This might have a severe impact on my man cred, but I feel like it’s time to come clean.
I reflect on recent meals. Men do. It’s a hobby we all share. By we I mean men. While reflecting on the meals I’ve eaten over the last few days, I realize that they follow a startling trend. It’s a bit unsettling to think about it. I still have to get my head around it.
There’s no plan or cause behind this trend. I’d just been doing what every man has done to select meals since the first unkempt man-ape bumbled into the half-dawn scratching his balls looking for movement to gnaw into submission.
Just like my forebears, I have been picking my meals instinctively. Men do. That’s why whenever you ask a man where they want to go for dinner they give you a blank look, because the question makes no sense to them. When they want food, men always have the same plan, so it doesn’t matter where they go. Wherever they go, they’re going to look for movement, and eat whatever they can prove themselves against.
Barring that, they’ll choose whatever demands the least imagination. If a man can think of more than three steps between himself and his meal, he will choose something else. He knows that if he can’t personally hunt down the moose or whatever then he wants to at least have the vicarious experience that comes with being able to plan out the hunt. And he has no idea how many steps it takes to make Capellini Pomodoro with shrimp and capers, which is why all men in Italian restaurants look confused. French ones too. Pretty much any restaurant confuses men if it has a type of cuisine invented in a place where people enjoy eating. Mexican restaurants figured this out long ago, which is why you can always get a burger and fries at a Mexican restaurant. They got tired of dealing with sulking men.
Which is why all men eat steak.
Three steps to steak. Hunt. Skin. Grill. That’s what a man sees on a menu.
Men will consider eating roughage. You know, foliage — flora — that…green stuff. Of course they will. They’ll CONSIDER it. But you can’t prove anything by eating a plant. Not to the plant, and certainly not to other men. Plants just sit there on the ground, and if you take some of it then it comes back again. It’s almost daring you to eat it, really, as if it knows something you don’t. And that’s unsettling to men, because as far as they know everything else runs away at the mere scent of a man’s musk. Men through the ages have tried to chase trees, but the trees don’t seem to care. And that unsettles men.
I think the main reason that men don’t like vegetables is because, secretly, men are intimidated. Vegetables come across as smug. It’s like they’re hiding a secret strategy into the hearts of women. Which is why men are so aggressive toward salad. Salad is competition. Salad can outsmart men, and men don’t like that.
So it’s been especially strange to me to discover I’ve been an occasional vegetarian, sometimes for days to a stretch. I’m a little embarrassed, as a man, to admit to it, but I think, as a fair-minded man, that I ought to come clean about it.
I’m responding to my manly urges, like I’m supposed to. I bumble around, getting as close to the wilderness as possible. Supermarkets can seem like the wild west if you stride into them with enough aggression. Once there, I randomly snag things that seem to spark the stirrings of my appetite.
That’s how men make choices, so that’s how I choose my lunch.
Over the past few weeks, I have occasionally paused to examine what I eat, and it did seem like it might be vegetarian sometimes. But since I’ve felt satisfied, I reasoned I must be eating at least SOMETHING that used to move. As every man knows, if you don’t eat enough things that used to be able to move, then you’ll lose the will to live. It is only through the demonstration of triumph over the lower species that men maintain their power. And sushi doesn’t count. Every man knows that sushi isn’t real meat. It’s art, and you can’t eat art.
I’m going to lose a lot of my cred with Clan Man by admitting to this.
It turns out that I can go for days at a time without eating meat.
It turns out that, you know, you can survive that way. Sometimes you feel better for it, as it turns out.
I really like macaroni and cheese with peas. As a main course as well.
There! I said it. You can judge me if you want. I don’t care.