I am a morning person. I get up and at it. Coffee first. But when those morning essentials are not there, it throws everything off. My chi is lost. And if it’s a Sunday, fugghedaboutit or, as my dad would say in the most lamenting tone, “Ay, olvidalo.”
Yesterday morning I lacked cream and sugar for my coffee. The only thing worse then having your day thrown off by the time change is having your coffee routine sabotaged by lack. It’s no tragedy, I know. If I have to, I’ll drink it black but if I have time and money, I’m going to Wal-Mart.
So I go to Wal-Mart, looking for the sugar aisle. I find it and review everything. I immediately and subconsciously know to stay away from white sugar. Like a bloodhound, I’m looking for anything organic; again, this is done automatically. I’m a robot. I see some turbinado sugar but I’m immediately repelled.
“Nah,” I say, “That stuff never seems to sweeten my coffee. What a farce.”
There’s multiple organic sugar varieties that please me. Now I’m looking for price and then quality which doesn’t mean I just go for the Wal-Mart brand. Not even sure if they have Great Value Organic Sugar. But if they did, I wouldn’t buy it. I’d look for something better. I find what I’m looking for: Organic, Non-GMO, Pure Cane Sugar.
“Sweet!” I exclaim, relieved I’m the only one in the aisle. But then, I see a bag for Organic, Non-GMO, Fair Trade, Pure Cane Sugar. Ah hah! Not just healthy sugar but one that also appeals to my sense of fairness and social responsibility. I grab it and walk towards the milk aisle. Nothing fancy with the cream. Plain half and half is just my game. Then I think about breakfast. The kids and Gretna had baked oatmeal the day before and I missed cooking Saturday morning breakfast as usual because of Andres’s baseball game. We have eggs for days because the ladies are pumping them out like machines. I walk towards the breakfast meat section.
“I can make eggs, fresh hash brown, cut up a little avocado and get some bacon or sausage.” But of course, not every breakfast meat is made equal. As I survey the bacon, sausage, and ham in front of me, again, my thought process is guided by certain words.
“Buy only uncured, non-GMO, no nitrates or added preservative meat.” I look around as if spooked and controlled by something outside myself. It’s an odd sort of mind-control as if someone is standing next to me, forcing my buying. But of course, I already know the answer. It’s not mind control. It’s knowing information. It’s living with a wife whose very informed about how our food is made and what alternatives are better. Even if it means paying a little more. Like now. I am amazed how much more I have to pay to buy good food for my family. I think of the breakfast I will make for them and am glad that I’m not just giving them Captain Crunch like the lady next to me in the self-checkout.
And then I came home and busted out this hearty breakfast for my family with the speed and intensity of a short order cook. Not to mention pressed for time because we had to get to church. When I work like this for my family, I can’t help but realize that I am merely emulating my father and the breakfasts he would prepare for us: eggs, beans, avocados, platanos, queso cotija, tortillas y cafe. And before I serve myself to eat, for a moment, I’m angry at movies, no, stupid movies like Mom’s Night Out that make husbands look like helpless, incompetent, imbeciles. But I don’t let it get to me. All is forgiven. It’s Sunday.