Sunday, March 18, 2012

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times – Chapter 83

#83 – “Tear your bread into little pieces before you put gravy on it.”
 (Me, age 10, 1958)

Bread and gravy was a staple in our house, and tearing the bread into little pieces before mom put gravy on it was a fun ritual when I was a small child. (For you grammar nazis and Yankees, that's "bread with gravy"). Of course the purpose was to make it easier for little hands, but for me it was also a sensual experience – the softness, fragrance, and yummy-ness of the bread, and the anticipation of the warm and creamy gravy. Of course it wasn’t until I was much older that I realized that the feelings I was experiencing at the age of 10 were closely related to the feelings I would have as a grown and sexually active woman.

Science confirms that we’re hard-wired for the sensual correlation between food and sex. Men are attracted to women for sex and women are attracted to men for food, but not exactly in the way it sounds. At the very biological level, men are driven to procreate, and women are driven to feed children, in vitro or out. And although most women have been able to feed themselves and their children for years, just as the female praying mantis kills and eats her sexual partner immediately after consummation of sex, women have been using sex to get a nice dinner out forever. CLICK ON READ MORE BELOW...

In some third-world countries, women desperate for food for their children sell their sex and are, therefore, at very high risk for HIV. And closer to home, I have no doubt that there are women right here in Austin, so desperate for someone to help them support their children, that they’ll do almost anything. Who can blame them for that? Not me.

I think that my first realization of the connection between food and sex came in 1963 when I saw the dining scene in the movie Tom Jones. If you’ve seen it, you know what I mean. There have been a number of famous books written and movies made that connect food to sex. Just a few examples include Like Water for Chocolate, written by Laura Esquivel; Tampopo (the movie) – remember the man and woman passing the egg yolk back and forth in their mouths; and Woman on Top (movie) with Penelope Cruz at her most gorgeous.

Honestly, sometimes I’d like to clip that biological “wire” that makes food so important to me. It would be nice not to yearn for the lusciousness of macaroni and cheese, and nice not to bare the regret and calories that come with it. But alas, it is out of my hands.

So mom was right. Tear your bread up into little pieces before you add gravy. Besides, it’s only natural, and it’s fun!

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