Monday, September 17, 2007

The Unadventurous Eater and the Humbling Revelation

“I feel sorry for those poor fxxxers who call up and everyday order the same thing for lunch” Zach was clearly annoyed and speaking in a wheezy yet sorrowful voice.
We had just finished the legendary Wednesday afternoon brunch and were slugging back another Bloody Mary to kill some time until Zack finished work.
“ I mean, look at the menu at this place, you’d think he would want to switch it up once and a while!” It was clear that he was referring to a specific lunchtime delivery patron,
“Have you ever thought about sending him something different, just to see if he would eat it?” I asked.
“Are you kidding, he wouldn’t eat it, he’d just send it back” Zack responded with a shrug of the shoulders.
At the moment, I couldn’t agree with Zack more. As it happens, I was in the midst of a campaign to overcome food phobias and, in the last month, had simultaneously gotten over my dislike of Sushi (I now crave it like a mad woman) and of runny egg yolks. This is of course not about the triumph of my will over my deeply embedded food prejudices but, I want you to understand that I was feeling rather uppity about my upgraded status as an fearless eater and my perspective was perhaps a bit distorted. ‘Why would anyone want to eat the same thing day in and day out?’ I thought to myself.’ Doesn’t everyone want to be an adventurous eater?’

Later that evening, after my enlightening dinner with the guru, I got on a train headed for Brooklyn. As the train screeched around the corner and out of the station, I thought about Zack’s comment and wondered, what are the pay-offs of being an unadventurous eater? There is the comfort element of course; never would there be a pleasant mistake in the kitchen, neither would there be a beneficial surprise when a waiter mistook your order. This is the price you pay for the mental serenity that goes along with stick-in-the-mud eating habits. The woman across for me on the train was now staring at me with inquisitive eyes and I wondered if I had been unknowingly speaking my thoughts out loud. Eventually, her stare traveled on to the man beside me, and then to the woman beside him and I realized that I was being paranoid and continued on with my mental strumming.

Of course, I reassured myself, I have always found there to be something mildly romantic about the patron who goes into a restaurant everyday, at the same time, to order the same thing. It may not be adventurous, but it sure takes a certain brand of passion to eat chicken Marsala every night of the week. There is a rhythm and ritual to it that is placidly intriguing.

Of course my passion for food extends way beyond the boundaries of comfort, I observed climbing right back onto my very high horse. In fact it is boredom that has been the motivating force in my campaign against food aversions. In my 31 years off living and eating, despite my fanaticism for food and for eating, I have finally hit a plateau and no longer have room for dislikes.

I was approaching my stop so I attempted to sum up the scattered and self-important argument I had been conducting in my head,

1.) There are two kinds of eaters in the world, adventurous, and unadventurous
2.) The advantages of being unadventurous are, comfort, and a shroud of neurotic mystery
3.) The advantages of being an adventurous eater are much more conspicuous, more choices, and more horizons.

As I exited the train and fought my was up the stairs, I drew my conclusion, I agreed with Zack, I was happy to be an ‘adventurous eater’, and I pitied the unadventurous eaters of the world. It wasn’t until the next morning, while eating my morning yogurt and muesli and drinking my religious cup of perfectly brewed coffee that I was violently thrown from the horse by a humbling revelation, I may be an adventurous eater, but I eat the same breakfast everyday.

1 comment:

Kara said...

I'm the same way. I can go weeks on end eating the same breakfast but, then, one morning I'll wake up disgusted at the sight of fill-in-my-current-breakfast-obsession, and it will be on to something else for a few weeks and so on.