|The right order of the eating of things . . .
||[Aug. 10th, 2015|08:50 am]
Phrembah (a potato-like mystery)
This is technically a "Compelling Chronicle" post, but it also serves to further illustrate what sort of an absolute asshole I truly am.
I've never been rough enough or tough enough or rich enough or cute enough or nice enough or thoughtful enough or . . . Let's face it, I've just never been enough. All my life, relatives, friends and especially women have been trying to change me into the person I should have been, the person I without question would have been, had I only listened. Of course, underlying all of this whining and bemoaning and shit is the unquestioned assumption that I want to be the douche of their dreams and somehow just can't quite manage it.
Anyway, one of the ways in which I failed to be the person I should have been was that I always ate one thing at a time off my plate at meals. I did it for two reasons. One was to get through the crap (beets, canned peas, brussel sprouts, etc.) first so that I could enjoy the rest of my dinner. The other reason was just, very specifically, to really enjoy the stuff I liked. If you really, really like fresh corn out of Grandpa's garden, you want to savor it in all of its unalloyed glory. To mix it with fried chicken and mashed potatoes just dilutes the experience. Don't do that. Save the world-class mashed potatoes till you're done with the corn (they'll stay warm longer) then really, really enjoy them. And save Grandma's fried chicken till last, again because it will stay warm the longest (and also because it's the best). This is how I did it. This is how eating dinner came natural to me. But almost always, part way into dinner everyone would be saying how good the chicken was and weren't those great potatoes this year, etc., etc. and someone would look over at me and say, "Well, P hasn't even tried his chicken yet. Why do you do that? Why must you eat one thing at a time?" This was said with such disappointment and distain, that I never said anything back. But I never changed the way I ate, either. I just lived with it. It was one of those annoying things that came with living with other people who weren't particularly smart.
Well, one evening, my mom invited my bass player to stay for dinner (I must have been 17). He was a really slow eater. My mom had the table cleared and the dishes almost done before he was finished. There was no problem with this; he kept chatting with me and my parents as he ate and we cleaned up. But it was absolutely inescapably noticeable that he was a very slow eater. Then it occurred to me: In seventeen years of getting crap about the order in which I ate things, this was the very first time I had ever, and I mean ever, noticed how anyone else ate. What my parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, house guests, dinner hosts, schoolmates or whoever-the-fuck ate first, last, in between or at all, had never crossed my mind. I simply didn't care. It wasn't like I didn't care in the sense that I had thought about it and decided it wasn't important. I didn't care in the sense that my conscious attention had never in seventeen years ever landed on that subject. It had honest-to-God never occurred to me.
So, I said all of that to say this: While many people closely monitor the behavior of the people around them, even seemingly (to me) insignificant behavior, I never notice it unless it is somehow brought to my attention. I simply Do. Not. Care. what you do. That's what kind of asshole I am. So now you know.