When I was young, I would eat butter from the tub. I did it in secret, if it was out on the table for dinner, I’d quickly stick my gross tiny fingers in it and get a mouthful of sweet, delicious butter–like candy. Childhood nickname: butter licker. Then there was steak marinade. I loved to dip my fingers in that brown liquid holding raw meat. It was the mid 80s and nothing made anyone sick. I tried to drink from the container one day, steadily without dropping raw meat on my face, but everything went wrong and I was found out by the massive shit stain down the front of my shirt. I also used to eat all and everyone else’s pieces of meat fat, my mother saying the habit was “just like my grandmother” and that I’d weigh three hundred pounds one day if I didn’t knock that shit off. To this day, you will catch me licking mayo off knives and spoons.
Nothing used to gross me out.
When Laura and I were hanging out, she taught me about meat alternatives and would only occasionally turn her nose up at what I was eating. I couldn’t imagine maintaining her vegan life; I mean, yeah, I got it, but those animals were dead already, I couldn’t change that, AND I really liked steak. And burgers. And all other meats–ones I hadn’t even eaten before were still on the table! I do admit though, those Tofurky sausages we used to steal were delicious.
Lately, I guess with age, I find myself faced with meat and being completely grossed out by it. It’s mainly the texture, or what I refer to as it being “too wiggly, ” which apparently also has to do with it’s level of cookedness, which isn’t a word. I can’t eat certain parts of a chicken any longer. I used to love lamb–now I can’t eat it unless it’s burnt. And don’t even get me started on pulled pork.
But I’ll still eat a medium rare steak along with most of its fat and be fine.
My husband told me maybe I should be a pescetarian. “But my steaks!” I exclaimed. I wasn’t aware things so base to your make-up, or what I thought was, can change with age like this. It might sound naive to say that, but I don’t know what I was expecting at thirty-five. I can’t drink milk all of a sudden and now I’m allergic to everything and recently started taking osteoarthritis medications. I thought the decline would be more gradual than this.
The decline of my soul.