I’ve been thinking alot about tacos lately, and I’ve come to the conclusion that my relationship with them is one of the most important food relationships I’ve ever had in my life.
I know, I know. It sounds crazy. I’ll explain.
If you know me at all, you know that when I get excited about something… I just don’t shut up about it. As I tend to get easily excited by all things food– chocolate! sparkling water! caffeine!– I have a tendency to take to the Twitters and go on a rant about it. Case in point, Tuesday:
I don’t know when our relationship started, but I know it happened when I was in young. Whenever my family (which, btw, is very unusually structured) had something to celebrate, whenever we wanted to spend time together, we usually did so in a Mexican restaurant. My Mom and I would fill up on chips and salsa, my little brother would dump habenero hot sauce all over everything he ate, I impatiently awaited the arrival of my tacos de carne asada, and the rest of the adults imbibed jumbo Texas-sized margaritas throughout the meal. The tradition extended into my college years– when I came home from college, we ate /ALL/ the tacos– and even became a tradition that embedded itself into my romantic relationships. We’re not going to even discuss what happened to my life in the years after I was introduced to Chipotle for the first time, though I will admit that I may have spent more time from 2006-2009 scheming road trips for tacos y burritos instead of, um, learning all the things.
Later, I moved to the land of taco trucks, taquerias and more Mexican food than I could have ever dreamed of (OMG, Chipotle everywhere!), but me and my East Coast taste felt intimidated by all of the new things happening here, and when it came to tacos, nothing was really right anymore. Tacos had always been there– for love, for happiness, for togetherness, for celebration– until I packed up my life and moved away from everything I had ever known.
In hindsight, I should have recognized my adhedonia it as a symptom of something larger: nothing in my life was right at that time, either, and I was trapped in a year-long bout of something infinitely more miserable that sucks all of the joy from your life. One day, it got so bad that I impulse-purchased a flight home because I felt that I might fall to pieces at any moment. A few days later, I found myself on a plane flying 3,000 miles across the country because, for the first time in my adult life, I needed to see my Mommy. I can’t think of any other time in my life that we’ve ever been so happy to see one another.
For the rest of my life, I’ll always remember the devilish look on her face when she picked me up from the airport and asked if I was hungry yet. When she asked if I had any ideas for dinner, her big blue eyes flashed, her grin approached Cheshire cat size, and she brought out that voice that we only use with one another.
I said not a word, but shrugged and flashed a devilish grin of my own. After a quick trip to her house and a change of clothes, I found myself in the middle of karaoke night at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants. (FYI: I didn’t sing, but my mom sure as hell gave Beyonce a run for her money. God, I come from great genes.) Later that night, full of tacos and alcohol, I laid in my childhood bed thinking about the life I had lived since the last time I had slept there. I knew that things couldn’t continue as they were, and that when I returned to San Francisco a few days later that I would very literally be fighting for my life.
(I had known that before I left, really– and [darling], always the perceptive one, did too.)
For the ten days between my return home and Christmas, I was alone and I set to work laying the foundation to rebuild my own happiness. It happened very slowly at first, and then all at once after the biggest problem in my life excised itself entirely. Everything old became new and exciting again, and as the work continued, I began to feel like myself for the first time in I don’t know how long. I knew I was getting somewhere when I went on a two week all tacos, all the time binge… and then drove my roommate nuts for another fortnight with my constant answer of, “OMG! WANT TACOS, NOW!” whenever she asked what I was thinking about for the meal in question.
Tacos– which, by the way, are pretty much the most perfect food ever– are the most important key indicator on my internal happiness index, and the more in demand they are, the better the quality of my happiness. If you’re looking for a way to my heart, a way to inspire essite (excitement), a way to celebrate something good or to come up with an excuse to hang out with me, tacos are the place to start. In fact, if you’re a handsome, intelligent and single male reading this blog, you’re 100000000000% more likely to land a date for me if you suggest (surprise!) we go somewhere for tacos.
And if you ever, ever hear of me refusing or avoiding tacos– please, for the love of all things tacos, do ask if everything’s alright.