Messy food. I hate it. I could never even fully embrace sloppy joes when I was growing up, and isn’t that like, the dream meal of youth? Any meal that requires a napkin the size of a tarp spells out tedium to me. Maybe if it were cubed into bite-sized morsels and someone wearing a tophat and tails spoonfed it to me, I’d have applauded happily like the children in the Mamwich commercials. Then we could call them lazy joes.
I hate the sensation of cookie dough between my fingers. “Now’s the fun part, kids! Get your hands in there! Make a mess!” No thanks, please pass the latex gloves. I think maybe this is why I never got into pottery.
Tonight at work, we ordered out. I put a lot of thought into it, as I generally do with everything in life, before settling on a half of an eggplant parmesan hoagie. In past experiences, these hoagies have not been kind to me. You have your rebellious slivers of egglant, slipping off the sandwich and landing in your lap with a greasy plop. You have your strings of melted cheese, pliant and elastic, snapping in half and busting you in the cheek like a broken rubber band. You have globs of marinara that wants desperately to be your new lipstick. You have pieces of bread, paste-like once it mingles with the saliva, becoming caps for your front teeth.
This time, I was prepared. My desk was equipped with a stockpile of napkins; I halved the hoagie; I took slow, small, and careful bites. With luck, I can finish my second half without appearing as though I just ate out a streetwalker with a can of tomato paste plugging her vagina.