Guest Post by Ann Marie Steib
I’m at a point in my life where the word “transition” defines every facet of my day-to-day existence. I’m going to graduate from college on Saturday. Then I’m moving to a new city (good ol’ Saint Louie) to start a new job. In the process, I’m leaving behind a lot of people that mean the world to me. This is all happening within the next twelve days. Did I mention I also have to pack up my entire apartment?
Becoming an adult is hard—for the obvious reasons, of course, but also because I have a lot of shoes and I don’t know how I’m going to fit them in the U-Haul. It’s also meant that I’ve needed to do a lot of self-reflection. There are really only two things that matter: the people who make me happy and the memories I share with them. As it turns out, a lot of those memories involve food.
Food is an important part of life. We eat it with the people we love. So, here you have it, folks: the most important foods I’ve eaten at “transitional” times in my life.
Hands in the air if you had a favorite food that you ate for your birthday. Or if you won an award. Or when your mother wanted you to stop screaming (mine was usually this one). Spaghetti carbonara is the most cheesy, eggy, bacon-y pasta dish in the world. If you had told me it cured cancer when I was a little kid, I would have believed you.
When I was in elementary school, I had hideous braces and I hated smiling. My mom would give me ice cream for breakfast on picture day in exchange for some semblance of a smile in my school photo. It might have been a hideous grimace that perfectly matched my bowl cut (thanks, parents), but it worked.
When I was about to start high school, I decided I had a chip on my shoulder and had something to prove. I was going to start my freshman year, land a cool senior boyfriend, and be prom queen when I was only a sophomore. In reality, I was first chair saxophone in band and probably ate too many cupcakes. (I did get that boyfriend, though.) Anyway, most of my predictions for myself didn’t really pan out, but I did finally learn how to make a real meal when I was 14—fajitas. It sounds silly (grilling vegetables and chicken is not a game, people!), but I also made homemade tortillas and salsa. Womanhood, I had arrived. Hear my roar and pass the diced jalapeños.
I experimented with alcohol in high school, but I had never really been drunk until my first night at college. Not only did I not make it back to my own dorm (thanks for the futon, Bridget!), but I also experienced “drunchies” for the first time. That’s when I heard about Ian’s, that Holy Grail of hunger. Smokey the Bandit, I love you. We’ve had a beautiful four years together.
You know you’ve become an adult when you eat a beet salad and it tastes good. Same goes for eating kale chips, enjoying a finely-aged whiskey, or ordering the fish special in a restaurant. You’re an adult now, and so is your palette. Suck it up and pay your taxes.
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