Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Green Beans & Plans

Picture this:
It was lunchtime. Around 11:50am, and nearly time for me to leave my workplace (at a local daycare) and head for my Intro to Mass Media class.

I was sitting down to a meal of chicken nuggets, orange slices, and green beans with the kids I work with, just making 5-year-old conversation and simultaneously pondering a few things that were bothering me about this project.

Now, understand...I had no plans to do anything gutsy until I got home, and I didn't really have anything in mind. In fact, I was a little fearful that I wouldn't have anything to blog about at all, today. This is the way a lot of my plans tend to work out, sadly. A lot of them seem to fizzle early on. Especially blogs.

Sitting there, nibbling a nugget, I started to panic. Is this it, I thought? Four posts and then it's over? Really? I can't do any better than that?

And then she said it. The child to my right...we'll call her Pigtails...loudly announced to the table that dipping your green beans in your ketchup was good eating (or words to that effect).

My table went quiet, though there were a few, "Ewwws" of disgust. Dipping steamed green beans in ketchup? Most of the 5-year-old sages around the table shook their heads, no. Inadvisable. Gross.

But a few brave souls gave it a try, and faces lit up...though I couldn't tell if they were just trying to give a show of enthusiasm for the sake of humor or not.

Pigtails turned to me, expectantly, a green bean poised over her own puddle of ketchup. An invitation.

Fleetingly, I gave brief thought to the innocence of youth, and how much things have changed since I was 5. I visualized a few grand lectures on "when I was your age" or "back in my day". I even tried to imagine what it might taste like. But when it all came down to it, and a few pairs of very wise--if very wide and young--eyes were upon me, I did the only thing I could possibly do in that situation and come away with any semblance of dignity.

I dipped a green bean in the ketchup...and ate it.

Frankly, it was no culinary revelation, but I guess that really isn't the point. I started thinking about all the food-related adventures I used to have when I was a kid. I had a friend who swore by pretzels dipped in Trix yogurt. Another who would mix ketchup, peas, and white rice into a frenzy before he would eat it. It's all about perspective, I suppose. One man's gross is another man's gourmet? Maybe it doesn't matter what mixes with what, just so long as you're mixing at all. Is that right?

I didn't have time to pose this to Pigtails and her ilk. It was noon, and I had to leave, and by that time an intense discussion about Disney princesses had commenced to which I was not invited. But I think my little sages would agree with me.

On the way to class, KEXP gave me the Los Campesinos! latest unreleased single to sing along to and enjoy: "The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future". Lovely. A good day all around, I'd say.

May your plans always get a jumpstart from an unexpected source.
And may you always have ketchup for your green beans.

-The GLS

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