Sunday, June 13, 2010

Most people are delicious

I'm not a picky eater. You can put almost anything in front of me, and as long as no Food Handler Safety sirens go off in my head, I'll probably eat it and, more often than not, enjoy it. Food is one of my favorite hobbies. I love tasting new food. I love trying new ways to prepare food. I love reading about foods familiar and foreign to me. I find every element of the culinary world fascinating. And although food (in its natural form) is somewhat of a finite world, I perceive it as being so big that every day I could learn something new and interesting.

Each food has its place in my culinary arena. Some things I eat every day because they are a healthy part of my diet, its a habit, and I just simply never tire of them. Some I eat only on very special occasions because they're too expensive or too decadent or simply too unhealthy to indulge in more often. Some I have to remind myself to eat more often because they're good for me. This category isn't full of foods I don't like, but rather foods that take extra consideration and time because for one reason or another I'm not accustomed to having them around regularly. Something as simple as an orange. It just takes a little extra effort to choose and then remind myself to include an orange in my day. But once I eat it, I'm very happy I did. Generally, I have a very diversified diet. Oftentimes even when I make a delicious five-star meal, I will not make it again for sometimes even more than a year. Too many other things to try-I don't want to get stuck in a rut!

My opinions and taste for food parallel my opinions and taste for people. Generally, unless someone is outright rotten I find him enjoyable. Just as the culinary world is full of interesting flavors, so are people. Each one so different. Different spices combine and accent each other in unique ways, as each interaction or social situation highlights unique characteristics of a person. Everlastingly fascinating. But as with trying new foods or food combinations, its not always pleasant but a learning experience regardless.

I struggle with people as with food, to include those who I know are good for me. People who I find intimidating to be around, or those who just simply require extra effort to make the relationship work. They're good for me. Keep me in shape. And I have to remind myself to bring them around more often. And at least a little bit, I end up enjoying it.

I see one very stark contrast between my interests in food and people. I'm interested in depth of relationships, not breadth. I don't feel the need to continue sampling and tasting. Once I find a person who makes me laugh, who I can be honest with and vice versa, I'm quite content to just stick with it. Unless it becomes stale and boring, because for me both people and food are meant to be delicious and stimulating! Those people become my staple foods, occasionally complemented by others.

But they say everything in moderation. Perhaps I need to modify my people diet. We all know what happens when you eat too many cherries. Besides, its not all about me. Relationships are a two way street. If I don't like my dinner, it doesn't feel rejected. Not the case with friends, family, people close to me. They need to be loved and cherished. Maybe I should think more about the taste I leave in others' mouths. Am I rotten? Or bland? Or just plain unhealthy?

Taking it one step further, how do I handle being the leafy greens, or wheat grass juice for someone else? I am a duty to fulfill. Would I rather remove myself entirely? Or maybe I should just be content that at least when I offer the orange, it gets peeled and enjoyed, even if it is only once a year.

"It seems to me that everything that exists is good--death as well as life, sin as well as holiness, wisdom as well as folly. Everything is necessary, everything needs only my agreement, my assent, my loving understanding; then all is well with me and nothing can harm me."

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