The waiter described the kale pizza appetizer as "earthy, like dirt." Moments later, he brought a warm yeast ball for the table. After tasting and describing the dough ball as both "warm" and "yeasty," the couple left their vegan hell for Philly cheese steaks. This, from the first date scene in the movie, "Baby Mama."
My hub made us watch the scene three times, laughing louder each time. I think he had tears in his eyes by the third viewing, and not because Tina Fey is so joyfully funny. No, those tears were droplets of pain, raining down on my hubby and his whole way of life.
A mere three weeks ago, I embarked on a journey home. Not home to my roots, roots (which have been dyed for many years now, hardy har), but to college and the few years following, when I was infatuated with a vegetarian and his worldview. For a solid four years, I was a strict vegetarian. Not vegan, mind you, because butter and the layers it creates in croissants have always been too precious to me.
Anyhoo, back then, I rejected my brother's offer to mail elk meat to me, and instead subsisted on a diet of apple slices and Colby cheese. Later, when I was raking in the cash on my public school teacher's salary, I was satiated by all of the logs of bread I produced from my newly purchased, and beloved, bread machine.
I was still going strong with acorn squash Thanksgivings and iceberg lettuce taco salads by the time I met my husband. Slowly, methodically, he brought me to the dark side (he also convinced me that a natural crystal is not effective at fighting body odor). I believe he views the process as an evolution that culminated in my consuming an entire petite steak at a fancy steak house last August, complete with sides.
Like an addiction one is trying to resist, I started slow. Shrimp on the barbie to please my future mother-in-law, snow crab on sale (crustaceans were always my weakness), and salmon, because the rows and rows of the pink stuff called to me from the Costco aisles. Later on, turkey sandwiches became a fave because they were just so darn efficient, and then eventually, poultry and pork chops every night because that's the only way my barely-on-the-growth-chart children could get their protein, right?
Hub was on cloud nine. Dinner was on the table when he got home from a hard day at work, and the food was worth eating. All that changed the day I came across my latest diet fad and the completely reasonable food consumption philosophies of those little ladies who wrote the lifestyle book, "Skinny Bitch" (SB). The SB authors advocate an organic vegan lifestyle for "savvy girls who want to stop eating crap and start looking fabulous!" Looking back, it's clear that I was an easy mark. I want to be a skinny minnie. I read and believed "Fast Food Nation." "Super Size Me" sufficiently grossed me out. SB's stories of lambs' feet frozen to the floor of their transport vehicle on the way to slaughter and other similar horrors, spoke to me. I don't want to consume grief and chemicals (it's terrible what they do to those poor Diet Coke cans).
Anyway, the moment I finished skimming the book, my decision was made. No more meat for me. Except for maybe the occasional crustacean. On my birthday, or when they're on sale. My decision extended to the meals I was to prepare in the home. I enjoy cooking. I spend hours doing it (and cleaning it up). I wasn't about to cook two separate meals, or go back to surviving on apples and cheese while the family enjoyed a rib eye that I had grilled and carved. No. Lentils, navy beans, fava beans, split peas, garbanzo beans - you get the picture - immediately became fixtures in our home.
Hub wasn't pleased. After a couple of days of hub brooding and pushing food around the plate, we had a throw-down. Lentils and brown rice were scattered everywhere. No, not really. We just yelled at each other. A lot. He said some honest, but somewhat brutal things that brought me back to questioning my housewife existence. I said I need him to support my choices. Ultimately, he said that he did. We decided that he is experiencing a mourning period over the meat. We also decided that he needs to make some more friends up here, so he doesn't have to vent to me about me.
So, now it's a week later, and we're joking about it. But I don't think I can ever serve him that yeast ball. Kale pizza, however - with a side of sausage - might make an appearance before the new diet book winds its way down to the bottom of my nightstand.