Lately-or just this past weekend-I have been searching and looking for something to write about. I know, I know, the thought of me, Alyssa Bruegger, having nothing to say? Unfathomable. Possibly because I'm packing and moving-yuck-and because I'm trying to wrap everything up and tie up all the loose ends. Or maybe it's because my last post has had me in writing awe-NOT to be narcissistic-but I'm finding it hard to move on; it was such a moving moment, that I'm not ready to put it in the shadow of anything else. But I digress...
Luckily, Bill came to my rescue. He sent me a message that was just what I needed; a guest blog. To this man, I owe a whole heap; big thanks for keeping my blog busy, raising a stunningly handsome and good son, the gift of laughter daily, and for entertaining my readers. However, this piece might be good enough to sway my readers to HIS blog, destroying mine and leaving it in the dust...
Good thing he doesn't have his own blog, yet. ;-) Enjoy.
Those Three Words Lately I have been feeling a little sentimental about things and reminiscing about days gone past, and I feel more than a little obligated to pass on some of my deep thoughts to the next generation. Blogging, I admit, can border on narcissism and you may have to forgive me for being a little self-indulgent here, but with the advent of a budding romance in our family these last months, I cannot help but share how I feel. There have always been three words that everyone longs to hear, and, while you may think you know what they are, don’t be so quick to conclude the musings of my fertile mind, for the answer it isn’t obvious.
The words I have in mind are familiar to me from childhood. They are filled with memories of people and places so ingrained on my soul that the mention of them brings instant joy and a deep longing to return to those splendid locals. Frequently spoken by women, these words fill me with wide-eyed anticipation. I see their faces (even now, in my mind’s eye)- Grandma, Mom, Cheryl, Gloria and Juanita (to name a few) have all spoken these words kindly to me. Their smiles broadened to see my reaction (spoken only like a woman can) and, if I may be so bold, I have even had a man or two utter them, eliciting the same wonderful feeling. Don’t be so hasty to guess these words or their sound. Don’t be so cavalier in surmising their meaning. It is something far greater than sentiment or emotion. They stir a carnal pleasure, but get your minds out of the gutter, for it isn’t for something so base as animal lust. The three words are words of deep commitment and full of meaning.
Three words; so few, yet so full. They are of human origin but they are essentially divine. They recently entered my subconscious again. Being special, I only infrequently hear them, but a newspaper article brought them to mind once more. The story that surrounded them is insignificant, but the three words played on my mind with such force that I had to embark on an adventure that I had heretofore shunned as beyond my abilities. After many days of consideration, I procured my supplies, researched my course and leapt headlong into an unknown territory! Those three words compelled me, as a man possessed, to strike into unfamiliar territories, but when I arrived, I spoke these words with such tenderness to my family, that (as expected) I was amply repaid in sincerest gratitude.
Undoubtedly, you now know of which I speak. You have reached the end of the riddle and solved my puzzle. If you have drank deeply of their sweet aroma and found your palate satiated with their savor, you know that I can only be speaking of:
Did you feel it? Did your mouth just instantly water? Did your pupils rapidly dilate? Did your nostrils flare as if to catch something from the phrase? Those words have a profound effect on people- especially men. They go beyond the optic nerve when read. They embed deep on the psyche when spoken. They melt hearts like soft butter when their substance is smelled.
Anyone can add you as a “friend;” the word means nothing now. In our times judicial vows are sometimes shattered- authority is routinely snubbed. Even the most sacred words, “I Love You,” are spoken in haste or used to ply favors from the weak of will. But you just can’t mess up “Pan-Fried Chicken.” They speak of the tenderest affection. No one ever offers to make it without a certain degree of difficulty: buying the ingredients, chopping the chicken, mixing, soaking, battering. And the grease! Copious, hot, splattering grease covers the stovetop, the dials, the floor and shoes. Juicy brown goodness- it oozes down the cracks in the cupboards, fills the voids in the countertops and hangs heavily in the air. Aprons, unmistakably stained in the process, speak the message of sacrifice. “I like you!” these messy things say, “No, you don’t get it- I really, really like you. And if you help me clean up, I may even love you.”
Don’t tell me about your deep-fried chicken. Don’t even deign to mention your stir-fried chicken. I refuse to even say the words pan-seared chicken! Those are the foods of amateurs! They are the quickie-dishes that any hack can crank out. In the end, only one food is the food of love; only one dish enfolds all the wonders the culinary arts ever hope to attain. If you like me (even a little) I probably won’t believe it when you tell me, because I have often been jaded by casual “like” served up with a burger or a burrito. But I tell you will be eternally grateful, and your friendship will be proven like gold, when you call me on the phone and tell me to come by for a visit, because you have just prepared me some “Pan-Fried Chicken.”