My girlfriend in college was one of the few truly good people I've known. How we ever got together, or lasted so long, will always be a mystery to me. I mean, she cared about things, really cared. Now me? Occasionally, I have to put my middle finger in a splint, just to let the muscles rest. I've mellowed some with age, but not so as you'd notice. You see my point.
But first, we need to talk about cole slaw. I love cole slaw. That's the sort of thing I care about: getting some decent cole slaw with my barbecue or fried fish. Most restaurants can't be bothered. They treat the slaw as an afterthought. Shameful. And don't even get me started on the minced cabbage swimming in dressing that passes for cole slaw in a supermarket. Yuck, bleah, and ptui.
Well, not ptui. I'll still eat the stuff, but joylessly.
No, a properly made cole slaw starts with fresh shredded cabbage. Shredded, mind, not put through an industrial grinder. To that, you add some onion, some carrot, and a dressing that complements the main course. That's right: you need a few different dressings in your back pocket. And go easy on the dressing, for Lord's sake. It's a salad, not a soup.
If you have any idea what's good, you already know all this.
A good cole slaw is a true delight that enhances every bite of your meal. And, with a few glowing exceptions, the only way to get good cole slaw is to make it yourself. See? That's the sort of thing I care about.
In hindsight, sometimes you see signs you should have noticed. Little things that should have made you wonder. They seem so obvious after the fact you wonder how you could have missed their greater import.
We had been invited to a backyard barbecue. Someone suggested I bring the cole slaw. No argument from me on that. I'm always happy to bring the cole slaw. Other folks seem to be happy with that too, if empty bowls are evidence. True love shines through.
So I was in the kitchen putting a batch together. I looked up and saw her staring at me, looking distressed. What the... I could swear her eyes were welling up a little.
Um... is something wrong?
I... it's... you... you just shred the cabbages up like that?
Well... yes, and... No, no, no. We're not going down this road. They're cabbages. It's just a salad.
I must have been blinded by love. She was a truly good person. She really cared about things. But, in hindsight, there was a fundamental incompatibility there. People are one thing. Animals? Fine.
But vegetable rights ? That's going too far.
Very Truly Yours,