I have this problem with food preparation. Sandwiches, specifically. Years and years ago, when I was a kid in grammar school, my mother used to pack me salami sandwiches with mustard. I hate salami sandwiches with mustard. First of all, when I'd take one bite, all the salami would come out and then I was left eating a bread and mustard sandwich. Then the bread would always get stuck to the roof of my mouth and I couldn't get it out and I'd start to gag at my desk. This would always ruin my lunch. It started to make me really mad. So mad that when I'd open my lunch box and see the salami mustard monster, I'd grab it in its cellophane, wad it into a ball and smash it into the wastebasket with a strong groan of disgust. Then I'd sit at my desk and go hungry and be cranky for the rest of the afternoon, until I could get home and eat a whole row of Oreos with milk, which would then spoil my dinner.
Sometimes, when my mother would toss a little love note in my lunch box along with the mustard monster, it would only make me more mad. "Hi Honey! Have a great day! Love, Mom." It might say. "Great day? Great day? I'm having the worst day possible! I hate my lunch and you made it and now I'm mad at you!" Is how I'd feel. What a brat, I know.
And so began my disgust with sandwiches. This childish behavior unfortunately was not something I grew out of. Oh no, it only got worse as I got older. Whenever, I'd order a sandwich "to go" someplace and I'd get home to eat it, if it was made poorly, I'd go ballistic. Instead of just calmly putting all the ingredients back together and eating it, I'd just get so furious that it was sloppy that I'd throw it in the trash, fuming and go hungry. This is irrational and wasteful. But I didn't care.
Until one day, my bad girl behavior peaked all on the pinnacle of a bagel for breakfast.
I remember the day well. I was college. My sorority sisters had gone out to get the rest of us lazy heads breakfast on a Saturday morning. I lay in bed salivating as I awaited my toasted, salted bagel with cream cheese.
After what seemed like the pain of a pregnant woman waiting in labor, only with hunger pains, my friends arrived back to our suite. I couldn't wait to eat it. Eat my yummy salty bagel and cream cheese and the saliva was stinging the insides of my cheeks. Only....a salted bagel with cream cheese is not what I got. I got a plain untoasted bagel with a cold slab of butter right in the center.
Immediately, I became Psycho Bagel-Beast Girl. "What. The. HECK! IS. THIS!!!!!" I shouted to their faces. I remember both girls staring at me wide eyed and open mouthed as this behavior was very unlike anything they had seen from the friendly, happy-go-lucky, goof ball of a girl they had come to know over the past two years.
"Uh, Uh...what's your problem Psycho? Chill out!" My friend Bebe yelled back. "It's your breakfast!" "This is not what I ordered and I hate it!" I shouted again. Then with that, I took my bagel, swung my arm back and threw that sucker as good as any professional baseball pitcher across the room and at the wall.
At that point, I knew my behavior had gone too far, but it was too late. My friends chewed me out for doing something nice for me and I started to feel like a little blob of glue.
So what did I do? I apologized for my brief outburst of insanity is what I did and never again have I yelled or thrown my food like a two year old in a high chair.
But I will admit…I do have my moments of wanting to come unglued about food preparation still. In the early years that I became a Christian I would still get scathingly angry about sloppy sandwiches. I never told anyone of course, that would be too embarrassing to confess. “I sin over food preparation.” (Yeah, I’m not going to tell anybody that.) However, I noticed that it seemed as though any time I ordered a sandwich it was often made poorly. I began to think the Lord was allowing this on purpose. To show me the error of my ways and to get me to knock it off.
Then just the other day, it happened again. I felt my mouth contort and my lips squeeze tightly together in frustration as I observed the semi-sloppy mess that was about to be my lunch.
“Just shut up, be grateful and eat it.” I told myself.
And I did.