Thursday, August 23, 2012


I find breakfast to be a highly frustrating situation.  It's usually the first decision I have to make for the day.  I do not relish early morning decision-making nor do I relish having to make a meal so soon after rising.  I need time to ponder these things as I am not so much a meal-planning-out kind of girl.  I am more of a "have a general direction I'd like to head and see what happens" kind of girl.  So this early morning scene were I must be reminded of the consequences of being a poor planner and a non-morning person I find rather aggrivating and not at all a pleasant way to begin the day.

I remember those commercials from my childhood for cereal where the announcer told you that the cereal they were advertising was part of a well-balanced breakfast and then they showed you a glass of orange juice and a small plate with a slice of white bread, toasted, with a pat of butter on top and maybe a banana or some other pedestrian piece of fruit surrounding the bowl of cereal.  The implication was "You idiot, no one is asking you to pour a bowl and cereal and think you've made breakfast.  Didn't you hear us--PART OF a well-balanced breakfast." But who lays out a spread like that?  The whole point of cereal is the one-dish preparation. 

So we eat cereal several times a week.  It's my way of keeping the expectations in check around here.  If I scrambled you eggs or made you breakfast cookies yesterday, do not come into the kitchen with a quizzical look on your face wondering what delicacy awaits you this bright morning.  You know.  Are you about to go hoe a field or break some colts? I thought not. So this bowl of wet sweet wheat and/or corn will do you just fine.

I spent the better portion of my life unable to touch wet food.  I have texture issues, many of which linger.  But I've had to get over this one.  I am forced to reach into the disposal to retrieve some utensil or misplaced toy almost daily so I've had to overcome my hesitancy and stifle my gag reflex.  There are still times when I use tongs to probe the nether regions of the disposal but if I can see what I'm going for, I can voluntarily cause my mind to black out for a few seconds and go after the lost item.

Cereal is wet food.  There are not many dishes in which one pours a liquid over something perfectly dry.  And then the race is on.  Because while I can now touch food in the sink that may be wet, I cannot in good conscience eat soggy food.  Incidentally, I can't listen to people eat crunchy food either.  I pour my children's cereal and I walk away.  I urge them to eat it quickly because the soggy cereal fate will soon be theirs if they fail to make haste.  But I can't hang around to offer more direction than that. Because the crunching.  No, say I, to the crunching.

So before 8:00 in the morning, I have to face a decision AND a task AND my psychological issues AND self-doubt AND the crushing reality of the disappointment that accompanies unmet expectations I have of myself as a home manager, mother, and wife.  Not to mention the looming fear of not kick-starting my already less-than-illustrious metabolism by not eating soon enough after waking.  Are you kidding me? 

And doing all this only raises more questions than it answers.  The first of which, of course, is what's for lunch?


Carrie said...

I totally hear you on the breakfast thing. My mom used to throw us a bag of boil in 5 minutes bag of rice for breakfast. Maybe it was just preparation for a future calling? I'm pretty sure it was just super easy and fast. I'm not a cereal fan, so I can commiserate with you there. I have to eat 15 bowls to feel full. Just can't do that anymore.

Patti said...

Someone in my family bought these tiny little demitasse (?) spoons at Ikea a year or so ago, and they have disappeared down the disposal, only to announce themselves with a sickening crunching sound when I tun the disposal on, approximately one thousand times.

It's weird that I've always had issues with chewing sounds too, but the sound of my kids chewing actually pleases me. I think it's because I'm secretly afraid of starving them on any given day, and the chewing is some confirmation that they are not going to waste away.

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