To Cook or To Eat

by Payel

I sat there in the swiveling, cushioned black chair, trying not to doze off, while my hairdresser berated me with questions about my non-existent boyfriend. I considered being a cliche and pouring my heart out to her. But then I realized that I don’t even have any juicy gossip to dish out. What kind of life am I leading? I’m well into my twenties now (and by that I mean, it’s been three months). Shouldn’t I be bulked up with some crazy stories by now? Crazy parties? Crazy interactions? But all that stuff falls in the tertiary tier of what I consider necessary for living at the moment. 

The problem is that I keep putting things off for later. And I’m not even talking about petty homework either. I’m talking about the things you legitimately need to know in order to survive, like how to cook food. All I’ve really mastered in the last two months is an omelette. And a shitty one at that.  Maybe part of the problem is that I end up eating out so often because it’s much less time-consuming. But, sometimes I end up doing both. And, therein lies the problem. What was the point of making such an “extravagant” dinner if I was going to eat two slices of pizza on Mill Ave at one in the morning anyways? I rationalize this by telling myself that I’m still in college. I’m allowed to do stupid shit like this. But, my pocket is shrinking, and my waistline is expanding. 

In the back of my mind, a voice tells me that life doesn’t actually start until after I graduate. This is extremely convenient, considering how it allows me to put things off even more swiftly. I was grocery shopping at Sprouts a few nights ago, and I was trying to figure out what I could buy to sustain myself that would also waste as little time as possible during preparation. I tried thinking like my mom, but then I realized that I can’t actually cook like my mom. So, filling my fridge with eggplants and okras would be pointless (and trust me, I have literally bought those before and let them rot in the fridge). 

I ended up buying the college staple of Ramen noodles and a little fancier version of mac and cheese: pasta and a jar of Alfredo sauce. Look, ma, I can cook. Except, not really. But, it hit me then. This is life. I’m actually living life. I’m doing life, guys! This is it. It’s easy to slip into the notion that life will start once I have a job, but that is such an unhealthy mindset to have. Nope. No more procrastinating on feeding myself properly. I’m an adult, and I’m living my life, and I need to learn how to cook.

And while we’re on the topic, I also need to learn a hundred other things that adults do, starting with perfecting my sophomoric signature and learning how to properly converse with waiters when ordering food. Yes. This is what my profound epiphany has led me to. 

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