Falling In Love at a Coffee Shop
I process emotions differently than most people. Like for instance, most of the time, before I become upset, I have to take time to process the events that had taken place. I have to have time to go back and re-visualize what exactly what just happened. Sometimes I’ll re-visualize the same scenario a hundred times. I have to have this time to process. I have to ask questions that begin with ‘what if’ and end with at least trying to see the other person’s perspective. When I’m caught in this in between of a frozen moment, I can tell you I’m fine, smile, and seem like everything’s okay. But inside, I’m numb. Inside, I haven’t allowed myself to process what you just told me. And why do I do this? I guess you could say part of the reason is that I am subconsciously self-conscious about the environment that’s around me and another part is that I’m not quite sure how to feel. Which is a good thing I guess because being in the front line of my over emotional self, there are very few survivors. It’s enough to make more than one man run away with his tail between his legs. So I put up a barrier so I can process my emotions alone, and rationally.
It’s enough to make a woman feel unloved, emotional, obsessed and quite frankly… nuts!
I have a different process of understanding information when I’m learning. Sometimes I’ll be reading a paragraph from a book I’m reading and, just not understand what it means. I’ll put the book down for a few days and subconsciously harp on it till I have that ‘ah-ha’ moment. I’ll subtly ask for second opinions from those around me and keep my eyes open for answer’s. At any given moment, I’m trying to process a hundred different ideas, thoughts and voices within just a day. I just want to know why and how, I just want to understand. I want that ‘ah-ha’ moment.
My ah-ha moment today was about food that loves you back. What? Your probably asking. Food that loves you back? Okay, Sarah, your probably thinking, you actually have lost it. Or maybe you’re not thinking anything and just waiting for me to get on with some cheesy monologue about how we’re all beautiful inside. Sorry, but this trip the train is not stopping there. I don’t really believe food can physically love you back. Or at least not love in the typical sense of the word love. A few years ago I read a book about how French women can take three bites of a dish and be satisfied. While I thought this was a gross exaggeration back then, and I still do, I understood the meaning behind it. When I take sinful bite of chocolate raspberry cheesecake or the first bite into an eclair, I black out into ecstasy. I let every flavor be savored and relished. I swallow and the moment’s gone. For a moment, just a moment, I’m utterly content. Then I want another bite. And another. And another. Eventually I become numb, not completely, but I still search for that sense of completeness I had within the first few bites.
It never happens. Sooner or later, I become full, but not with satisfaction. I don’t feel that love that I had with the first bite. A couple of days ago I read about cultivating a relationship with food. At first I didn’t understand. They wanted me to let food love me back. “Huh?” I thought. I didn’t think they were crazy, I just didn’t understand. I didn’t understand how someone could develop a relationship with food. If anything I thought I needed to break up with food instead of falling in love with it! But, what the hell, I thought. I’m game. I’ll give it a try.
At first I didn’t feel anything different. I felt like me. I didn’t feel like my hot pocket was loving me back and honestly I felt very silly. So I finished my hot pocket in silence while I caught up on my weekly TV shows and tried not to think about how my hot pocket was not in love with me. But what can I say, I’m stubborn. I wanted to understand because I felt like I had a vague notion that deep down inside of me, that I did know what this author was talking about. And because I’m stubborn. Obviously, food can’t physically love me back. I knew that. So I needed a different approach. When I eat a hot dog, or a frozen dinner, I never feel fully full, or satisfied. I feel bloated and full of empty calories. And so I sat back and though. When do I feel satisfied? When don’t I feel bloated and when do I feel contentedly full? And the answer to all of those questions popped up with Chris. Or Chris’s cooking to be more exact.
I feel full around Chris’s food. Maybe I’ll be a cornball and say I can feel the love Chris puts into his food but I think the answer is much simpler than that. Chris cook’s in a way that many of us have simply forgotten, with natural ingredients. He cooks with his soul, and not just in the impatient rush that I’m always in to just eat. When I eat his food, I eat it slowly and I enjoy it. Maybe not the same orgasmic level of a chocolate raspberry cheesecake but enjoyment all the same. I feel like Julia Robert’s in Eat Pray Love when I eat his food. I shake my head back and forth, smile with my eyes closed and make lots of mmmmm’ing noises. I can feel it nourishing my body the way a microwaved hot dog can’t. It’s not a feeling I can justly explain unless of course you’ve felt it. I guess you could ration it off as love. I asked myself, is this what the author meant by food loving you?
But I had to make sure, I had to cover my bases and I had to try this theory again. When my mom asked me if I wanted anything from a fast food restaurant, I said sure, thinking it would be a great opportunity to retry. I had felt nothing with the hot pocket’s and I had to know for sure what food loving you meant. I took the burger, fries and soda upstairs to my room and sat on my bed. I didn’t let my eyes glaze over and forget what I was putting in my body but actually tasted what I was eating. I ate the fries first and besides the unusual blandness I felt nothing. I didn’t feel any love but I didn’t feel well… anything! I tasted icky bland starch but I kept on eating. When those were done I started on the double cheese burger. I was a couple bites in when I realized I had to improvise a new tactic. Instead of waiting for the food to love me, I tried to love it. I took a bite and tried to love it and let it satisfy me the way the cheesecake did. But it never happened. That moment never came. And all I was left with was regret, shame and feeling bloated. I had tried to let the flavors of process meat and cheese satisfy me but in the end, it just didn’t do the job.
Letting the right food love you is like getting a heartfelt hug from a friend who you care about. And trying to make the wrong food achieve the same purpose is like letting a frienemy pick out your wardrobe. I know those are cheesy and weird examples but it’s the best way I know how to describe them. And I know that I need to find a way to make these choices more often. I know now that I need to develop a relationship with food. The rest will play out in time.