You Are What You Eat

“You are what you eat.”  That’s a familiar quotation to most people, but few know its origin.  In 1826, Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote, “Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es.” in Physiologie du Gout, ou Meditations de Gastronomie Transcendante.  The translation means “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.”  It usually is unnecessary for me to tell what I eat because it is only too obvious to anyone who casts a cursory glance my way since I often wear what I eat.

Even when I’m being careful, I often end up with drops or splatters of food and beverage on my clothing.  My morning coffee seems to be the worst offender, but that stands to reason since I have a cup every morning on my 45 minute drive.  The paved portion of the road I travel has its share of bumps, and the gravel road is a sartorial catastrophe waiting to happen.  However, my experience this morning tops anything I’ve done in the past.

I was about 20 minutes into my drive when I hit one of the aforementioned bumps just as I was taking a sip of coffee which caused a surge of liquid that I struggled to keep in my mouth.  Unfortunately, a tiny bit slipped down my throat before I was ready to swallow.  It is amazing that so much dialogue can pass between your conscious brain and your involuntary nervous system in a nanosecond.

Brain:  You cannot spit out this coffee because it will make an unbelievable mess.

Body:  Seriously, I am choking to death and you are worried about the mess that’s about to occur.

Brain:  Maybe you could spit the coffee back into that little opening in the lid.

Body:  I have taken your suggestion under advisement, but that doesn’t seem to be the best course of action at this time.

The first part came out in a fine mist that I sprayed across the dashboard of the car, but the bulk of the coffee dribbled down my chin onto my shirt and slacks.  I pulled to the side of the road and frantically dug tissues out of my purse to clean up the mess as best I could.  Since I was almost half way to the office, I decided to continue on and get a new outfit once I got to town.  The shops in the Mall didn’t open until 10:00 so I checked out the spring collection at Wal-Mart and found something suitable in fairly short order.

I am looking forward to retirement for several reasons, but one of the benefits will be the end of the daily commute.  Once that is over, I may have a chance to win when I play “Guess What I Had for Lunch.”  Until then, I will always lose because there are too many clues when you wear what you eat!


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