Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Awkwardness of Vegetarianism

We all know the questions.
"How do you get enough protein?"
"So, what, you like, don't eat MEAT? Don't you, like, crave it?"
"Do you only eat salads and stuff?"

And then there's that other category of people... probably well intentioned but a bit irritating just the same.
"Are you SURE you don't want some of this bacon? It's REALLY GOOD!!!"
"Oh, hey do you want some... (drops off suddenly) never mind."
"You can have this? Can't you? Right? Can I get you anything else? I have some crackers. How about a peanut butter sandwich? Would you like an apple? Or cake. Cake is good. You're too thin. You need some cake."

But then there are those rare instances that are just plain old awkward. 
Dad: "I'm home! Time for dinner!"
Kids (including me): "Yeah!"
Dad: *Pulls out bag from supermarket. Opens it up to reveal....*
Yes. A full-on rotisserie chicken.

Me: *Just blinks and stares at chicken, then starts running around kitchen to heat up some vegetarian chili*
Dad: "What's the matter? I have dinner right here. You LOVE chicken."
Me: *Stares at Dad and waits*
Dad: "I really don't know what's going on here. What?"
I tried to wait a few more minutes in silence, hoping he would figure out exactly what it was that was bothering me. A chicken. Seriously?

He didn't figure it out.

Me: "Dad. I'm vegetarian."
Dad: "Oh, shoot. I'm sorry. I forgot."

Well, all has been forgiven if not forgotten, and now that I think about it it's kind of a funny story to tell. I mean, he forgot I was vegetarian. Granted, I've only been strictly vegetarian now for about 2 weeks, although I've dabbled in it on and off again for several years. So it's not totally his fault. And the Hormel Vegetarian Chili was pretty darn good if I do say so myself... 2 minutes in the microwave and PRESTO! Dinner is served! But you have to admit, forgetting that your daughter is vegetarian... that makes for an awkward situation.

The positive way to look at it? At least it wasn't a first date.

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