Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I like them apples

Occasionally, someone will post this question online: "What should I eat tonight?"

I don't care. Unless this is about us getting together for dinner, I literally could not care less what you decide to eat. And even then, the degree to which I care hinges mostly on where we're going, to ensure that it's a place we'll both like. After all, I do care about what I'm going to eat. Something you shouldn't care about.

Surprisingly (to me), people do care. Very much so. I've been to restaurants with people who insist on going through the menu with me, apparently forgetting that I'm a notoriously picky eater and an introvert. I know what I like. You know what you like. Let's eat!

My attitude about food (apart from that it shouldn't kill you in easily preventable fashion) is one of live and let live. Recently, Jon Stewart did a couple of segments on the Daily Show about which region's pizza was better. And of course, the New York guy favors New York pizza. But he spent most of his time trashing deep-dish Chicago pizza, which seemed excessive. I've enjoyed floppy pizza in New York AND I love deep-dish. There is no right or wrong here.

But the larger premise of Stewart's bit was that New York and Chicago were having a rhetorical fight over which city had the largest skyscraper in America. So it's understandable that he'd mine comedy out of that (and have it well-received by most). But I was straight-up steamed last night when I read this bit of pretentious slop:

Most of this article is the author presenting her narrow tastes as stone-chiseled, universal fact, which is itself deplorable. But these money quotes boost it onto another plane:

"If someone shows up at your Thanksgiving with an apple pie, you should throw them out of your home immediately."

There are people I'd throw out of my home immediately if they showed up on Thanksgiving. Strangers brandishing knives, for example. A friend with an apple pie will be accepted very, very warmly. Why? Because I love apple pie. Hell, even if they bring food I don't like instead, or nothing at all, they're still more than welcome. And not just on Thanksgiving, but any day. Because I'm not a jerk!

But apparently, I have misunderstood why Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday all my life:

"It’s the rarity of Thanksgiving dishes, the fact that we make them but once a year, that makes them taste so wonderful. Apple pie is not a special, seasonal, Thanksgiving-specific food."

Oh. See, I thought it was getting the whole extended family together to eat, watch football and play games. And that it was the one time of the year I was guaranteed to like most of the holiday spread, because I love turkey — a food that, like apple pie, I eat regularly all year long.

But no. Apparently, those good times were all illusions, and I should have chastised my hosts instead for not remaining true to the precise culinary spread mandated by fall, the pilgrims and L.V. Anderson. Duly noted for the future!

Seriously, eat what you enjoy on Thanksgiving, even if it's miles away from tradition. And be thankful you can. If you can't relax and enjoy yourself however you see fit, what's the point?

Life's too short to care what pretentious foodies think you should eat.

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