Comfort Food: Eric Reads the Week, #67
Hi! It's R. Eric Thomas. From the internet?
This week: JLo's perfect baseball attire, can I be Emily Blunt's friend?, and I tried doing the least.
On Friday, at a Moth show in Philadelphia, a woman told a story about making a quiche for her then-one-year-old daughter and I was all-the-way shewk. I definitely didn't have quiche until I was 100% an adult; I have never made quiche despite the fact that I am extremely fancy and also a food snob. The idea that a child who had minutes earlier just left infancy was getting a quiche blew my mind altogether.
As you're aware, I don't have any children, but I do have a lot of opinions. So, I feel very qualified to discuss this. I am constantly amazed at parents' abilities to feed their kids, especially when they feed their kids gourmet meals or that one Instagram where the mom makes Disney characters out of her son's food.
I am still not that good at feeding my own actual adult self. I am in this rut right now where cooking an egg for breakfast seems tantamount to running a marathon so I just lie on the kitchen floor until mid-afternoon and then wander through the salad bar at Whole Foods aimlessly for half an hour before buying one (1) Kind bar. I may be going through something lol. So, I guess it's good that I ain't got no kid. My kid would definitely not be here for me whining about not feeling like cooking. My sage plant gets all droopy when I forget to water it and that hurts my feelings so I am pretty sure a kid going "I'm not sure your personal issues are a good enough excuse for you not to provide me with three square a day plus little juice boxes and such" would ruin me.
My mother stopped working for the school system when I was born and stayed home with me and my brothers until I was about 10, maybe a little older. Those years after she went back to work were hard on my parents; my dad worked a full-time job plus a side job that had him out of the house at 5 a.m., my mother was putting herself through grad school while teaching school and taking care of her parents. Plus, there were the three of us kids who had a lot of opinions. My mother kept a chart in a kitchen cabinet that listed all of the foods we three boys were allergic too, didn't like, or would sometimes like. It was a logistical masterpiece. I'm not terribly picky but my life's aspiration has always been to be Julia Roberts' food critic character in My Best Friend's Wedding, so I'm sure I was also no picnic. Also, I did not like picnics; too much nature and I don't prefer eating food on skewers.
Somehow, they did it. We were always fed; we were never hungry and dinner was always good. One of the easy weeknight meals they would make was Prego spaghetti--one package of noodles, one jar of Prego, a couple pounds of ground beef, a little Season-all and you've got yourself a meal. Sometimes, we'd get home from school and my mother, heading off to the computer station to work on her dissertation, would declare "Salad's in the bag; spaghetti's in the pot. This is your dinner; like it or not." My mother was Spinderella; my father was in Run DMC.
I still love Prego spaghetti to this day. It's a comfort food; it strikes me as the easiest possible meal. So much of food is psychological, which, frankly seems unfair. Humans just need to feed themselves; this shouldn't be something I have to parse in therapy. "I'm in the land of milk and honey but I'm lactose intolerant and on the Whole30. What should I do about that?" It's too much. Anyway, I love Prego. Don't @ me. I lived in South Philly for years so this was of particular consternation to literally everyone around me. In South Philly supermarkets there is a whole aisle for pasta and pasta-related supplies. This is the truth. They don't take kindly to Prego. Sometimes, I'd be just about to sit down to dinner when the police would come knocking on the door because they'd received a report of an "inauthentic gravy" and they needed to investigate. South Philly has a lot of very strict food rules. You can only get your quiche on the black market down there. It's a whole thing.
