I was talking with my girlfriend recently about how I approach food, leftovers in particular. She commented on the fact that I tend to eat the same boring thing for lunch over and over, so why wouldn’t I be interested in the change of pace that leftovers would provide? Wouldn’t I be eager to have something other than the same sandwich day after day?
At the time I didn’t have an answer for her. I agreed that it was weird; after all, one would think that the excitement of unusual (or at least un-habitual) food would be welcome. Surely I wasn’t just getting caught up in the comfort of routine? Because that would be a depressing thought. “Yes, I’m not yet 30 and I’m already so set in my ways that I have to have the same meal over and over. Now you kids get off my lawn!”
But I thought about it, and I think I’ve come up with a solution. See, it’s not the mundanity of routine that keeps me from getting through leftovers. Rather, it’s their uniqueness that drives me to save them!
Don’t get it? Well, think of it like this: when you were a kid, what did you do with your Halloween candy? Were you the kind to gorge yourself into a diabetic coma later that same night? Or were you the kind to carefully tend to your hoard, squirreling it away and only pulling choice morsels out for special occasions?
I, in case you couldn’t guess, was the latter type. So much so, in fact, that it wasn’t uncommon for me to have candy left over when Halloween rolled around again the next year. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely enjoyed the candy; I was just waiting for the “right time” to enjoy my “special treat.” Such is it with leftovers, maybe, as an adult. Leftovers serve as a break from the routine, and are thus to be cherished, not wasted on some frivolous whim.
But deciding the right time to partake is more challenging than one might think, especially with my… unique relationship with decision-making. The irony, of course, is when these things get wasted by inaction. Leftovers, and even candy, do indeed go bad. Apparently I fear making a decision more than I fear missing my chance to do/eat something special.
And other times, I eat the leftovers as soon as possible because I’m lazy and/or ran out of time/food. There’s no accounting for taste, I guess.