Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My Stomach & Mind Conspire Against Me

The other day, my boss needed someone to take a drive to a remote account. I used to cover that area, so I put up my hand. I have fond memories of that area. So, I head on up to take care of business.

I get up there, and notice that the place is a pit. I guess it always has been. As I'm driving around, looking for the address, I notice restaurants, taco stands, and burger joints. They bring back fond memories. I love these places. I used to eat here a lot.

Suddenly, I'm painfully reminded about how my life used to revolve around food. I found such pleasure in eating. Good food, certainly. But, there's something to be said for the "Worlds' [sic] Best Pastrami" or a great burrito served in the same little joint that whips up burgers, teriyaki, and a good gyro. You know the place. There's one around every corner.

So, here I am, 75 miles from home, but now aware that I'm here because of a fond feeling that I wish I could have left behind. Permanently.

I find the address. But, before I head in, it's time to eat. All of these great food choices are calling me, but instead of the gyro that I smell, I grab a Diet Coke in a drive-thru and park in the shade. Instead of the gyro that I would love to eat, I grab a handful of raw veggies and some hard boiled eggs from my cooler.

It's not really that the gyro would be all that much tastier. I love eggs and vegetables. But, somehow there was a feeling of comfort associated with the old foods that is lacking in the new ones. I haven't fully worked it out yet, but I'd like to think I have a new outlook on food. That I no longer turn to food for comfort or stress relief.

Unfortunately, if I'm correct, these good foods will never be able to overpower the feelings associated with the old foods. I can live with that, I guess. Life is full of plenty of other things to be passionate about. Healthier things.

In a strange, almost ironic twist, I still have a passion for cooking great food. It's not the cooking or the eating of the food that does it for me. It's the enjoyment that others get from the food. Particularly when that other is a woman. It's a healthier and more satisfying passion, but when I think on it, I almost feel like a drug pusher. After all, my goal is to stimulate an emotional response in the person for whom I'm cooking. That was my whole issue. Gotta be good and cook healthy food, I suppose...

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