Oh no, Sugarbear, it's fine. I'll just put some flax on it.

5 years ago
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 We bought a bad cantaloupe the other day, my friends. Let me set a few things out for you for context:
1.       I love cantaloupe.
2.       As a resigned reluctant executive vegan, cantaloupe is one of the only fruits that will fill me up at breakfast time and holy-crap-on-a-crayfish is that important.

3.       Cantaloupe is my third favorite food-thing about summer.
(Note: They go in this order:  1. Sweet corn      2. Tomatoes     3. Cantaloupe)

4.       Did I mention I love cantaloupe?

Now, when the cantaloupe is any of the following, it is bad: 

a.       Mushy
b.      Pale
c.       Bitter
d.      Sour
e.      Fizzy (That happened to me once. I swear.)

The cantaloupe we purchased the other day was cursed with not one, not two, but all five of the above-mentioned flaws.
ME: This cantaloupe is bad. Like, really, really bad.
CARTER: [tasting] Ech, that’s awful. You’re not wrong, babe.
(Note: Carter is incapable of ever saying I’m right. It would require him to concede some deep manly masculine thing within him. So how does he skirt this? By telling me I’m not wrong. They are not the same thing. Being right is not the same as being “not wrong.”)

CARTER: Should we throw it out?
ME: I hate to waste it. They’re not cheap.
CARTER: Well I’m not gonna eat that thing.
ME: [sighing] I’ll just put some flax on it.
Alright kittens, this is where my life narrowed into focus.

( Before I share this epiphany with you, I need to clarify that I do not, nor will I ever, call Carter "Sugarbear." It just looked damn good in the font on my header. I'll never tell you what I really call him. So please stop harassing me via email, text, and tweet requesting that information.  Now, continuing...) 

You know that you have made a dietary and habitual shift of grand proportions when you can resign yourself to salvage terrible produce by “putting some flax on it.” Not putting some chocolate on it. Not drizzling some of that there cheese whiz (pronounced dat  dayer chayze weeuz). Not even putting some salt on it.

No, thank you, world. I’ll put some flax on it.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the next morning the cantaloupe was so awful that I just picked the flax out and left the fruit. 
This, my friends, is veganism. 
I have vegan friends and acquaintances who are graceful, patient vegans who compost, swoon at the sight of ripe heirloom tomatoes, and are reduced to quivering masses of horror at the site of bacon. 
If you could not tell, I am not one of those vegans. I sit comfortably at the opposite side of the spectrum. I am a vegan who is grossed out by worms (grossed out, not terrified. Though I used to be terrified.), who once made a swizzle stick for an Old Fashioned out of a strip of extra crispy bacon (I miss my old life), and who knows the mechanics of field dressing. (As in cutting open a deer. Not a balsamic vinaigrette made in nature)

(Note: You can find that shit on YouTube! Let me clarify. I am not one of those crazy weirdos that sit at home watching field dressing videos like they’re porn. No. A character in my novel hunts and I couldn’t very well say something like, “And in the brisk, autumn air, John prepared his deer.”)

(Addendum to Note: OK. I guess I could have said that. But it was so much richer with 3 paragraphs of description. Eh? Eh?)

(Addendum to Addendum: Hey. Those field dressing skills will come in very handy after the apocalypse. Y’all will be out there fighting to the death over the last Twinkie and can of Beanie Weenie while Carter and I will be roasting a leg of deer on a spit over a roaring fire. Medieval, right? Duh. And I probably won’t be vegan in that case simply because if it’s the apocalypse, the only thing that will be calming my nerves enough to not dive into the ocean shrieking “Rapture!” will be the bacon. You can make deer bacon, right? They’ve managed to make it out of tofu. I’m sure I could make it out of deer. Sorry.Venison.) 

This weekend, my mom asked me if I would stay vegan forever. And I had to think about that. 
ME: Well, I think I’ll go back to eating eggs. And probably fish. But I don’t think I’ll eat meat or dairy again.
DAD: So you’re not eating anything that had feet. Good goal!
ME: Well… crabs have feet. If a Dungeness Crab fell in my lap right now, steamed with a lemon wedge, I would say “buh-bye veganism.” Unfortunately… or fortunately, there is no crab. So… hello, veganism?
DAD: Good point. Crabs have feet. Asdo shrimp and lobsters.
ME: Mmmmm. Lobster.
CARTER: You realize you’re like the worst vegan ever. You huffed my bacon the other day like it was a sharpie and you’re getting more turned on by the thought of eating shellfish than you get by me.
ME: So what if I’m the worst vegan ever? You’re not very supportive. 
[My dad has been mulling this entire time. Which is good, because “turned on” is never a word fathers want to hear used in the same sentence with their daughter. …unless it involves lights. Or the coffee maker. Carter is also a huge exaggerator. I was not huffing the bacon, I was smelling it deeply. And I was not turned on by the thought of seafood. Bacon on the other hand...]

DAD: EARS! That's it! You won’t eat anything that had ears!
ME: What about corn?
DAD: They’re not really ears, Kit. You know that, right?
ME: Hey, I’m the one who’s gonna have to justify this to everyone! I need to have my bases covered!
DAD: Fair enough. What does everyone want for lunch?
ME: Lobster.
CARTER: Worst. Vegan. Ever.

He’s not wrong.

Happy Wednesday, y’all!





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