5 minutes later she says she’s hungry and wants candy or pudding. I tell her, “I thought you said you were full.” Then she says, “I’m not full for candy. Just dinner.”

  12. Lol. Yes, you never answer first either! Especially with a bunch of girls!
    With family it’s required though. You have to share a bite of what you got with the rest of the family, and maybe even your friends.

  13. Holy hell, it’s like this post was created just for me! My mom has never believed me & always made fun of me because I have always contended that my stomach is separated into compartments, with one designated for dessert.

  14. Ah yes. My sister and have always had what we liked to call our “dessert stomach.”
    Though it began innocently enough as young children who simply wanted to get their dessert without finishing the WHOLE hamburger, we now do it simply to irritate our dear mother. Or, when we want to eat dessert without finishing the WHOLE hamburger. Or both.

  15. I browse some writings from your blog, also have saved your RSS during the previous weeks and I found a constant improvement of quality.
    Nice job.

  16. Icecream is my absolute soul food and no matter how full I am after dinner, my reasoning has been that there’s ALWAYS room for icecream cause it melts and “slides down the sides”!

  17. my new brother in law has this uncommon talent~ Odd Odd tastebuds. He can eat a whole stale chicken without a grunt yet lick his fingers clean as long as the chicken texture is smooth ( hasn’t roughened yet with fungi growth). All that matters in a good meal is the texture of his food. I swear he chews paper! Another nutcase i saw ate metal and a lightsaber~lightbulb.

  18. i didn’t know everyone did that! Was always my excuse as a kid as to why I couldn’t finish my dinner, but I could have dessert. “The dinner part of my stomach is full, but I still have the dessert part left.”

  19. Ah, yes, my grandpa told us when we were little. We call it the Dessert Line. Only dessert can go past the line, no dinner. But dessert can also fill up the regular part as well.

    It worked so well since we had our grandpa on our side, and we still use it now! :)

  20. Too funny. That happened to me last night. Full to bursting, but there’s always room for ice cream! Now I know why.

    Thanks for a great website!


  21. I love this one! When my son was small and didn’t finish his dinner — telling us he was full — but then would still ask for dessert, we would remind him that he had just told us he was full. One day, out of the blue, he just said, “But my dessert tank isn’t full”. We’ve used “dessert tank” in the family ever since! This one made my heart smile! Thanks!

  22. Yes, It all starts with the tongue, caymen/saliva and then the ess-o-fay-guss…
    but watch those cortisoles and that ~ pudding tummy~!

  23. A wise friends once told me “No matter how full the bus is, there’s still room for the conductor!”. Exactly how I feel about dessert. ;)

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