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An Open Letter From Your Salad

I know you hate me. I just know it.

saladDear Friend,

We’re always dancing around this inevitable conversation, so I’m just going to have at it right now while I have your attention. It’s lunchtime. I know you’re hungry, and I know you’re staring at me with that look again. That look that says, “I guess.” I’ve been tolerating this for a long time (since you turned thirty) and I just want us to be honest with each other.

You don’t love me the way I love you. I know. And I understand. Your breakfast yogurt and I have been discussing this in private, and we know that when you look at both of us, it’s a gesture of resignation. You’ve had your fun with carb-filled meals three times a day, but that trash — yes, I said it — is starting to turn you into a different person, even changing your physical appearance. You turn to me (and to yogurt) because you feel like you have to, because it’s what is “best” for you. At least this is what you think. But I know the truth: I am not what you want. You can dress me up with anything you desire — nuts, bacon, cheese, maple honey mustard vinaigrette — but we both know you’d rather tear into a toasted, meat-filled sandwich dripping with cheese and chipotle mayonnaise. I’ve met that sandwich on one of your “cheat” nights (you thought I didn’t know?) and I can’t blame you. I might make you feel better about yourself, but are you really being satisfied?

I try my best. I really do. I’m filled with the goodness of nature, the nutrients of the Earth that bring together the sacred elements and their human concomitants, nourished and strengthened by the Sun and the entire universe. But you, at heart, desire the things that have been made in the deep recesses of a sterile, gray laboratory by people who want to satisfy your craving for empty calories and crack-like sugar. But it’s okay. I get it. You still want to be a “bad girl.” YOLO, and all of that.

I know what happens next. You and I will continue in this sad, arranged marriage until one of us dies. Every once in a while, you’ll venture out and eat an entire box of cookies and then spend an evening with me. You’ll tell yourself, “It’s fine if I have fun with these cookies — I have a salad waiting for me at home.” But what you’re really saying is “I’ve had my fun, but not with salad.” We’ll both be gone one day, but only one of us can cheat with junk food. I’m going to let that person be you because I still care about you. I’ll enjoy my time caring for you, even though I know I’ll never have your love. Even when I slather myself in ranch dressing.

Love always,
Your Salad

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