I don't think I can adequately express how much I love barbecue--when I say "barbecue," I am referring to what
I didn't know what barbecue was until we moved to Tennessee, but I was only twelve then, and I immediately became a fan of that luscious, tender dish. It has been my birthday dinner for almost twenty years. I have defended it in the wilds of Iowa, where they tried to convince me that grilled chicken legs dipped into some hickory sauce was barbecue. I have stared in disbelief, in Kansas, at a piece of fried bologna painted red with Heinz 57 that was clearly mislabeled as barbecue. I have held back my vomit in Missouri when the school cafeteria tried to pass off some canned Manwich (MANWICH!!) sloppy joe mix on a bun as barbecue. "Lady," I thought, but didn't say, "I KNOW BARBECUE. And that, ma'am, IS NOT BARBECUE."
So, obviously, I love it, okay? Love the smell, love the taste, love to see it cooking, love love love love love love love.
Oh. But I'm not eating meat now.
And, staring down at that huge aluminum square piled full of beautiful barbecue, I realized that I am a stupid, stupid girl.
Because it was GORGEOUS. And it smelled SO GOOD. And it was RIGHT THERE.
For a minute, I considered diving headfirst into that barbecue. That would have been embarrassing, yes, but it also would have meant I'd have that whole container to myself.
It was tempting, mighty tempting.
But I passed it by, and settled down with some macaroni and some fruit. VERY dissatisfying. Not at ALL the same. QUITE a letdown.
I allowed myself to be joyless for a second, but just a second. Maybe two.
The victory here is that I passed a major test, the first real test of vegetarianism!
Do they make soy barbecue?