Wednesday

Posted: November 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

It’s been longer since I last posted than I intended.  I’d planned to write at least one entry over the Thanksgiving weekend, and then I got caught up in trying to deal with the holiday and actively avoided anything even vaguely resembling self-reflection.  (It’s easier to get through emotionally weird situations if you’re not thinking damn, this is an emotionally weird situation.)

My family is notoriously bad at celebrations.  We’re mostly split into the American holidays are a construction of the retailers and everything has to be perfectgoddamnperfect! camps. When I was about 10, it started to seem to me that the actual holiday wasn’t worth the full week of stress and anxiety and just generally feeling shitty about myself.  I’ve woken up with rashes (with absolutely no physical precedent…I just psychosomatically willed my body to react) before several family holidays, and have now, not once but twice, knocked my own ribs out of place.  (Hurts like a motherfucker, by the way.  Every time you move it reacts, and every time you breathe, your ribs move).

And Thanksgiving is a weird holiday for someone with food issues.  I stopped eating meat when I was 11, and I found nothing more traumatic as a young vegetarian than opening the fridge to find a naked, dead-ass turkey staring at me.  It wasn’t that I’d never seen one before, but that year I’d stopped thinking about it as food and started thinking about it as a dead animal.  (I remember this story more than the actual event…because thank gods, my powers of repression are in good working order…but one year right around then, my dad’s mom came over to our house with two live turkeys and proceeded to kill, pluck, and disembowel them in our backyard.  We were already rocking the WASPy, everybodybefuckingnice! suburban house of horrors thing…we didn’t really need a poultry snuff film happening outside).  Once I was old enough to start making my own versions of holiday food, we had vegetarian food and normal food.  Like I needed the reminder that I’m not normal.

But, in all the stress and anxiety and therapy-fodder, I missed the idea that we’re tribal creatures, and cyclical creatures.  I mean missed in the sense that I didn’t understand it for the longest time, and that part of my understanding was incomplete without it.  We’ve been marking time on the calendar with the seasons for thousands of years, and 50 years of over-commercialization can’t erase that.  I really do think we need harvest festivals, and solstices, midsummer nights and days of the dead to connect us to the earth.  We don’t need to be farther removed from our food; we don’t need to have more layers of plastic, and corn by-products, and radiation, between us and what keeps us going.  We need to know, intellectually and emotionally, that it comes from the dirt, the sunshine and the rain, and we need to take moments to remember why, for thousands of years, we were thankful to have it.

Greek yogurt, strawberries, coffee, creamer.  Homemade chili.  A banana and peanut butter (a combination I alternately adore and am disgusted by).  Veggie fried brown rice with broccoli, onion, red pepper, mushrooms, two eggs and olive oil.  And a glass of whole milk, one of my favorite things in the world, after my workout.  $4.77 for the day.

 

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