Scenario 1: A man goes to a doctor and complains that he has lost all sensation of taste. When he eats, he only senses textures and density. “It’s like eating cardboard.”
Scenario 2: A man complains to a doctor about a phantom taste he has each time he consumes food. Different items of food present the same foul taste. “It’s like eating shit.”
Now, which is worse? You might be thinking bad taste is worse, “I’d rather eat something with no taste than the worst taste ever”. But think about this? Would a life with no flavor truly be worse than a life with flavor (even a bad one)?
What does this even mean?
Well, I’ve been meeting a lot of moms lately who have “mom tastes” aka cardboard tastes in books, music, art, film, etc.. Being around these women panics me, it seems theirs is my inevitable fate now that I’m a mom. I’m bothered by this. No one told me that having a child meant that I couldn’t have any passionate opinions about art or the humanities.
Rewind a few years: My roommate/friend vehemently and uncompromisingly loved Celine Dion and Jennifer Lopez rom-coms. I hated how bad her tastes were that I argued with her, hoping to convince her of the errors of her tastes. Of course she never budged, just as I never convinced her that her tastes were horrendous.
Flash forward to today: I wish there were more people in my life with bad tastes, even a passionate feeling for Celine Dion or Stephanie Mayer would be better than a mom with nothing to talk about but their kid’s nap schedules.
I see it as a failure to our children when mothers pass on their passions. Why can’t a mother have lines memorized from Kurt Vonnegut‘s novels or weep when she hears the newest Janelle Monae song or stare for hours at a painting in her favorite museum? How does that hinder her ability as a mother? I don’t want to be the woman eating cardboard her whole life, I want my children to see me eating away at something (even foul tasting) and feeling deeply about each bite.