FOOD and I have always had a love-hate relationship. I love eating but hate the excess fat that comes from consuming too much calories.
This might explain my borderline-OC behavior to meet my exercise schedule (sweat is fat crying out after all). It’s vicious cycle almost akin to an Austin Powers villain who-shall-not-be-named where I attempt to stay fit to eat more, but eat more because I think I’m already fit.
My grandparents were the first ones to educate me on the joys of eating well. In fact, as a kid, the only two things that had an unlimited budget was food and books. My grandparents probably took this from the Chinese tradition of making sure people have enough to eat as a matter of hospitality. They didn’t take into mind that “enough” for me was about two servings for regular people, but my chubby childhood is another story.
It turned out to be one of the ways they showed their love and affection for their grandkids. Whenever we had to celebrate something, it was reflex action to want to eat somewhere good instead of having them buy us things. As such, to this day, eating out is one of the few, precious ways we grandkids have to be able to bridge the generation gap and connect with our grandparents.
I’ve also had a few relatives shake their heads at how my brothers and I spend for food “enough to feed an army” while telling us that it’s all going to end up as waste, eventually (I’m paraphrasing). Well and true, but as the iPhone and Android wars are showing us, there’s always a new release that threatens to make our current phones obsolete and scrap. Enjoying food, glorious food, is more than just material gain. There’s something almost spiritual when you bite into a one-of-a-kind dish and try to put into words what you’re feeling.
I guess that’s why I’ve always been gastronomically inclined. Food, for me, is a form of connection, and sitting together to share and partake of it reinforces this connection and allows people to put their guards down. The same can be argued for people who like to watch movies together or play sports as a team. There’s no one-size-fits-all scheme for making friends after all.
It’s completely up to you how you make memories and appreciate them enough to make them stay. For me, it’s always started and ended with food, glorious food, and is a love-hate relationship that I believe I will pass down to my own kids when I finally have them.
How do you connect best with people?