September 27, 2014
My assignment today is to write about a favorite childhood meal. The twist is to tell the story in my own distinct voice. This could be fun…
My mom is the best cook, period. No, seriously, my mom is the best cook, ever. So,having to pick just one favorite childhood meal is difficult at best. Instead, I am going to try and explain the connection between me and food.
In my family, the Alex Zubia family, food is our legal tender. In fact, food is so powerful to our populace, that it has never lost its value. Over the years, Food has evolved into a member of our family, with the same rights and responsibilities as every other individual. Food is both our strength and our Achilles’ heel.
Growing up, Food always received more attention than I did, even when I was the one making it. By age 9 or so, my sister and I were making homemade tortillas for our large family of 10. Mercy would usually roll out, shape, and watch the tortillas on the griddle, while I was tasked with making the masa (the dough). To this day, I can assure you that my 6 younger siblings do not remember that I made quite a few of our tortillas. However, I can also assure you that they remember how good they tasted. Upstaged by Food.
I can’t say that I blame my siblings for celebrating the tortillas and not me. Food was the golden child in our household, it could do no wrong. Food was never distasteful, I was. Food was never too salty, I was. Food was never so sweet that Dad would ignore its shortcomings, I was. And Food never made you sick to your stomach, unless of course, you forced it to.
I had a love/hate relationship with Food. I loved to eat Food, but I was jealous of all the attention it garnered. One day, I had simply had enough. As we sat down to dinner, I was overcome with joy at even the smell of Mom’s spaghetti. I was going to eat, eat, eat, eat, eat. I was going to eat this Food until I couldn’t eat no more. And I did. And when I couldn’t eat anymore Food, I threw-up the Food. It was one of the most euphoric feelings in the world. I mean it was disgusting! Thus began my road to bulimia and eventually, anorexia.
During my love/hate period (bulimia), I still didn’t receive the attention I believed I so richly deserved. The focus was always on Food. That of course is not true. But, in my overtaxed brain, I believed it. And everyone can see (now) that my love/hate relationship with Food would eventually lead to my simply hating Food (anorexia). And it did, lead to my simply hating Food. But did my family hate Food because it was making me sick (in the head)? Nooooo, Food was still the golden child in our family.
Several years and several hospital stays later, Food and I have reached a detente. I have been forced to ease my hostility toward Food, if only for my health. Food still holds sway over most of my remaining siblings, however. Hell, who am I kidding, it still holds sway over me, as well. What can I say? Food is our family’s golden child. Food is a member of our family. Food, why that’s the name of my third sister. Peace, ~v.