They'll Have Theirs, And You'll Have Yours, And I'll Have Mine, And Together We'll Be Fine, Because It Takes Diff'rent Strokes To Move The World
I was talking to Patrick the other day and he mentioned that at one of his baseball games he spotted someone who he thought may have been a former co-worker. That got us talking about how you run into people from your past in the strangest places. I mean--I could see running into a former classmate coming back for a visit to your hometown at the same time you're visiting. That happens all the time and is nothing truly out of the ordinary. But to see someone you know when you're fifty or hundred miles from anywhere the two of used to frequent sometimes scares the beejeezus out of me, especially when that former acquaintance has suddenly taken it upon themselves to rally behind a cause you simply do not share any interest in.
A few months back, I was up in Memphis on a girls' night out. Stephanie was there, of course, as well as some of the friends we share in common. It wasn't any big deal; we mostly went up to sample the simply heavenly barbecue joints up there. As any of you who know me personally, I am a big afficianado of barbecues. I grew up eating my daddy's world-famous (okay, maybe family-famous) barbecued chicken and his even more famous baby backs. I love them. Now, I've never been one of those health-conscious freaks who shy away from indulgent foods. I don't over-indulge, but if a woman is going to celebrate a night out on the town with her friends, she best do it in style. I don't much see the point in going to an expensive grill joint and ordering a soup and salad. That'd be like going to Hawaii and spending your whole time in the airport. When I go to Memphis it's for one thing, to act like a hog (a dainty hog by all respects, but a hog nonetheless).
Well, after a particularly extravagant all night escapadee of drinking and stuffing ourselves, I still hadn't shaken off my hankering for choice meats. I went down to breakfast with Stephanie and one of our other friends and immediately asked for my absolute all-time favorite breakfast meal. Steak and eggs.
what might be right for you, may not be right for some
I don't order it all the time, but I order it enough for people, including my husband and best friend Stephanie, to know that I have grown rather fond of ordering it, especially when out on vacation. Now on their menu at this restaurant right across the street from out hotel was something I had never seen before. Instead of the regular T-Bone Steak and Eggs, this wonderful place actually had on their menu Tri-Tip Steak and Eggs (not pictured above). As much as I love T-Bones, I must say I have always been rather sweet on a good tri-tip. I ordered it with a zealous glee, as Stephanie can attest to.
She and I were busy talking while they prepared our breakfasts when someone I thought I would never see again ever came sauntering to our table. Nicola Lisle, a former fellow paegenteer spied me from halfway across the room and decided to catch up on all times. She looked exactly the same. It was as if time had stretched out her legs, rounded out her chest, and smudged the face a bit, but had otherwise preserved the girl I knew from fifteen years prior. She looked amazing. Her secret, I was to find out, was a strict regiment of exercise and the kicker, of course, was a unwavering adherance to a vegetarian lifestyle.
Now I'm normally a very pleasant individual to be around. I receive compliments on fair-headed and even-tempered I can be in the most frustrating circumstances. I don't get stressed out easily and I can laugh at myself when I've done something foolish. In short, it takes a lot to get me uptight about anything. But, let me tell you, if there is one thing I cannot abide it's being told how wrong I am. I've learned to accept people are going to have a difference of opinion. I've come to grips with the fact I'm not going to change most people's minds. I just don't understand why other people find these simple truths to be so difficult to grasp.
"Don't you know what those poor cows are subjected to?"
"Don't you care that you're effectively shortening your life by up to fifteen years, Breanne?"
"Don't you realize it takes four days for your body to effectively burn up all the calories in one twelve-ounce steak?"
What I wanted to come back with was:
"Well, a cow never saved my life so I don't feel especially remorseful about not saving a cow's life."
"Well, those fifteen years are towards the end when I'm decrepit and probably too tired to do anything anyway."
"Four days? Is that all? Hell's bells, I've got about two weeks of vacation where I'm just sitting on my lily-white ass all day. That means--don't help me now--I can order about two more steaks, lay around for two weeks, and still manage to burn them off. Thanks for the tip, Nicola!"
But what I actually said was, "Wow, I never knew that." Like I said, I'm too polite to ever point out the fact she was chasing away my bliss. I ask you, who condemns a woman at the breakfast table? What kind of sick and twisted person actually has to go clear across a crowded restaurant for the solitary reason of badmouthing the food? As long as I live I hope I never run into that foul woman again in my life.
Stephanie had a hoot and a half. She had wisely chosen to steer clear of all meat products and ordered herself a plate of fruit chased down by a class of grapefruit juice. While I was being grilled over the coals by Miss "Save God's Precious Little Creatures" herself, Steph got to maintain that she was a born-again virgin when it came to the consumption of meat products. As much as I tried to insinuate that my good friend was just as complicit when it came to chowing down on all the animals of the Earth, nothing could dissuade Nicola from ripping me a new one.
I just sat there, trying to be nice. I even capitulated to trying harder next time to avoid the sins of the flesh-eating.
I admire people who are trying to better themselves by maintaining a healthier lifestyle. So far, though, my doctor hasn't discovered any major health risks. I'm in no danger of keeling over in five years. If I enjoy partaking of some rich, sweet ribs now and again, please don't condescend to me and tell me I'm committing slow suicide. It's not like I'm going over to your table of whole-grain wheats and steamed vegetables, and biting into a live buffalo. People derive pleasure from different sources. Some may get their high off of seeing how healthy they can push themselves to be.
And some of us honestly are trying to break the record for most ribs consumed in one sitting.
I have weeks and months to eat healthier. If three or four times a month I get a craving for a nice filet mignon or even some brisket, there ain't no one who's ever going to talk me down off of my fix. I'd sooner lick a sow's behind than give up barbecue entirely.
"I'ze Gotsta Havit!"