I am a messy eater.
Growing up, I was allergic to tomato sauce - though not in the way you'd think. You see, I used to break out in hives not when I ate tomatoes sauce - but when it came in contact with my face...which turns out, was a lot. So much so that I though I was internally allergic to tomatoes for years and years after growing out of the allergy.
Much to my mother's dismay, I am a messy eater. This certain character trait is so intense it's earned me the nickname "camel face" from my brother - commenting on my tendency to chew things with what I'd like to think is "passion and vigor" as opposed to the often stated "open mouth and lack of class." I just really really like food, ok? Can I help it if I have abnormally small nasal passages that make it near to impossible to chew and breathe at the same time? Is it my fault that I also have a large enough mouth to stick my entire fist in - therefore enticing me to shove as much food as possible in it? If I had a dollar for every time someone has told me to "eat pretty" - I'd have enough money to hire a mobster to sew someone's mouth shut the next time that phrase was uttered.
...I wish this bothered me more - but it just doesn't. Eating is one or the most primal things we do as a society - yet we insist on putting rules of conduct, propriety and politeness on every detail of our meals. To make us feel better about stuffing our faces? To ensure cleanliness and hygiene for ourselves and those around us? I'm quite certain it's a mixture of both coupled with a large dose of "because I said so." Let me tell you about a girl who hates doing things just because someone said she must - she chews like a bovine.
I enjoy food. It reminds me of all the good things in life - love, happiness, laughter and just a general sense of prosperity. I can admit I do lose a sense of control when I'm in the middle of a really good dish - I just can't help myself. I'm a more-is-more kind of person and nothing triggers this attribute more than good food. Though I'll fight anyone that tells me I have to "eat pretty" for pretty's sake - I will agree to saying I maybe should not enjoy eating to the extreme that I do. Food was made, and should remain, a tool for us to receive nutrients - nothing more. When you start looking to food for comfort you start angry eating, social eating and eventually over-eating. Though food is an amazing addition to any family, friend or general gathering - when I think about exactly how much power I give food to make or break my day - it scares me a little. Like that spaghetti sauce that so often got all over my face as a child - it feels good going down...but because of my lack of control I end up in pain (and a huge rash).
I think I need to work on managing things that I enjoy. I tend to live in those things too much, rely on them too often - and let them take up too much space in my happiness. Because really, I've found more often than not - life's greatest joys come from things not obviously good, but from things that take hard work and tears to make them in to something great.
I am a messy eater. I give life's pleasures too much power in my life. I am making spaghetti for dinner tonight.
Picture: Me, in all my improper glory.