#47 When You Grow Up Poor…

…food is fuel. Thats it. You grow up eating such a small variety of foods that your pallet adapts and becomes what you call a “trailer pallet”. This means that things don’t taste exquisite, or delectable, or earthy, or splendid, or umami. What the hell does that even mean? Food taste good or it tastes not good. So for a while you’ll have a skewed view of what great food tastes like. In your mind the three best restaurants in the country are Chili’s, Boston Market, and the creme de la creme….Red Lobster (Curiously enough, when you’re poor, Applebee’s still sucks).

You’ll sit around a table at a Texas Roadhouse at your friend’s birthday party in high school wishing more than anything that you had a Nokia cell phone to call your parents and ask them to bring you the five dollars in your piggy bank you’ve been saving so that you can afford the New York strip meal like everyone else. Instead you have to buy the !@$%ing Cobb salad. You keep asking the waiter to refill the free rolls basket. He does. But there are 10 people at this table. You hesitate but then give him and ask him if he can bring more than one basket. He does. Its not enough. You tug on his shirt sleeve and beckon him to lean down so you can whisper to him. “Hey man, could you bring like one basket just for me? Is that okay? Please? Please?” He looks at you funny but brings one out anyway. You get your damn Cobb salad and the girl across from you asks you how you like it. Your mouth is full and you put your finger up and start trying to push whats in your mouth down your throat because the girl is pretty. While you struggle she says “my steak is medium but I ordered medium rare. It a bit overdone but the horseradish gives it a tangy kick thats just irresistible.” You swallow. You blink. She is now not pretty anymore. “So how’s the salad?” You pause. “Its good”. She asks you what kind of dressing you got – house, raspberry balsamic, or cilantro ranch? “I don’t know” you reply. Thats the end of that conversation.

When you grow up you still can’t stand people talking about their food while they eat it. Just eat your damn food! It there! Right in front of you! Why are you talking about it. Just eat it. And when someone asks you how your food is your blood boils a little every time as you smile and say “Good.”

Its quantity over quality. Every time. Thats why Golden Corral exists. Thats why chocolate drizzled cotton candy exists. The chocolate gives the fluffy airiness of the cotton candy an irresistible, but subtle kick.

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