The other day I sent my friend a message: “What do you want to eat tonight?” “I am really not fussy. Do you want me to pick something up?” Me: “If you don’t mind. I will see if they have pretzels. Shrimp? The usual?” His response: “Can you clarify a bit?” – followed by a bunch of question marks.
I have to mention that my friend is very articulate (one of his nicest assets) and uses words that I have to look up sometimes. He would probably send me a message of some sort of straightforward communiqué, saying “I will bring two (2) ripe avocados. Looking forward to seeing you soon” – followed by a cute emoji. It is a simple message and this behavior from him is not exceptional or weird ever; it is standard. He is disciplined, organized, and his messages represent his dedication to details and are a channel for him to get to the point without a lot of fluff. I like that. A lot. It is his art of planning, the art of eating together, and even the art of making plans to eat. Sometimes, there are different lenses through which to view my friend’s messages and emails. One might suggest he is a gem of a man: so well-spoken, communicative, handsome, helpful and so clearly looking forward to the visit, the supper, the appetizers! Others may suggest he should be investigated further. But who cares what people say. I listen to my gut and the man knows how to cook.
When we cook together, I see food as art. Cooking is my meditation and I reflect my own creation by making beautiful yummy things. Some use food as praise since it can be glory to all the senses. Especially when he makes this amazing spicy, garlicky shrimp sauce. Sometimes food is used as a ritual, to glue people and families together (family supper at 6 pm), food to mourn, food to f*** (add some cinnamon) or food to fuel this amazing wonder called the human body. The other side is that this love for food can also get twisted up with pain that we accumulate(d). Some obsess over food; they use it to distract themselves, to patch certain holes in their soul or as a pacifier. Food: we can eat to feel full in our bodies when the work to feel full in our lives seems unattainable or even intangible.
On a side note and just in case you don’t already know: I am studying holistic nutrition for almost 8 months now and having been into food and healthy eating for many years, I feel the need to tell the world that the food industry makes fake food. The food industry color “food” with bright red (*replace red with any color) powdered chemicals, put it in plastic, bleach the bread white, and call it “natural apple flavor”. Food gets thrown in dumpsters when people are hungry or starving. There are wars because of food. “They” poison the water, poison the people, to keep those Granny Smith apples extra shiny, no brown spots, no holes. Burn crops and privatize what naturally grows. We also use food to wage war on our own bodies and when our bodies get sad and full of toxins, we keep eating more toxic shit to silence the sadness. Take an Antacid and put a blanket on the sadness. Go to sleep sadness, sleep….. shhhhh.
I was not always a healthy eater or paid too much attention what the food I ate was made of. But I felt bad after eating certain food and the more I learned about eating healthier, I knew things have to change. There was a time, right after I gave birth, where I would have called myself fluffy. Some people may have thought “fat” would have been the more appropriate term. I gained a lot of weight but I would have considered myself still as healthy fluffy. I had this relationship with food in which I felt I am still the boss ( most of the time at least). When I gave birth to my son, I knew this weight has to go because I did not feel well overall. One positive asset I have is that I am very disciplined. I can pretty much make everything work. So I lost the weight. Through proper nutrition.
How am I doing this? I am using tactics to distract or channel my energy so I can stay committed to, for example, delayed gratification. Or I simply focus on my health and listen to my body. My body usually tells me what is good to eat and what is not. Yeah, we are pretty tight.
So, guess what? My friend showed up with only one (1) unripe avocado. We did not make guacamole, which was on my mind as soon as I read two (2) ripe avocados, but he made the best salad ever. The avocado is still sitting around on the counter unused but who cares. The way he chopped those veggies and sautéed the shrimp in garlic and onion, I am convinced he enjoys food twice as much as I am. I celebrate him for that and I am grateful he is in my life. I invited him in. He is here – in my life and in my head. He is crazy, as am I. We love food. We want to eat. And then talk about how good it tasted. And then look forward to the next time we can enjoy it together. We are always choosing.