Monday, January 10, 2011

On a Single Plate

Once, many years ago, my sister came upon me as I was preparing a dinner for myself. She saw me arrange all parts of the meal on different-sized (based on the importance of the meal's component) color-coordinated plates and saucers, decorate the food lovingly and position everything on the table in a convenient pattern.

"You know what I would like?" she said dreamily, staring at the food. "I'd really like to meet a guy who'd love me at least half as much as you love yourself."

The best way to find out how people feel about themselves is by observing what they eat when they are alone. Sometimes, you'd see a person prepare for themselves a meal that seems healthy and has all the right ingredients but is extremely joyless. "I take care of myself because I don't have a choice," this kind of a person seems to say with their drab food. "But I have no particular love for myself."

There are also people who use the meal they have alone as a chance to reveal those sides of their personality that they strive to keep secret from others. A permanent dieter who greets everybody daring to order a piece of cake in their presence with "You are not going to eat that, are you? Do you know how many calories that has??" often binges on cookies, candy and ice-cream in the privacy of their kitchen.

Of course, there are also those who eat canned beans straight out of a can or pizza out of a box while standing over the kitchen sink. That is the saddest case of not considering oneself even worthy of a plate or a place at the table. And please don't tell me that it's more convenient or faster to eat this way. If people came over to visit, no convenience in the world would have induced this same person to hand them a can and invite them to stand over the sink with it, right? If a person they are interested in romantically came over for the first time, even the biggest slob in the universe would probably find a plate for that pizza and offer a chair to the guest.

Oh, and my sister? She did meet that guy, and now he's making great meals for both of them.


Greenconsciousness said...

Beautiful post on the joy of the single life and your self as your best lover.

fairykarma said...

Individuals have basic desires that help shape their personality. In some sense the strongest desires in an individual are those that end up shaping their life the most. I know I myself have a fascination with food that others don't have. I feel constantly hungry. I consume upwards of 4000-5000 calories a day. For breakfast I had 5 eggs with some bacon and toast. In between, I drank a freshly made blend of fruits and veggies (kale). For lunch, I ate a whole pizza and then I made myself a pot full of stew which I eat for the rest of the day.

I'm a big fan of burgers and fried chicken. Being an immigrant from the third world, the abundance of such high calorie, artery clotting, great tasting food amazes me.

I simply don't have time to arrange everything in color codes and make nice patterns. Food is food to me. My desire to be sated far exceeds my desire for order and aesthetics. I just pile my food on the plate and chow down.

I know there will be some critics here so.
I weigh: 170 lbs (5'9"). I'm by no means fat.
Last blood pressure:118/83
Heart rate: 50 beats per minute.

Some people don't love food as much as we food lovers. We don't feel sorry for them, just means more left-overs for us to munch on in the morning or during the night. Others prefer other rituals that surround food, like aesthetics, the social eating, or cooking. Good for them.

I'm merely here to represent those of us that despise food preparation and simply want an easy way to get food into stomach.

If you like food, don't let someone guilt you for doing something you appreciate doing. My family makes fun of me all time because I like to eat, yet I'm the healthiest individual in the family. It's not a pathological addiction in the same sense that someone who reads all the time or someone who likes to talk to people all the time isn't sick, they just have a different set of values.

Not using a plate means one less plate to be washed. That time you saved washing up is time you could spend making yourself a snack.

Happy Eating! :D

Clarissa said...

I don't do the dishes. What are husbands for, huh? :-)

Your beautiful comment made me very hungry. So I went and ate a huge meal. Good times. . . :-)

Lindsay said...

I also found this post beautiful.

Especially the part about your sister saying, "I'd really like to meet a guy who'd love me at least half as much as you love yourself" --- I liked the implication that loving yourself that much is a *good* thing!

I cook for myself, too. My favorite dish that I make is spinach-and-cheese manicotti. I love that dish --- could eat it every day.