Making a salad in the dining hall has become something of an unbreakable habit for me -- an addiction, if you will. No matter what other foods have found their way onto my tray, I always take out a small plate, drop some lettuce of it, add a tomato wedge or two, permit some carrots to enter the fray and then -- if I'm feeling chipper -- crouton it up.
Yesterday though as I listlessly and robotically (is that a word?) concocted my salad, I realized just what a chore the whole thing is. Every day, I take the time to maneuver through the salad bar, often spilling dressing on my shirt or accidentally dropping a piece of lettuce into the tortellini. And then when I sit down at the table with my creation in front of me, I can never look directly at it. My salad is that cousin whom you try to avoid every Thanksgiving but whom you know that you are going to have to talk to sooner or later and hear all about art camp and his new iBook.
THE SALAD DOESN'T EVEN TASTE GOOD!
Yet, I can't break free. I am controlled by the salad. Yesterday I tried to take a baby step and not add tomatoes to my greens. But when I sat down and surveyed my red-less and altogether depressing-looking salad, I immediately stood up and returned to the bar.
The salad was nothing without the tomatoes. And I am nothing without the salad.