The news has been full of articles about pills people can take for a variety of things. Little blue pills, little pink pills, medications that will allow you to live longer, fuller lives simply by spending money. Why would anyone want to do that with food? Does someone think I’m going out to dinner and be presented with a plate of pills? Science fiction has allows talked about that, but then on the news last week the astronauts currently in orbit are growing lettuce. So technology recognizes that you need more in life than a pill to comfort you at times.
My grandmother used to baby me for a simple reason. When I was 7 I knocked her completely over while she was boiling water to make hot dogs for my brother and I. My right shoulder was burned severely and she never got over the fact it happened. It was my fault, not hers, I never should have been running in the kitchen. But every time I visited her for the next 6 years until she passed, there was always some danish type thing for breakfast. My grandmother knew I liked them, so there it would be every morning. Along with a big glass of orange juice. Her guilt never left, but it paid off in those danishes! You can’t replace that with a pill. Not the guilt, but the memory of my grandmother trying so hard to do something small for me.
There are a lot of things I remember about the first time a girl cooked for me. The smell of the dining room when she put the pasta in front of me. The garlic bread that had cooked just a little too long and was more of a crouton than a side dish. Both of us so very nervous that things turn out right. How romantic is the glow of a candle on a gel-encased pill? It was about the effort she made, something that wouldn’t have been quite the same with a pill unwrapped from a bottle!
There are plenty of medications in my life right now, too many to count. I fear the time that will come, today, tomorrow, sometime in the future where food is delivered via a tube in the arm. To me that’s not living, that just staying alive. Those are two very different things. One sustains your body, the other is about your soul. Sitting there watching my niece learn how to make cinnamon rolls from a very talented baker was an experience that we both enjoyed. One that can’t be replaced by us popping a flavored pill. All those times that I dug into some book to make something for the ex, just because she said she liked something, I wouldn’t replace those memories. Or when my neighbors send me a text message asking what exactly was in the cookies I sent over, me laughing because they know certain secrets won’t be shared. Even when their daughter was in the kitchen making them with me!
I value cooking, for myself or for a crowd. Society wants us to sit around a table and share ourselves, I don’t want to share a jar of pills. That just doesn’t sound like fun. You want clinical, go visit a hospital. A place where even they value trying to put a meal in front of you rather than shove a pill down your throat.
(yes, every time one of these cooking/food things comes up it really pulls out the emotions. Like everyone else, I have too many good memories of cooking to undercut them with nonsense!)
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Red Pill, Blue Pill.”