Photo: Kelvyn Skee
I really enjoy dessert. I enjoy everything about it, even the concept of it. It’s pleasurable to just think about dessert. It is some kind of delicious food that serves no real physical purpose other than pleasure. The sole reason to have dessert is to enjoy it. The only other reason I could come up with for having dessert is to intentionally gain weight if you cannot.
Even still, dessert is on the same level as sex. Unless you’re trying to have a baby, its intent is pure pleasure. Like sex, if you cannot enjoy dessert in some form, I think you have a problem.
Dessert, therefore, falls into the “yum” category of life. Perhaps ranked a bit higher on the list than sex because there tends to be less emotional issues to grapple with since sex involves another human being… most of the time.
In contrast, there are “yucks” in life as well. Although as best I can tell, it is harder to come up with a universal yuck list than a universal yum list. After all, we are in the desire realm and so our energy is drawn to satisfy desire more often than avoiding pain. We can all create a list of yums and yucks in our lives. Some of my most enjoyable things is life are dessert, yoga, sex, and my cat Charles. The not so favorable fall under, junk mail, beets, gory movies, and driving in the snow.
In life, and in marriage, we are sometimes appalled by what other people think is good. My significant others’ favorite dinner is nitrate free organic hot dogs cut up and mixed with a can of pork and beans. The recipe also requires I add pancake syrup, brown sugar and ketchup to the mix. I feel my stomach turning as I write out this recipe in the same way that it does when I make it. When I mix that unlikely batch of ingredients together I listen to the comical thoughts in my head, all stemming from how repulsive I find these relatively benign individual ingredients when combined.
Luckily this particular recipe mixes up quickly, which prevents going too far while pondering its source. The last time I made it and served it to my beloved he inhaled it as if it was dessert. That’s just fine with me. His enjoyment is insurance that I will make him that dish over and over again. I am not compelled to savor the world the way he does. I am not compelled to savor the world the way anyone else does. No one else is compelled to enjoy what I do, and even if they are, enjoyment isn’t validated by consensus.
There’s no valid reason for all beings to enjoy the same things.
in fact comparing and contrasting our likes and dislikes can be great, interesting fun. But it is only great fun when we fully embrace our personal relationships with the things we like and dislike.
Intimacy happens at the place of separation and boundary. Where I end and you begin is the place that we touch. Exploring our differences illuminates where we connect. I won’t try to talk anyone out of enjoying the things they love in life, even if I don’t share the same sentiments.
Each opportunity I have to engage in dessert must and will therefore be savored, unabashedly. I am at ease with my compulsion to enjoy, it enriches my life. With chocolate covered spoon in mouth, eyes rolled back into my head, soft moan resonating from my heart I am embodying my authenticity, heightening my humanity and exuding enough positive energy to heal what hurts. This body is only a sensual experience of consciousness, through enjoyment and repulsion we are informed and inform our world about who we are.
My husband is not a great fan of dessert. We’ve discussed this over and over again and for years. Every time he passed on dessert I would either not order it either, or if I did, I would enjoy it less because he didn’t enjoy it as much. He tried feigning enjoyment for my sake, but could never quite pull it off. His taste buds are just of the salty and savory type. Mine are of the sweet and creamy type and never the ‘tween shall meet.
Rather than continue being frustrated at the lack of mutual enjoyment, somewhere along the line we both decided to just savor what it is that we enjoy. Rather than serve his concoction of beans, syrup, hot dogs and ketchup with a twisted, nauseated face, I bring it to him as an offering.
It says, “Here, I love you, for who you are and for what you enjoy. I love you so much I’ll enjoy that you enjoyed this.”
We could have doomed our relationship by letting our differences get the better of us. No hot dog syrup slop for him and no moaning chocolate tortes for me. Or we could choose to savor each other as we are. Embodying our desires, our yums and yucks, and through the power of love, not worry so much that we don’t always enjoy what the other does, but we can always enjoy that the other does.
Antoinette Armocida currently lives, writes and cooks recipes she will and won’t eat in the countryside of New Jersey. She credits the kindness of her teachers for a robust yoga practice, the patience to understand herself and a significantly diminished gag reflex. If you’d like her Hot Dog Slop recipe, email her at [email protected]