Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Say it with me in a Montgomery Burns voice: "Eggs-cellent."

Are you new here? Thanks for stopping in! For an explanation of this alphabet theme, see my first NaBloPoMo post.

Today, the Encyclopedia of Me brings us to the letter E. And E, of course, has to be for Ethan Hawke.

(Mmmm.... Ethan Hawke...)

O Captain my Captain

Kidding. Just kidding. Really. He may be one of my favorite imaginary boyfriends (certainly my longest-standing one), and it is his birthday today, but he got the November 6 post during NaBloPoMo last year, so I really don't need to document my love for him yet again. Ethan, you are beautiful, but today it is not about you. (Call me!)

Instead, then, E is for eggs*. Fascinating, right? Maybe I should have stuck with Ethan after all.

Some people (read: my sister) are under the misguided impression that I am a picky eater. Me? Picky? That's just plain nonsense. I have a rather short and very specific list of things I do not eat, and that list has been the same for decades: mushrooms, bratwurst, beer, artificially cherry-flavored anything, most types of fish, and eggs.

OK, so beer probably hasn't been on the list for decades (I didn't start drinking that early). Also, I can think of several other things I'm not particularly fond of (cauliflower, bell peppers, malted milk balls), but I wouldn't go so far as to add them to the Official Dietary Blacklist.

Eggs, however? Really not a fan. No matter how hard my mother tried to remedy that.

Despite what my mother undoubtedly thinks, I do not feel she did a particularly bad job raising me. Yes, she could have done some things differently (what parent couldn't, in retrospect?), but overall, I think I turned out reasonably well, and I can only assume she had something to do with that. I'll even admit that certain long-standing rules of hers were probably a pretty good idea at the time. For example, making me drink three glasses of milk each day before I could have soda or Kool-Aid was not a bad plan for a kid who didn't get much calcium elsewhere (never mind that I drink more wine than milk these days). Not letting us play on the roof was also a fairly reasonable rule, I suppose, even if it did make her seem like an overprotective killjoy at the time. One rule I will never understand, however, was the rule about Sunday breakfast.

Sunday breakfast was the one and only meal that my parents routinely prepared together. Every week after church, my mom would make scrambled eggs and hash browns while my dad fried the bacon and manned the toaster. We'd sit down as a family and eat together while Big Band classics played on the radio. And every week, along with my toast and bacon and hash brown, my mother would force me to take a bit of eggs.

This went on for years--every week the same fight...

"I don't want any eggs," I'd say.
"Just a couple bites," my mom would reply.
"But I don't like them!" I'd persist.
"Eat them anyway," she sighed.

As we all know, eggs have had an inconstant reputation. One year they're the wonder-food; the next they're maligned as evil. I really don't know where they stood among nutritionists at the time, but it wouldn't have swayed my mother anyway. I doubt this was about nutrition.

I really don't fault the woman for insisting I eat eggs. Kids turn their nose up at food all the time, often without even trying a bite. But I had tried scrambled eggs. Every week I'd tried them. Did she really think I'd change my mind any given day?

I actually learned to use the egg standoff to my advantage. I wasn't allowed to leave the table until I finished, even if it meant my plate was the very last item cleared from the table. I got out of post-breakfast cleanup duty more than once by deliberately waiting it out. That one bite of eggs was even worse cold, but at least I didn't have to dry the dishes that day.

Eventually, my mother gave up and let me win the egg battle. I think she may even have deliberately blocked it from her memory. When I'm at their house on holiday weekends, she'll offer me eggs, and I'll look at her, eyebrows scrunched in confusion, and say, "Mom. When have I ever liked scrambled eggs?" "Oh. That's right," she'll reply, as if she's completely forgotten my childhood... or at least the part that involved her force-feeding me scrambled eggs once a week.

I guess it's not so absurd to think I'd come around, though. There are actually some forms of eggs I will eat... Mini-quiches, deviled eggs... Huh. I guess the list ends right about there. For a brief period as a kid I liked fried egg sandwiches, something that sounds completely revolting to me today. But I'll no longer reject an entire piece of French toast just because the batter fried a little thick in one spot, so who knows what the future may hold.

Beer, though? I've given up on that battle. And as long as there's still wine, I think that's perfectly OK.

* I swear I decided on this well before Abbersnail made egg sandwiches her "E" post. Abbers, quit reading my mind, would you?


-R- said...

