It has been just over a year since I began my journey as a vegetarian. The amount of skepticism I received from my friends and family was disconcerting, I guess I expected some sort of support from those I cared about. The most amusing response I received was from my mother. I think she was more shocked at my vegetarian news then she was when I told her I was gay. Her first worried response was “How am I supposed to cook for you now?” I laughed at that and assured her we would figure out some recipes to cook together. My friends and coworkers for the first three months or so would write me off every time I reminded them I couldn’t eat certain things at our potlucks and outings. The usual comment I would get was “oh yah, you’re a ‘vegeeeetaaaarian.'” That all dissipated once I hit my year mark; I guess a year of meat sobriety means YOUR FOR REAL!…Wait did I just say, “Meat Sobriety?” Can a gay man ever really use that term? What’s funny is that now I find my friends asking if it’s okay if they eat meat when we are dinning out; thinking they might offend me if they do. My mother who refuses to eat healthy on her own accord uses me as an excuse to eat vegetarian when we go on our mom and son dates.
The most interesting part of this digestive journey has been more so the social aspects of it. Going to a random restaurant late at night after clubbing until 4am, walking out like the shameless dancing queen you think you are isn’t that easy. My most memorable experience was when I got into a drunken argument with the Lebanese Pizza lady who barely spoke English. I was probably number 15 in line, everyone before me of course ordered a jumbo slice of pepperoni pizza. Then along came The Veggie Queen “Can I get a slice of spinach and mushroom please?” I felt like everyone within a 7 foot radius had instantaneously side eyed me. I even heard someone say in a conniving tone “ew who eats spinach and mushrooms?” I looked over and quickly responded “I DO!”. Sure enough the sweaty Lebanese lady refused and said “only pepperoni or cheese!” had I been sober I would have walked away and taken my business elsewhere, and by elsewhere I mean McDonald’s for a greasy order of large fries with an unnecessary amount of ketchup, but sober I was not! So I demanded she give me what I wanted and that I was a vegetarian and refused to eat pepperoni and didn’t want cheese melted on bread I could go home and do that If I wanted a ghetto cheese pizza! After a few more drunken pleas she caved! After all I had been a loyal jumbo pepperoni pizza eating customer before that! “ok, ok, I make you spinach pizza, you always nice and tip” she said in her broken English and ended my night with a warm damp hug from her (more action then I got in the club! just saying) and a smile on my face!
(photo credit: http://www.behance.net/aitch)