Thursday, January 22, 2015

Self-Deprecation (final)

         German poet, Charles Bukowski once wrote, “Find what you love and let it kill you”. Growing up, this has been a very true statement for me. Loving something to such an extent as this has always been quite easy. Ever since I was very young I’ve had an extremely obsessive personality. I have always loved a lot of things, but I didn’t just love them- I loved them large. So large, in fact, that these things seemed to overtake my life. Take Care Bears for example. When I was about five or six, these small, colorful bears weren’t just more stuffed animals to add to my very large collection. They were my entire life. Everything I owned had to be Care Bear related. Care Bear pencils, Care Bear pillows, Care Bear pajamas, Care Bear blankets, etc. Every time I noticed something associated to Care Bears in a store I would bother and pester my mother until she caved and let me buy it. I would also, regrettably, cause a horrible scene involving screaming, pathetically begging, and crying if she refused my pleas. Onlooking shoppers would stare pitifully at my mother, almost feeling a sense of second hand embarrassment for this poor woman with a baby in a stroller and a red-faced, screaming five year old. But hey, you got to do what you got to do to get that brand new Care Bear look-and-find book.
           My bedroom at my grandmother’s house was another story. Looking back I have to admit the Care Bear comforter and bedding set was a bit much, but at the time it was all I had ever wanted. I was in my glory. Holding a normal conversation with me as a child was seemingly impossible due to all the unnecessary comments about those bears. But, as one would expect, as I grew older, my obsessions grew older with me. I soon ditched the Care Bear phase and moved on to whatever caught my attention at the time. Whether it were animals, certain colors, movies, foods, TV shows, or bands, something was always on my obsessive radar.
            When I was fourteen, I made the choice to alter my dietary habits by picking up vegetarianism. I always have been, and still am, a very big animal lover and the more I thought about it, the more the idea of eating animals distressed me. The solution, in my mind, to save the helpless farm animals of the world was obviously to give up meat eating entirely and go vegetarian. I had pondered my decision for quite some time before making the switch. I spent many moments alone with my thoughts weighing out the pros and cons of a meat-free lifestyle. I kept thinking about all the animals I could spare by not eating meat. Take cows, for example. I love cows. I mean, just look at them. They’re so innocent and helpless. They just stand in fields day in and day out grazing to their hearts content. Killing something so sweet and harmless for the mere purpose of satisfying a hamburger or steak craving seemed merciless in my opinion. I also couldn’t stop thinking about pigs. Have you ever seen Charlotte’s Web? Every time I ate pork or ham the only thing that came to mind was that pig, Wilbur. I just couldn't eat little Wilbur’s anymore. Going vegetarian would mean I could finally go on with my life with a clean conscience.
            However, one con in particular stuck out in my mind. Going meat-less would mean I would have to remove chicken from my diet. And I love chicken. Like really love chicken. I would eat chicken every day and chicken with every meal. The thought of parting with it seemed torturous to me. If this sounds really stupid to you, just think of your favorite food in the entire world and imagine never being able to eat it again. Ever. Are you imagining it? Well, that’s how I felt.
            But, nonetheless, I made my decision to go vegetarian. The switch seemed easy at first until I went out to eat with my family. I can’t remember the restaurant at the moment since the only thing burned into my memory was this: we were seated at a table in a quiet corner of the restaurant. At a table nearby was a kind looking middle aged couple that just got their food delivered to their table. Usually, I’m not one for people watching, but today was different. The woman at that table had ordered a huge plate of chicken parmesan (the man had ordered something completely irrelevant to me). When I saw it, my heart snapped and it felt like someone had thrown a chicken sized brick at my chest. Here I was, vegetarian, sitting directly across from some random omnivorous stranger eating my favorite food in the entire universe. It was unbearable. Call me rude for staring, but I could not stop. A small part of my soul withered away with every bite she took. It was almost like she knew. She knew I had given up meat and she knew I wanted her chicken parm more than I wanted air in my lungs.
            The entire rest of the night was torture as I ate my salad, trying to forget about the chicken eating episode I just witnessed. When I returned home, all I could think about was chicken and how I’d probably never taste it again, seeing to that I kept my vegetarian habits up. Chicken had overtaken my thoughts.
            To make a long story short, and to spare you of any more pathetic details, I quit vegetarianism as one might expect. It took two years of will power and self-control until I caved. My infatuation was too much. I still don’t eat beef or pork, but being able to eat my first chicken nugget since I was fourteen this summer was life changing. 

1 comment:

  1. You have such an interesting blog. Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed reading your posts. All the best for your future blogging journey.