There's a woman at work who brings in bagels or pastries sometimes. Not on a regular basis, so people don't start expecting her to do it, just whenever the mood strikes her. We like it when the mood strikes.
But I've noticed that "last bagel" (or donut or pastry) phenomenon over the years. It happens at other places too. There are some people who can't bring themselves to take the last one.
So they cut it in half and leave half for someone else. And there are enough of these people that the remaining half gets cut in half or has a small slice taken off, so the last piece keeps getting incrementally smaller until someone finally nabs the pitiful remains and finishes the job.
I'm not sure what it is about these last-cutting people. They think nothing of taking a whole bagel when they're the first to get to the surprise stash. They find a knife and slice the bagel and drop it in the toaster while they decide whether they should use the regular cream cheese or try one of the flavored spreads on both sides of that bagel. But when it's the last one, they're different people entirely.
Are there mothers who drum into their children that it's not polite to take the last one? Are there greedy fathers who get their hearts set on the last slice of pumpkin pie, and then make the child who nabbed it first feel guilty for being so greedy? What kind of complex are parents passing on to their children that makes them live their adult lives afraid to take the last donut?
I don't get it. My parents weren't that unkind to me. If the last one is sitting there--provided it's calling my name--I take it. The whole thing. And I don't feel guilty.