For Chip: He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. —Unknown

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

All American Food and the Chase

James is the pickiest eater of the family.  The family always based our food choices on restaurants where he would go.  There were only a hand full of restaurants that he would consider like Cheesecake Factory.  Even if it was some ones birthday we would consult him. I cannot talk about James because I have my own hang ups with food.

The problem with the picky eater may lie a little deeper than what meets the eye.  I have friends that have jokes about what I will and will not eat.  First I do not eat Thai food.  I know it comes in ratings of spicy.  No thanks, I pass.  I also was introduced to a popular Mediterranean restaurant.  I did not  know what any of the foods were, could not recognize any resemblance to  familiar items, and had to pass on most foods even though a buffet.  When someone claps their hands at hummus I do a double take.  I cringe at the color, consistency, and I have to be honest that I have no clue what it tastes like.  Then there is sushi.  Someone recently tried to organize an excursion to a sushi restaurant.  Yikes I do not eat raw fish.  The idea actually seems a bit petrifying.  Even though I am not a vegetarian I do not like to see fish hooked and have a slow death.  The idea of someone hitting a fish over the head to knock them out gives me nightmares.  When I visited Minneapolis in May I was bombarded by all types of Walleye fish burgers and salads.  Just the name is enough to make you gag.  I pictured a fish with a big eye looking at me on top of a hamburger bun.  I do like Mexican food and it is abundant  in Texas.  When it comes to food in general just give me all American food.  While watching Hugh Hefner's Girls Next Door reality show the girls were eating at Hugh's former girlfriend's house in Colorado.  When Barbi Benton's chef started passing out food Bridget cringed at the unusual salad and said she just wanted all American food.  Yes I do have something in common with those girls.

I think the problem started when I was a child.  My mother insisted I drink milk.  I did not  like the taste then and I do not like the taste now.  My mother would put the glass on the table and  I would eat really slowly and hope that she would walk away.  When she left the room I ran to the sink and poured the milk out.  When she served me boiled okra that had so many seeds it was nauseating to look at she would make me sit for long periods of time hoping I would finish my food.  I was a stubborn little kid and it's hard to make someone choke down slimy okra. I sometimes let it slide down my throat but it was not a pleasant experience.  My parents thought no food should be wasted even if it was disgusting.

It is tricky having kids and making sure they eat what is healthy.  I had trouble insisting on vegetables when I am not too fond of them.  I made an attempt to offer the food groups and two of them liked milk.  One son has not liked it since birth which created a special bond among us.

I never realized until recently that there is a support group for picky eaters.  Some people eat only a handful of items.  It is called SED (Selective Eating Disorder).  I wonder if my parents would have felt guilty if they had known about this?  Foods can be eliminated based on texture or aroma?  Also a contributing factor can be color.  That would cover two foods I dislike.  The texture of okra is intolerable as is the color of hummus. Somehow I doubt my parents would have allowed me to participate.

Recently we were offered an incentive program through our insurance at work.  If you exhibit one of the five diseases and follow the requirements of talking to a counselor three times you get $100.  Is that unusual that you will be paid for an illness rather than staying healthy, exercising, and eating right?  Is your information really private?  What if we go to another employer and he has access to one of our diseases?  Since when did employees get rewarded for poor health?

I did enjoy the night James and I waited for In-N-Out Burger for an hour in Frisco after it had been open a few days.  We got in lines of three rows of cars and waited to get in the bigger line that would take us to the window for payment and receipt of food. Burgers are definitely on my acceptable food list but the experience was what we were going for.   It was not really about the burger but was about the feeling you get when you get through the line and actually have the food in your possession. Oh yes the burger was great but we got so much out of the achievement before we got there.  

I saw a sign for Krispy Kreme donuts.  I haven't had one in years.  I thought about how amazing it would be to taste one.  Sometimes after it is consumed you regret it but the act of anticipation is joy. 

I was recently asked by a friend why I had waited for over an hour for the iPhone 4S.  Who wants to wait for something to be delivered weeks later?  We are a "now" society that wants immediate results.  I'm a librarian that wants my articles within minutes.  The same idea applies to waiting for a new iPhone, restaurant, concert,  movie, or club. It is an exciting experience and is about meeting the people and going through the slight inconvenience with the group.  I loved watching the Apple employees run around the line cheering and showing such enthusiasm. The pastries that they served were delicious. When I reached the entrance of the store and was waiting to go in it was like heaven. Even though I had nothing in my hands I had not given up and was about to receive my gift.  Like so many things in life the chase may be better than the reward.