De Gustibus

November 14, 2011 § 5 Comments

I have a theory that there are two major, opposing areas in which girls become obsessed: food and fashion. There are a select few who can manage and foster a full-time interest in both, and they’re doubtless more interesting and more actively involved on Pinterest than I am, but generally, I think it’s either/or.

See, devoted involvement in either of these things requires an investment. Sure, you can get away with the basics when it comes to bodily coverings or nourishment. But why stop there, the fashionista/food geek will argue, when you can have hand-tooled leather boots from Anthro or artisan emerald Ostrich eggs? Thus, the expensiveness necessitates a choice. As does the expansiveness, for that matter. If most of your disposable income goes to artisan maple syrup and lavendar macarons, you probably aren’t going to fit in a sample size.*

If you know or stalk me, it’s pretty obvious which camp I fall into. Even the a casual observer can look at my secondhand J. Crew blouse that’s missing a button and smells like the church basement I bought it in and discern my level of involvement with my clothes. My requirements for vestments are 1. is it warm and 2. does it cost less than ten dollars. My closet is utilitarian and also a huge mess.

But my pantry? Well, it’s also a mess, but also full of the fruits of my labor. I don’t mean the purple potatoes and the farm-fresh eggs (though I buy those too, duh) but the various appliances that chop, blend, bake, and store comestibles. When I got a grant to cover my rent in New York last summer, I dropped $30 on a pizza stone, just because. A half-off Amazon gift card became an immersion blender. I whined and complained about our family’s charcoal grill until my dad trucked out to Jersey for a Craigslist gas-powered number. I smuggled a fancy 60-Euro knife back from Paris and treat it to regular sharpenings by Dave at the Farmers’ Market. Lately? 46 big ones for a multicompartmental, vacuum-sealed, Bento-style thermos. It came with a spork. I literally squealed when it arrived.

One day, maybe, I’ll have world enough and time to pay attention to what I’m supposed to wear. But I’m just going to get barbecue sauce on it anyway.

*Unless, like me, you’re on the anxiety diet

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