Wednesday, February 6, 2008

And if you ask me why, I'll say...

I grew up eating only bologna sandwiches for lunch. Lest you think my parents unusually cruel, I will let you know that my father did just about anything to broaden my horizons. My sandwich of choice was just the meat and the bread. It doesn’t get much easier than that (except my brother’s brief stint with ketchup bread, which is disgusting as it sounds.) My dad most often made my sandwich each school night and could be heard frequently asking me, “Are you sure you don’t want cheese this time, or mustard?” Why would he want to complicate a good thing? Although I have broadened my horizons and now enjoy turkey sandwiches with all the fixings (just never mayo), I will only eat a bologna sandwich plain…and sometimes smashed for good measure.
When I was home for Christmas, my parents and I went to a restaurant known for great hamburgers. I ordered mine medium with just cheese and ketchup. “You still do that? You are wasting that hamburger with cheese and ketchup?!” – Yep. Dad again. I’m really ok with my meager selections.

I’m not certain what this says about me, except that my palate must be in want of some new fare. I had carrots, tomatoes, and cinnamon toast for dinner last night (not at the same time). Isn’t that what growing up is all about? Making your own choices because you are in fact, the boss? I’ve really enjoyed that aspect of living on my own. I’m certainly thankful I don’t have to feed anyone else, because I don’t know many others who would have eaten grilled cheese and tomato soup 5 dinners in a row. It was one of those large containers of soup, and I didn’t want it to go bad…so I ate it until it was all gone.

When my friends and I went to Destin, Florida a couple of years ago, we made a rule that every night someone had to ask the group two questions. One was to be serious and the other could be random or funny. So if it was my turn I might ask everyone about the craziest thing they’ve ever done and then who inspires them most. Someone asked the question, “What would you eat at your last meal?” People compiled lavish menus complete with appetizers and Sweet Tea from McAllister’s to lavish deserts from the Cheese Cake Factory.

What if I told you the bologna sandwich made my list? Wait, scratch that. A bologna sandwich with wheat bread and a post it note…inside the sandwich.

I suppose Dad really thought my sandwich needed something. I can’t tell you how many times he would slide a note just above the “meat” stating – Enjoy your lunch, or love you, or something to the effect of “this sandwich is full of bologna, love dad.” I can’t tell you how many times this actually occurred because I would often sit down to dinner and have Dad turn to me and say with a smile, “How was your lunch today?” I wonder how many post-its I’ve eaten in my lifetime. Don’t worry. I got him back a few times. I bet the mayo and mustard did a number on the paper.

The bologna sandwich did not make my last meal list, but it should…if nothing else then to get a note to remind me of who I am and where I come from.

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