Monday, April 30, 2018

Life is a Sandwich - the good parts are in the middle

I started this blog many years ago to talk about sandwiches. I even took a food blog writing class at Stanford. "I'm a Stanford Alum." I like to tell people who never asked. That's the most important thing I learned at Stanford, was how to drop the name Stanford into innocent and not-at-all-related conversations. Never mind that the food blog writing class I took was one of those "Continuing Education" types of things for middle-aged locals to while away their time on casual art appreciation and business public speaking skills. I make sure to mention as often as possible that I "went" to Stanford.  For example, say someone asks me whether or not I liked the movie Get Out, I could say "Back when I studied at Stanford, race was a huge issue..." Sure it was 2012, and race is always an issue in this country, and me being at Stanford has nothing to do with it,  but that's not the point. The point is that I get to talk about Stanford and my relation to it.

The blog writing class was really neat though. It was me and 15 very nice ladies who liked to cook and bake and brought lots of fun food to the class for everyone to try. There was even someone in the class that turned her blog into a NY Times bestselling cookbook. Nom Nom Paleo, they make her recipes at Whole Foods now. Anyway, the point I'm getting to is that I have a passion for sandwiches. I coined the term Sandwichosity which I define as the quantifiable ability of a sandwich to be pleasing. Sandwiches high in Sandwichosity are good. Like a Katz Deli pastrami on rye. Or my favorite sandwich of all time a Wise Son's pastrami Reuben. It has all the elements; extremely delicious home-made ingredients, griddled bread and melted cheese as well as the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats, and sauerkraut, which I used to think was disgusting, but on this sandwich is somehow awesome.

Eating a sandwich, properly, with child.
I bring all this up only to shoehorn my love of sandwiches into the realm of fatherhood.  I posit that life is a sandwich. The boring parts are the bread...going to work, the cutting of toenails, the paying of taxes. They keep the thing together, like the rough framing of a house. Nobody gets too excited about the bread. The best parts of the sandwich, pretty much the only thing worth paying attention to, are the middle parts. The Meaty Bits. That's  your egg-salad, or your PB&J, your roast beef...those are the good times of life. The having of kids, the going on vacation to Yellowstone, the marrying your sweetheart.  At the beginning, you are a kid just figuring everything out. And when you're really old, well let's not get into that just yet. I'm going to be an old father. I'll be 59 when my kid gets out of high school.  I'm experiencing parenthood older in life than most people.  But with that, I have a better perspective on things. I know who I am. I know how to let stuff go and not get too worked up about the little details. If I were 20 and getting on this roller coaster, I wouldn't have done my first stage-dive, or have eaten sweetbreads or have slept on the street in front of a library during Mardi Gras. Now at the ripe age of 41 I'm past all that, worrying about what's cool, like Snapchat or dabbing. Now I get to sit back and work on my lame dad jokes and wear my pants too high and complain about kids today. "Kids today!" I'll say "Kids today are always staring at their phones going 'Hey phone, entertain me! I don't want to have to think my own thoughts.' But me, back in my day, we had to live in total boredom. Thinking your own thoughts was the only way to pass the time, the Internet didn't exist! We had encyclopedias! Remember them?!" And my kid will look at me like "Dad, you're the lamest." And she'll be right. Because even though I'll know I used to be cool, there will be no way to impart that sense of coolness. Being cool is fleeting, like a fart, you know its there in the moment, but when its gone, its gone. And good riddance.

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