With each passing day there are an alarming number of signs that I’m having yet another mid-life crisis.
Friends who have known me for a long time might suggest I’ve been having a series of mid-life crises since I was 15, but screw them. They probably just know I have dirt on them and they’re trying to keep me in my place. I HATE being kept in my place.
As exhibit A, allow me to point to “dinner” last night.
When I rolled home after coaching my son’s basketball practice (brought the two girls to practice too) I found a note from my wife that said the following: “Oven is pre-heated to 275. Put Flautas in for 15 minutes. I have book club. Love Anne.”
Flauta? Flauta? What the HELL is a flauta?????
After examining the Costco-rific packaging, I discovered that a flauta is yet ANOTHER variety of generic pseudo-Mexican style frozen meal that middle aged white people who don’t have time to prepare real meals buy for their families.
On the upside, the kids seemed to like them a lot. On the downside, I couldn’t help but wonder what the word “flauta” actually means.
Without having the time to do extensive research on the project, I used my 2 years of college Spanish to ascertain that “flauta” is the Spanish word for “flute”.
After eating said flautas, I can tell you that a flauta is actually nothing more than a skinnier and less satisfying version of a burrito with no fixins whatsoever. Basically it’s a deep friend tortilla with meat inside it. That’s it.
As I hunkered down over my microwaved plate to discuss the day with my kids, I couldn’t escape the notion that for all intents and purposes I was eating what amounted to a “meat flute”.
As an avowed carnivore, I don’t have any problem with meat….unless it’s served in a flute shaped tortilla that vaguely resembles the male sexual organ. Now, I’m not only unsatisfied from a culinary standpoint, I’m also forced to wrestle with the notion that what I’m eating is possibly the single most emasculating meal on the planet. All of a sudden I heard my grandfather’s voice saying, “You’re eating a flauta? Jesus, kid….why don’t you just take up macramé and figure skating while you’re at it.”
In hindsight, maybe what I’m having is not a mid-life crisis, but rather a masculinity crisis of some kind. My only guess at a solution is a night of nachos and chicken wings at the nearest sports bar and then a long afternoon spent trying to fix something around the house or perhaps gunning down some small defenseless game animal.
Nothing like a plate full of fried possum to make everything right with the world.