A big thank you to Anne McAneny for writing this entertaining blog post for Books Etc.! If you want to be further entertained, please make sure you check out her own blog and her amazing novel Our Eyes Met Over Cantaloupe .
THE PRINCIPLE OF VEGGIE-SCHMEGGIE
It’s no coincidence that my chick-lit books feature ice cream and cupcake-loving protagonists. I adore both. And no offense to Jessica Seinfeld, but I don’t sneak veggies into my kids’ food in the hope of raising their nutritional intake. Why? Because I believe in The Principle of Eventual Balance, otherwise known as Veggie-Schmeggie. Here are the not-so-deep thoughts behind my reasoning: Nary a vegetable crossed my lips for the first 18 years of my life and today, I’m a vegetable-scarfing fool who gets ecstatic over the discovery of a new salad. (Yes, the bar for excitement in my life is set mere inches above the ground.)
For over twenty years, my mother dutifully made dinner for her five ungrateful children. She despised cooking and, as with most things people despise, they don’t excel at them. Dinner was more of an obligation than a celebration in our home, but my mother pulled it off like clockwork, receiving little gratitude… much like a prison cook. Not to disparage Mom’s efforts, but the only way to score any nutrients from the nightly veggie was for one’s roll to soak them up from the puddle on the plate, its source being the blob of wet spinach or mushy carrots that had been boiled to death and served straight from the pot. Butter? Salt? Didn’t even know they were options.
And then came the peas... those wet-sand-textured, puke-green-colored balls of shriveled goodness that looked like they’d been plucked from a 90-year-old’s nether regions. When they made an appearance, I grabbed an extra napkin as if Miss Manners had taken possession of my soul. If Mom was feeling strict that night, I’d put a few in my mouth, but alas, I could outwait a young monk praying for salvation. I chewed those things ‘til they were nothing but a razor-thin layer of sandpaper lining my cheek, and when the opportunity arose to spit them out, they went straight into that napkin.
Of course, Fate saw fit to give me a son who despises everything that isn’t cheese, cheese pizza, or grilled cheese (in other words, cheese). I offer him vegetables, fruits, and whole grains with every meal, and occasionally, he suffers a few bites (with the odd extra napkin in hand…). But I refuse to be worried, because despite my mom’s overcooked heaps of mush, she gifted her five brats with an appreciation for nutrition and exercise - and demonstrated both by example. I can’t help but believe that my son, too, will grow into his choices, that his taste buds will mature, and that he’ll learn by example. It all balances out. And really, who among us still makes the same choices we made as children?
So even though my fictional ladies spend lots of time gorging on junk, rest assured that in the deleted scenes, they followed the completely fictional Principle of Eventual Balance and enjoyed their broccoli and bean sprouts. But not peas. Never peas.
Anne is the e-book author of Chunneling Through Forty and Our Eyes Met Over Cantaloupe, as well as the fast-paced mystery thriller, Foreteller. If you’d like to read more of Anne’s musings, please check out her blog at http://www.annemcaneny.blogspot.com/.