There are, to be sure, many amazing things to be found and felt in this world. They run the gamut of the internet, instant mashed potatoes, the changing of the seasons, Trader Joe’s, public libraries, childbirth, Randy Jackson’s America’s Best Dance Crew, modern medicine and the all-knowing, omnipotent Perez Hilton, to name a few. But perhaps one of the most amazing things that can happen is when one realizes the truth of the adage “You learn something new everyday.” In my own recent experience, I have found that this “something new” actually relates back to myself, making my realized adage “You learn something new about yourself everyday.”
It is true that it bothers me when the kitchen floor sticks and crunches like that of a fraternity house. And never have I been a fan of the rain when it soaks my pant legs up to the knee and makes my socks wet, squishy and cold inside my shoes. Stop and go traffic unsettles my stomach. But never would I have imagined the way my skin would crawl every time my housemate makes a seemingly so innocent comment about my dinner choices.
From Monday to Thursday night, it is a great race to get through the week efficiently and quickly with as little harm as can be managed. It can be tough squeezing in all the things one needs to do, wants to do, talk about, hang out with, see, enjoy and partake in. One solution I have found to help in this balancing act that is known as the work week is my perfection of “quick fix” meals. Although they are quick and easy and ready in the wink of an eye, they are by all means true meals offering great nutritional value, achieving the right balance of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, you name it. At least this is what is promised to me on the sides of information-delivering packaging.
A meal in the heart of India? Instantly transport yourself with Naan and bengal lentils in 10 minutes! Looking for more variety? Spice things up with near-instant pad thai with veggies and peanut sauce over the stove. With such a wide offering of such tremendous, flavorful, nutritious cuisines, Trader Joe’s ready-t0-eat and easy-to-prepare foods can hardly be considered your run of the mill frozen TV dinners.
My housemate disagrees. Every night there is hovering. And every night, as he hovers while I cook, he asks questions, too many questions — “What’s that? Is that that bread thing you made the other day? What’s that white stuff? I’ve never seen that before. Whatcha making? Whatcha having? You eat weird things.” And always, always, his barrage ends with some variation of “You really like frozen foods don’t you?”
As happy and grateful as I am for the research and development team at Trader Joe’s, this one question has the ability to ruin it all for me. But it’s OK because at least I now know this about myself, that this nightly question is a trigger for ruining a night’s meal.
I see no other way around this problem than the solution I have come up with — I will just have to have a t-shirt made. It will come in a neutral color and will match the rest of my wardrobe. I will simply point down at my shirt and will no longer need to brace myself in preparing to answer calmly. I will just point down to the front which will say “Yes, I am making naan again. That white thing is tofu. And p.s. the answer from last night is still the same — yes, I like “frozen foods (if you can even call it that).””