Life: A la Carte or Prix Fixe?

I live life à la carte; by à la carte I mean by choice, especially my choice.  My brother for instance, abdicated his causative influence on life, and welcomes whatever life serves at whatever life costs.  In other words I enjoy the risk of tasting uncertainty while my brother prefers a routine cuisine.

When life is à la carte you can select depending on what’s offered, or you can request what you want and risk denial.  There are many people who anticipate rejection and therefore never make the request.  Are they ducking rejection or avoiding the chagrin of wonder.

Part of living life à la carte is the opportunity of choice; to determine things you like and things you don’t like.  For instance:

EXAMPLES OF THINGS I DON’T LIKE (but others of influence intervened)

  1. I don’t like fresh tomatoes; I do like most everything made with tomatoes because 1) It doesn’t look like tomatoes; and, 2) It doesn’t taste like tomatoes.  During the first decade of our relationship, I drove my partner home for the holidays and slept for a few hours before leaving by 5:00 am.  I reluctantly slid from beneath the warmth of the down comforter like a young dawdling duckling suspicious of life outside the nest.  Being atomatounfamiliar with the layout of their home, I was quiet as a church mouse on roller skates in a dark china shop chaperoned by a cat whose moniker was MouseOust.  I felt like a fighter lolling on the ropes desperate to get his footing; my intention of a tippy-toe takeoff was aborted when his mother’s voice encouraged me to eat before departure.  An encouraging mother-in-law at 4:30 a.m. motivated me like a drill Sargeant at boot camp.  She puttered about the kitchen when my partner shuffled to the kitchen table and sat at my side. Your mother insisted I stay for breakfast at which time he leapt from his seat like a cricket and raced to the kitchen.  I could hear them intensely talking in German when my partner walked to the table and whispered, I’m sorry, I tried everything including allergies, but she insisted!  Did you make a lot of noise to wake her?  I made some noise I sheepishly admitted at the exact moment his mother served me a piping hot, dense, and practically impossible to swallow without chewing cup of German Kaffe and a plate covered by a dozen rolling cherry tomatoes.  And then she sat next to me like a demanding nurse hovering over a boy, a tablespoon, and cod liver oil.  The first one exploded in my mouth when bit down; the second I tried to swallow like a gum ball; my partner quickly ate three and the other seven I tucked high inside my cheeks like chipmunks.  I was little more than five feet out the door when the tomato and coffee breakfast reappeared.  Right down the fender of their Plymouth Wagon.
  2. I don’t like dentists; I used to not like the sort of things dentists do, until I realized that dentists chose to do these things like an interrogator and his “talking tools.”  Actually, I’ve never liked dentists sin
    dentistce the age of three when I recall my father dragging me through the front door of Dr. Olson’s Dentistry Office and it’s tagline etched into the front window: “You’ll be happy to talk after just one visit!”  Every adult within a thousand feet knew that I didn’t want to be there; my father had to lift me, then hold me while Dr. Olson wrapped nylon-webbed belts around my shoulders and stomach.  Once I was trussed and couldn’t squirm, Dr. Olson slowly approached with that tiny mirror and that double-ended pick with which he digs cavities to fill.  “Open wide” the doctor ordered.  Nope.  Then came the first of three slaps to the back of my he
    ad, each one harder than the last; the last one produced a prickly feeling inside my head and polka-dots wandered about in front of me.  My father, his Pabst/E&J brandy breath, and the unstable, intimidating tone of his threat, said so close to my ear dampening it, made sure I understood what and how he’d express the embarrassment he’d suffer because of my shenanigans.  Well, I don’t fault my father because I was only three, and intimidation followed by threats of brutality was how he’d handle anyone threatening his authority, even three olds.  He told me to open my mouth followed by another whack.  I complied and the two men actually seemed proud that they’d broken the colt.  Sort of.  My father told me to open my mouth, but he never told me what to do next.  So I waited patiently for Dr. Olson’s right index finger to worm inside my mouth then WHAM!  My jaw snapped shut on Dr. Olson’s finger and the melee that followed can only be described as a fumbled football during the fourth quarter of the Superbowl.  We all know what happened to me, but it was peanuts compared to Dr. Olson who received five stitches in his finger and told my father that I was not welcomed at his practice muttering, “damn little mongrel.”
  3. I don’t care for urologists.  No, that’s not true.  I don’t like a urologist’s index finger every six months.  But enough about that.
  4. I detest liver.  I’ve tried it at my partners prompting but the peculiar gritty texture and the overpowering smell of a dank basement doused any desire.  Perhaps I was a child in a family of cannibals in a past life, and while waiting at the dinner table Mother Cannibal served a steaming platter of liver, to which I exclaimed, “What, Liver again?”
  5. I have an absolute phobia of physical therapists.  Do I doubt their degree of success in eliminating my excruciating pain, or have I become accustomed to Western Medicine‘s preferred method of treatment: Prbackpainescriptions designed to mask the symptoms yet never correcting the reason for my discomfort; I’ve become dependent on prescriptions for that simple reason:  They manipulate your reasoning of treatment asserting that the absence of symptoms infers successful intervention, when it’s really sleight of hand and our assumption that doctors cure our ailments.  Disappear and cure are 
    not synonyms, no matter how persuasive your physician may be.

2 thoughts on “Life: A la Carte or Prix Fixe?

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