I agree. I understand your mom wanting you to try things you thought you didn't like, but insisting that you try the same thing every week seems a bit much. I am glad she didn't let you play on the roof though. How would you even get up there?

nabbalicious said...

I love fried egg sandwiches. But eggs overeasy make me gag for some reason. I don't like how you can taste them all day. Blech.

Anonymous said...

To me, Ethan Hawke = adultry. And that is decidedly unsexy.

sognatrice said...

I have three completely unrelated things to say, so the best way would be in bullet form (you know this, don't you?). Only I can't do bullets in comments, so I'll number:

(1) Sorry, but I'm with Monkey. (That's a funny sentence.)

(2) I *love* eggs in every way at all hours of the day.

(3) My mom used to encourage me to try mushrooms and sweet potatoes every year at Thanksgiving; the result was often gagging. I kid you not that on some given day in the mid to late 90s, I suddenly enjoyed them. One year was mushrooms and the next was sweet potatoes. I haven't looked back since, and indeed, they've become some of my favorite foods.

Take from that what you will.

nancypearlwannabe said...

I just pictured your Mom trying to coerce you into eating eggs by promising you could play on the roof. Awesome.

One Smart Cookie said...

I'm a really picky eater, so I feel your pain. I HATE when people try to force me to try things that I've tried before and hated. I actually don't mind eggs too much, but only occasionally and only in certain forms (i.e. over easy = gag).

Lara said...

My sister hates eggs, too! I like them, but only scrambled. Crap. I just rubbed my eye too hard and now my contact is all folded up in there. But I digress.

Eww. Eggs and eyes in the same paragraph. Now that will really make you hate them. (Eggs, not eyes.)

Stefanie said...

R--My parents' roof is actually very accessible--one edge of it runs along the second-story deck, and you can climb up and sort of spiral around the whole house. It's hard to explain without seeing the house, but it was something we always thought was fun to do.

Nabb--I am so anti-egg that I never even remember what kind means what. Over easy is the runny kind, right? I actually had those (for the first time in years) with a breakfast at a diner last winter and didn't completely gag. I don't need to order it again, though.

Monkey--I'm sorry, but I am SURE he has a reasonable explanation for all of that. (No? Oh come on... at least I'm not professing a love for Jude Law or Hugh Grant!)

Sognatrice--I do try eggs again every now and then just to see if I've changed my mind, but so far, not a chance. I love sweet potatoes, though!

NPW--Ha. Oddly, that might have worked. :-)

Cookie--I know, right? I'm a grown-up; just BELIEVE me when I say I don't want that!

Lara--Eeww. Thank you for that.

lizgwiz said...

I love eggs. And mushrooms. And beer. And I..*whispering*..don't like Ethan Hawke. Can I still be your friend? I love cheese and Paul Rudd. ;)

My mother never forced us to eat anything we truly didn't like. Probably because her own mother used to make her eat liver, which she hated.

Jess said...

You and I have totally different taste when it comes to the short list of things we absolutely can't stand, but very similar lists of things that we just aren't fond of. I wonder where the science is in that.

Paisley said...

Have you not found that Ethan has become, um, well...GAUNT since the divorce? Something bad is going on there. BUT I had Explorers on VHS so there. hee hee.

Eggs...me too! Some kid named Raphael (how appropriate) puked eggs in 2nd grade and I've never been the same since. Except during my pregnancy I NEEDED egg salad sandwiches until one day in the middle of eating my sandwich, I turned. I can't go there anymore, again.

L Sass said...

WHAT?? This non-egg-loving thing is crazy!

Ethan Hawke, however, I can totally get behind. Of course, in my head, he is ACTUALLY his character from "before sunset" and "before sunrise."

Stefanie said...

Liz--All right; we can still be friends. But drop cheese or Paul Rudd from that list and we'll have to reconsider.

Jess--Good question. Where do you stand on olives? Because I love them, in every form, and this seems to be a dividing line among many.

Paisley--He's gone through some borderline skeevy phases, sure, but my love for Ethan endures. As for egg salad, I've always found it revolting, but right after writing this post, I actually thought, "Hmm. I like deviled eggs... does that mean I might not hate egg salad?? Maybe I should give it another try..." So you see, I'm not entirely closed minded about the egg thing; I do try them again from time to time to make sure I haven't changed my mind!

L Sass--Finally! Someone who understands the Ethan love. Maybe we can consider it a Minnesota thing??

Anonymous said...

I love Ethan Hawke. He's a excellent actor and writer. He's a romantic man and besides he's so handsome. Happy birthday! Late but...