Friday, January 25, 2013

French Fry Filosophy

Have you ever stopped to think of Life in the context of French Fries & Ketchup?

Most people enjoy French Fries. There is something about a good French Fry that makes me smile. Mushy ones, not so much. But a good fry can brighten my day.

And then there’s the Ketchup. It is the ideal pairing. The Ketchup brings out additional flavor. It adds color. It gives a different taste to the Fry.

Most people eat Fries & Ketchup together. Most people enjoy them. Some people even have favorites or associate them with a specific memory or restaurant or person. Taking that Fry and twirling it into the Ketchup is fun, well, it makes me feel like a little girl. Fries & Ketchup make me happy.

As a child when my parents would go out for an evening, they would take my brother and me to McDonalds. I remember the drive-thru back when McDonalds used to post on the big sign the number of people served each year. I remember how much my brother and I looked forward to those fries. We didn’t get them a lot. I’ll never forget the games we played with them … the longest fry contest or the crunchiest fry. I learned to associate fries with happy occasions … a special treat. Comfortable.

For some people, Fries are no big deal. Just part of the Fast Food experience. When in a rush or need a quick meal, drive thru and place an order. Fries can be filler – a side item.  In the Drive-Thru Lane at a fast food restaurant, you order a sandwich and the automatic response from the attendant becomes: “Do you want Fries with that?” So you say yes and go from there. They are an after thought. You just shovel them in your mouth and think nothing of it.

French Fries and Ketchup can be many things depending on your mood. Your response to them varies. No matter how you view them, pretty much everyone has experience with French Fries and Ketchup.

So, what is it about French Fries and Ketchup? Take a minute and think about your favorite fries … Where do they come from? When and where do you eat them? Do you eat fries in the car alone? Or, are they Bar Food? Do you share them with someone? Do you order them as a side item or just get a basket? Why Fries and not Onion Rings or Mozzarella Sticks?

For me, Fries and Ketchup are simple things. They take me to a happy place. They open me up for lengthy conversations. I eat them slowly, spinning the Fries in the Ketchup playfully and triggering a variety of feelings. When I can’t think of something to say, I toy with a fry. They make me feel creative – in the right location I’m event thoughtful. And reflective. Fries and Ketchup are a comfort food that make me smile and relax.

But, French Fries and Ketchup can be messy. A big blob of Ketchup … a little Fry. One false move and there’s red stain on your favorite shirt.

And too many Fries … well that’s another issue. Too many French Fries means wait gain and too much salt isn’t good for you either. There’s a fine balance to maintain.

So did you ever stop and think about your day, your life, or an aspect of what’s happening at any given moment in the context of French Fries and Ketchup? 

Like French Fries, life has flavor. But add too much salt or pepper even – like too much of anything – and you end up distorting the flavor. Add too much seasoning, and you can make something good into something … well bad. Too much “salt” – good in small doses – makes a fry – or life – taste yucky. It can even ruin the entire experience.

And Ketchup is messy. People tend to want their life to be nice and neat. But it isn’t. There are little red stains around us all the time … life lessons or personal challenges or blobs of regret or dissatisfaction. Too much ketchup heading your way on one little fry and your life can become really messy. You have to be careful with Ketchup. Like life.

Reaching? Maybe. But Fries and Ketchup are simple things to me. Good things. But too many Fries? Well, I’d be bloated, overweight and not healthy – all things that take me mentally and physically to a bad place. Too much Ketchup, well I’m messy to begin with so you can imagine the result.

                                                                                                        -- Jenni