>Where We Find Each Other

>I love to watch people eat.
Not gawking awkwardly at strangers or constantly asking someone, “How is it!? Is it okay? What could be better!?”

I just like to watch people fill their bellies…and appreciate it.
There’s just something unholy about eating crap to get full. Granted, we all do it because we’re busy or bored or waiting on our next paycheck to come through.

But there’s something odd about shoveling food into our mouths like cattle in a field. There’s no thanks, involved. There’s no gratitude to the ones who cooked our food (which hopefully more than others, should be yourself..) and more importantly, the ones who grow our food.

There’s this odd sinking feeling whenever I drive through a fast food line, which just rarely happens these days. But it does happen. Usually…it’s Popeyes. That stuff is like crack! Not that I’ve had crack, but I’m assured it’s heavily addicting and bad for you – So yeah, the same as fried chicken. 😀 But I do love the stuff.
Back to the drive-thru.
There’s not much in that food…well, as far as love and passion goes. In other ways, there’s a lot in that food. But, I don’t want to go there for the sake of my own bad habits of the fast food world. And when I say fast food, I might as well include most supermarket produce and meat. It’s all generally done by the same philosophy as fast food.

When someone hands me a bag through a window…I know it’s probably going to taste good [momentarily]. But the folks at the window do this for a living. They don’t care about the food their stuffing into paper bags…as long as it pays a few bills, they’ll be doing it and I don’t blame them a bit. Why should they care? Most people I have known that work in fast food never actually eat the stuff they serve. They know…they know.

My short stint at Wendy’s was a glorious expedition of most things unholy.
A good friend at the time got me a job there. I was stoked to wear the hat and shirt. On my second day, I got yelled out right after finishing my training video to tuck in my shirt. The heat was on.
I was hurriedly trying to open a massive amount of pickles with a big knife and nearly cut my pinky off. Then I got stuck on drive-thru burger assembly.
This meant, I had to call out to a guy on the grill making burgers, “Single!” or “Double” and yes, “Triple!” – and said so in my shaky adolescent tone. Apparently the guy at the grill had been in jail for some time and I didn’t feel the need to ever offend his ears.
After almost getting stuck in the walk-in refrigerator, I was done. I came home to my mom discouraged and in tears. I couldn’t handle it. I had such a sensitive heart and an odd history of people I rarely knew personally yelling into it. You feel flawed and unnatural. Perhaps I should have given it more time…
I’m glad I didn’t.

I say all of that, to remind myself of what food represents. Culture. History. Comfort. Familiarity. Mom.
The cooks love to watch others enjoy their food. If you have ever eaten in a village, or have been invited to eat with a family who can hardly afford to feed themselves…you will understand their need to watch you eat…and enjoy it! They love to keep adding rice to your plate….and I love this. Of course, I have been made fun of for not finishing my own plate and regretfully having to push it aside…[Ex. “You eat like Village woman!] I understand now, that I need to finish. There’s respect and honor in finishing that plate. Dignity and Pride.

Anytime I have someone not finish something I cook…or turn down an offer, I feel a bit offended. I’m not sure why.
They may be vegetarian or vegan or really healthy – but, I just feel out of place. Like, I have offended them by cooking…it’s an odd feeling. And maybe it’s something I need to get over. Maybe.
Maybe not.

Either way, we find love in our food. We find respect and at those most important times, we find each other.
Sitting across the table. Sharing a story; sharing a life.

sharing in each other

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