Sunday, July 22, 2012

What the Pho?

I think it’s time we have an open and frank conversation about me and food.  I’m most definitely probably over-thinking this but I’m getting the distinct impression that people feel like they have to cater to what I like to eat.  Like, oh, we can’t go there because Denise might freak out throw a tantrum make funny faces refuse to eat not like it.  And that’s not true because, you see, I’ve changed.  Like in a totally good way!

Look, I admit it.  I have food issues.  Not like Meredith Baxter Birney classic tv movie food issues or anything serious like that.  I, obviously, eat – but it’s homestyle, hearty, processed fare that’s finger lickin’ good.  And that’s just dinner. 
I don’t eat a normal breakfast.  Actually, I’ve never eaten a normal breakfast.  As a kid, I ate Tastykake chocolate cupcakes.  Then there was the period when I ate Chips A'Hoy cookies.  When I got bored with those, I ate two containers of Swiss Miss chocolate pudding.  After that phase, I ate a baked potato with ranch dressing.  Every morning.  Until I graduated.  And guess what?  My pediatrician told my mom that it was okay.  As long as I was eating something, that’s all that mattered.   These days, I prepare myself a heaping bowl of applesauce to start the day.  For those who are wondering, I finally switched to a glass jar.  ‘Cause it’s better for the environment and all.   

Let’s talk about lunch.  I’m weird about sandwiches.  Well, actually, I didn’t think I was weird until just the other day when I heard myself explaining my disgust about squashed sandwiches to a colleague.  The whole explanation sounded weird.  And then I noticed his expression and I realized, oh my gosh, I am weird!  Note to self, delete that information from any online dating profile!  I just, literally, cannot stomach a squashed, soggy sandwich.  All I can say is – thank heavens for the invention of the protective armor of Tupperware!
In the interest of word limits, I’ll spare you a discussion of all of my “texturalist” issues.  Just two words sum them up – rice pudding.    

What’s this all boil down to?  Well, I feel like I’m putting my friends out when it comes to dining choices.  Like a few weeks ago, when my pals met me in the lobby of our building in a totally punctual manner and asked, in a halting, cautious way - "How do you feel about Vietnamese food?"  I half-wondered if they had a conversation on their walk down to meet me 8 minutes late like, "Oh, do you think she’ll go for it?  Ohhh, she’ll make that face.  We don’t want her to say she’ll go but she doesn’t really want to go."  For the record, I have extremely compassionate and kind friends – they would never make me go anywhere that I didn’t want to go.  And they're probably not talking about me on their walk down to the lobby.  Unless they're running late.   

So they asked about Vietnamese food.  And I promptly fell down on the floor, screaming and wailing, and thrashing my legs against the floor and said, “I just don’t know why you can’t meet me on time.” 
No, seriously. 

I was game.  I was nervous.  But I was game.  See, the fact of the matter is – given the choice, I’ll always go to the Boston Markets, Jason’s Delis, Noodles because well, that’s routine and I like routine.  But I don’t mind being pushed into trying new things.  I might panic about it.  And maybe even be overwhelmed by it.  But when it’s all over and done with, I’m usually happy that I’ve tried eaten done it. 
Which is how I felt when I ended up in a Vietnamese restaurant on a hot July day being guided through the process of  eating pho.  Pho.  Which is not pronounced “do-re-me-fa-so-la.”  Nor is it said like “fe-fi-fo-fum.”   Or like “Foo Fighters.”  No.  Pho.  Like “fugettiaboutit.”  Or “what the fu…dgescicle?!”     

I gotta admit - I didn't use chopsticks.
What the pho is the big deal about pho?  Well, not much really.  It’s soup with noodles and beef.  (Granted, I probably had a tame version).  It certainly wasn’t cringe-worthy or fear-inducing and I don’t think I made any faces.  I would definitely eat pho again.
In fact, I think the next time we all want a break from the regular routine, I’ll tell my compassionate, kind pals that we should go for some Vietnamese food because it’s a good day for some pho.

1 comment:

  1. I hate rice pudding. It's high on my list of texturalist issues, too. And ricotta cheese. And water chestnuts.