Monday, November 29, 2010

Taking It To The Whole

Every once and a while I'll be sitting at a meal eating something delicious and I'll discover that I am full. My pants will feel a little tighter. My stomach will feel a little queasy. And I'll start to feel a bit gluttonous. But, here's the thing, if it's delicious enough, it won't matter. I will continue to eat until it is gone.

This is what I fondly call: Taking it to the whole*.

This means that I could be sitting at the table, eating a hamburger and french fries, groaning and whining that I'm so full I could die. And then I'll take another bite. Yeah. It makes no logical sense. Basically, I make the conscious decision that, it's so delicious, there is no way I'm going to leave a spare bite behind.

This also happens to me when I'm reading books. I'll be innocently reading, making my way through the words and I will get to a moment. And I will literally say to myself, That's it. I'm taking it to the whole. This means that, no matter how late it is, whether I'm on page 5 or 500, I have reached a moment where there is NO WAY I am going to put the book down until I've devoured it completely.

I'm thrilled to let you know that this has happened to me three times in recent weeks. Three times! It doesn't happen to me often (at least not as often as it happens to me when I'm eating) so I was really excited. It happened with Kate Racculia's This Must Be The Place. I reached one of those big reveals, which I sometimes call a Maury Povich moment: (You are NOT the father!) and there was simply no way I was going to put the book down until I found out how it unfolded. Then it happened during Mitali Perkins' Bamboo People. I was so invested in the characters that there was no way I was putting the book down until I knew they were all going to be okay. And Rachel Simon's memoir, Riding The Bus With My Sister, in which I just had to know where everyone ended up after a literal and figurative crazy ride.

I just get to this point and there is absolutely no return. Since I mostly read at night, that means that taking it to the whole leaves me sleep deprived.

Does this happen to you guys? With books or food? How often do you take it to the whole?

*I have no idea if this is a real expression or where I ever heard it. I could be using it incorrectly and I wouldn't know. It's occurred to me that the expression could very well be "taking it to the hole" like you are taking it to the grave. Either way, I would like to take delicious food and amazing books to the grave, so I still feel it's appropriate.

UPDATE: Even though I googled and binged it, not finding much on what this expression means, it has come to my attention (Thanks Tyler!) that this is, perhaps, a basketball expression, in which you are 'taking it to the hole' and putting it in the basket. Still works. Still think taking it to the 'whole' in these cases is fine. Any other definitions for this expression are welcome.


  1. I've never heard this expression but the basketball analogy sounds right to me. This usually happens when I'm reading a Stephen King novel. Then it's up all night, scared to death, afraid to even go to the bathroom.

  2. I like your version of the expression :)

    This happened to me with Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series. I flew through three books because I had to find out what was going to happen with the two main characters.

  3. Finally, a good term for this! I do the exact same thing (with food and books).

  4. It did sound very sporting. I am guilty of taking it to the whole way too much with food, but it dod happen to me with a book recently. The end was a bit disappointing, but I had to know what happened.

  5. I take both food and books to the whole all the time. The most recent book it happened with was Halfway Human, by Carolyn Gilman.