For one poultry-filled month of sixth grade, I ate microwave-nuked chicken pot pies from Aldi, to the exclusion of nearly all other foods. Lunches, suppers, and occasional breakfasts consisted of these TV dinner delights.
And then, right in the middle of one of these pies, I suddenly realized what I was eating. I tasted greasy chicken-flavored water, slimy brine-saturated vegetables, and a pie-crust made of a substance that had the physical and chemical properties of neither bread nor uncooked dough. I did not finish the pie.
A few days later, I was rooting around in the fridge for something else to eat. I saw the chicken pot pie box glaring at me from the bottom shelf. Awkwardly, I grabbed the Oscar Meyer bologna blister-pack (another short-lived food fixation), and closed the refrigerator door, doing my best to ignore the unfortunate run-in.
That was ten years ago, and I have not eaten a chicken pot pie since. Even the smell still makes me feel queasy.
I’ve started to wonder if I do that with people too. I moved from Taylor Fort Wayne to Taylor University proper a year and a half ago, and dozens of people I used to see every day have vanished from my life. It’s as if they ceased to exist when I ceased to be around them.
Even on this campus, people seem to wax and wane in my life. I will spend a large amount of time with someone for a few weeks or months, and then move on to the next conversation subject.
Is this a product of my male achievement-oriented mind? Is there some bizarre instinct in my mind that compels me to “finish” each person before moving on to the next? Are they like books to me which I pick up, read through, and then return to the shelf, ostensibly to read again at a later date, but in reality to leave gathering dust?
And if so, how do I stop? How do I stay interested in people even after I dissect their psyches and uncover the inner workings of their personalities? Is there comfort to be found in constancy, relief to be discovered in predictability?
Perhaps this is why families fall apart so frequently in this country. We have been trained by Hollywood to accept as normal the two-hour gestation period for love that we see on the silver screen—so much so that a longer than theatrical relationship leaves us itching for a passionate fling with the remote.
The internet contributes to this ADD too, making us less inclined to see things through to comple