DON’T PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD … UNLESS IT’S A PUMPKIN

Fall is great! The seasons G.O.A.T, if you will. What’s not to love? Sweater weather, pumpkin flavored everything, cooler temperatures, football season, one of the two best Reese’s shapes reappears, corn mazes, apple picking, lumberjack fashion is in style, there’s a pair of boots for every outfit, the leaves change colors, your A/C bill becomes negligible, you can run at any time of day and not have to wake up at 4AM to beat the humidity, and holidays centered mostly around food are right around the corner – to name a few. 

It’s also one of the only times where it’s acceptable to play with your food. No one will yell at you. No one will scold you. No one will take away your dessert. No one will lecture you about not playing with your food. No, instead they will actively encourage it. What a fun twist of fate that is! All year long you’ve been carving pictures in the butter container, decorating your pancakes with syrup art, rearranging your peas and carrots into a sad face to no avail. Only an extra helping of vegetables and an indefinite suspension of your knife privileges. 

There’s whole businesses dedicated to selling the one food not intended to be consumed after picking. Entire block parties where people come together and compete for the best designs. Food Network shows where professionals show off their skills. Pause. How does one become a professional? How many practice attempts were needed? How do they have endless time to slice, dice, and create next level designs in a food? How does one get into this profession, and why? At what point do you wake up and decide that your next hobby will be food mutilation? How much money does this cost? What am I even talking about?

Pumpkin carving, of course! Every kid’s food dream. And, apparently, some adults’ as well. What happens if you carve a beautiful piece of art into the side of a pumpkin? You probably get some candy as a celebratory treat. You definitely get bragging rights over your siblings, friends, co-workers, neighbors – whoever is judging their artistic abilities against yours. This fall tradition is hilarious to me. So many interesting choices for an “activity” and I have questions on how it began.

Think about this for a second: at some point, someone was bored (I’m assuming) and decided to take a knife and carve a design into the side of a pumpkin. After cutting the top off and removing all of the pumpkin guts, of course. Then, they decided to put a candle in it at night to show off the disturbing jack-o-lantern to everyone within a visual radius. Wut? If a friend came up to you today, handed you a jagged knife, and asked if you wanted to hollow out a watermelon and carve a design in it you’d probably smell their breath for traces of liquid influence. Or question your taste in people. To clarify quickly, cutting the top off a fruit and filling it with liquor is not the same as mutilating it for strictly visual entertainment.

Such a fascinating experiment in human decisions when left alone for too long, don’t you think? Makes you wonder what new “traditions” we may see when COVID finally decides to go back to its spaceship and travel to a different planet. Of all pastimes, I usually avoid ones with sharp objects. As a general safety rule. I’m more of a go to the pumpkin patch, pick out a perfect small to medium sized pumpkin, and use a modern decorating approach to simply place it on my porch. If I’m feeling crazy, I might draw on it. Feels more humane.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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THE SUBTLE ART OF CHOOSING NOT TO REMEMBER

The dictionary defines forgetting as a failure to remember. An innocent act where a task, thought, sentiment, etc. flies away from our easily distracted minds on accident – never to return. Well, that’s not entirely true. It returns in full force when someone gets mad that you forgot their birthday, or to get cheese at the store, or that you were supposed to pick up their kid from swim practice, or that you love them, or any number of things. In other words, forgetting is bliss. Until it becomes an intense panic.

While there are certain times when forgetting is a valid excuse, I find that a lot of people simply choose not to remember. Failure, after all, is merely a lack of being prepared. So if you aren’t prepared to remember, or don’t care enough to remember, then that’s on you. It’s not an acceptable reason to pick up a pack of store brand graham crackers at the grocery store on your way home because you didn’t realize it was Tuesday and I expect my weekly present. I mean, if you’re going to get me anything from the grocery store as an afterthought, it would be Chewy Chips Ahoy obviously. Or did you also forget how much I like those? Don’t be cheap and don’t be a liar.

Don’t believe me? Ok, I’ll prove it to you in a series of highly relatable examples. It’s fine if you start to blush, or get a little embarrassed reading through these, nobody’s perfect. I, for one, often choose not to remember when my daily morning meeting starts in an effort to send the subtle hint to my boss that they are not my favorite (like a real adult). I have also been known to actively choose non-remembrance when my doctor asks how my diet has improved since the last visit. Hard to say how much was sugar versus healthy … it was definitely a pyramid though so I should get points for staying within the geometric shape.

  • Tests – you “forget” to study for the Monday morning test because there was Friday Funday, Self-Love Saturday, and, of course, Spirit Sunday. There was simply no time and you know that you sit next to the soon-to-be Valedictorian who is extremely book-smart, but tends to write in size 50 font
    • In other words, you could have studied, but you chose to forget
  • Grocery Shopping – you know that you should buy fruits, vegetables, non-microwaveable meals, vitamins, etc. However, fresh produce doesn’t last as long, real cooking is a major commitment, vitamins cost about as much as a vital organ on the black market and you’re mildly healthy (you sit in front of a sunny window most of the day), someone asked you to pick up more milk, but you’re lactose intolerant, etc.
    • In other words, you could have purchased healthy food and been a nice human being, but you chose to forget
  • Chores – as a child, someone is forcing you to remember these. As an adult, not so much. It’s easy to “forget” that the baseboards haven’t been dusted, the refrigerator drawers haven’t been sanitized, the curtains haven’t been cleaned, etc. 
    • In other words, you could have done those, but honestly life is too short to be dusting some baseboards behind furniture. You can pay someone to do that if it bothers you
  • Work – I’m going to let you self-reflect here, but everyone (and I do mean everyone) has at one point been given a task, or responsibility, that isn’t necessarily ideal nor interesting. What did you do? Do you remember? If you say no, that’s because you’re choosing not to – just like you did in the office. ‘Oh dear, I was supposed to go to the basement and replace the lightbulbs in the unused conference room. What a shame. Welp, tomorrow is Bill’s turn, tell him I’m simply ill that I forgot.’ Liar.

So the next time someone tells you they forgot, smile and know that they are probably lying. If they’re at all important in your life, forgive them because we all know you’ve done it to them at some point so have a little moment of karma. If, however, you don’t know them, question their choices in life, but then forget and move on because life is too short to hold grudges. Especially against someone you don’t even know. Sorry, don’t forget, then you would be on their level – choose not to remember.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you didn’t like this post, then choose not to remember you read it. If you did like it, and know someone who tends to forget things (like start times) share this so they can realize they are lying to everyone, including themselves. But do it gently, in a caring, forgiving kind of way. Thanks for reading!


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