Friday, November 19, 2010

Learning to eat all over again

Tonight my obliging husband gave me my first technical hamburger-eating lesson. I was a vegetarian from age ten until I was twenty-three. And yes, if you speak with some of my closest friends, they will divulge stories about me eating hotdogs when I've been drinking too much...but I digress. The point is that I don't have the years of experience that others have. My hamburger eating skills didn't evolve with me as I grew old. The shameful results are that when I indulge in handheld food items, most of it ends up on the table and my lap, some of it ends up in my mouth, and the remainder is smeared on my face. Sometimes when a small child eats they mysteriously end up with food bits in their hair, on their forehead, and in many other unsuspecting places. I am that child. But I'm a twenty-six year-old woman.

After watching me struggle through the first quarter of a hamburger, Luc dispensed some bite-by-bite advice to help me navigate the terrain.

Luc: "OK, start with the left side there."
Me: "Here? OK..." (takes a bite)
Luc: "All right...where do you think you should bite next?"
Me: "Here?"
Luc: "No, that's a common mistake, you have to bite again from this side." (pointing)
Me: (takes an enormous bite) "Ohhhh...." (eyes wide, mouth full, face smeared with food, hamburger still falling to pieces in my hands)
Luc: "OK, take it slow, don't get too excited..."

I think learning to eat hamburgers cleanly in your adult years is like learning new languages. The longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes and the more ridiculous you look when you try.

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