After thinking too much about terrible political subjects lately, this week's columns felt like a smorgasbord of comfort food: there's a very name-droppy "how we met" story from Emily Blunt, a consideration of the expectedly low-tech Daniel Day-Lewis, and thoughts on Meghan Markle's work husband. But first, my favorite thing in all the world: JLo's baseball gloves:
JLo's Formal Baseball-Watching Ensembles Are the Only Things Keeping Me Alive
Look. At. This. Kween! That buttery MaxMara wrap coat is cinched for the gawds, that ponytail is made of unicorn hair; literally no one else could ever. Who is she applauding for? If there's any justice in the world she's applauding herself. Every stadium needs to install a new scoreboard that will only contain information about JLo's ensembles. All 10s, obviously. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]
Moving Air Continues to Vex American President
Fox News was quick to denounce the Wind as "funded by Soros," which is unprovable but probably true. A panel of experts appeared on Judge Jeanine Pirro's show to discuss whether the president had the power to fire or "stop" the wind. The panel unanimously agreed that ending wind was not only within the president's scope, but was what the Founding Fathers intended. One panelist suggested that the president shoot at the wind, but others expressed some reservation about the mechanics of such an endeavor. It was then decided that the president should simply deploy "the troops" to stop air from crossing the border into America. The show devolved into a shouting match about Santa Ana before cutting to a blank screen where advertisements used to be. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]
Emily Blunt and John Krasinski's Meet-Cute Story Is a Delightful Name-Dropping Bonanza
I'm not sure what's more amazing about Emily Blunt, that she has so many celebrity friends or that she is a person over 30 who has more than, like, one non-work friend. Either way, she's a miracle and I'm obsessed. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]
Nothing Has Ever Made As Much Sense as Daniel Day-Lewis' Flip Phone
Day-Lewis, who played an eccentric, exacting iconoclast with a difficult manner in... basically every film, can be seen standing against the subway doors, dressed head-to-toe in Carhartt catalog chic. He's staring intently at the screen of his flip phone which is most likely displaying the year 2008. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]
Meghan Markle's Work Husband Doesn't Have Her Number Anymore and, Honestly, I'm A Little Sad About It
I know that when you marry a prince your schedule kind of fills up with fancy events and public appearances and singing with magical forest creatures, but I guess I just had higher hopes for the enduring nature of a work marriage. This is like if you ran into Leslie Knope and she was like "Ron Swanson! Why I don't even know how I'd reach him anymore." To be fair, no one knows how to reach Ron Swanson, but Leslie would at least try. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]
I Stopped Trying For a Week
The point is, as McCartney notes, there's a relentless cultural drive to excel at work and keep a clean, on-trend home and eat well and maintain a bustling social life. Plus, one should also find the time to binge hours of Quality Television every week, listen to an ever-growing slate of engrossing podcasts, explore a myriad of fitness journeys, and keep up with the news whilst also pretty much constantly protesting because of said news. I didn't know where to start, so I took the arrival of McCartney's book as the universe's way of saying: don't start anywhere. Just stop. Literally don't. Who am I to argue with the universe? [READ THE FULL ARTICLE]
Welcome to Another Sinister White House Holiday
This photo looks like the poster for a Stephen Soderbergh movie about people who fail miserably to stage a heist and scream at each other for the entire running time. Cate Blanchett has already been nominated for it. Nothing says Easter cheer like standing in the blazing sun, staring into the middle distance, trying to make sense of your life. Not smiling, not speaking, just staring. Directly. Into. The. Sun. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]
Let's Hang Out!
Philadelphia: Hosting THE MOTH StorySlam at World Cafe Live on May 7. Get tickets one week before at TheMoth.org
ALSO, my new play Mrs. Harrison begins performances on May 2. It's tense drama with bursts of dark comedy about the question of who owns a highly charged story. I am so excited for you to see it and I can't wait to hear what you think about what the characters do. AND it's Pay-What-You-Decide after the performance. The future! Of! Theater! It's a small theater space, so reserve your spot at Azukatheatre.org
DC: Hosting THE MOTH StorySlam at The Miracle Theater on May 4! Get tickets one week before at TheMoth.org
New York: Hosting THE MOTH Mainstage at Lincoln Center on April 18. Tickets are available here.
Random thing from the Internet...
The internet is terrible. Go outside. Just kidding; outside is cold. Watch the latest SNL Black Jeopardy sketch featuring T'Challa. I laughed so hard I started coughing.
Spaghetti's in the pot,