Lean Cuisine Brings Both Liberation and Sadness

Lean Cuisine Brings Both Liberation and Sadness

By Elizabeth Harper

So convenient. I don’t like to cook.
So why should I have to? It takes
time and planning and organization
and executive functioning.
I forget to eat all the time.
I’ve got other things to do
and think about. Takes five
minutes in the microwave.
Dinner is quick. Grab a fork
and go back to looking
at the computer while I eat.

That little plastic black or white
tray. It’s depressing. Not like
the pretty picture on the box.
A picture of a lifestyle I don’t have.
Elegant scalloped white china plates
on hard wood tables accessorized
with ornate silverware and cloth napkins.
It’s not a lot of food either. Though,
now I’m getting older and fatter,
I don’t need that much.
Just enough to stay alive,
to absorb the alcohol.
Isn’t dinner all about the wine,
anyhow?

At work in the breakroom,
Lean Cuisine is the go-to
for a lot of us. Easy to pack.
Grab and go. Quick to heat.
When you punch a clock,
time is precious. You need
that time off your feet.

Eat too many and you
start to wonder, “Is this
real food?” According to
food scientists and nutritionists
I’ve consulted, it is. I should
supplement with a salad,
but that would require
planning and shopping
and chopping and tearing
and salad spinning.

Any little mundane life tasks
and details rob time and energy
from my real work, what I’m
really interested in, reading
and writing and thinking.
I think all the time about
interesting things like the
genetic and cultural bases
of neurodiversity and financial strategies
for the economically underprivileged
and how to have philosophical discussions
with elementary schoolchildren and
Nietzsche and Spinoza and Foucault
and Kant and Hume and John Stuart Mill
and Emma Goldman and Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsberg
and Sylvia Plath and Stevie Smith and Anne Sexton
and a whole lot of other ideas and influences.

Amazon Fresh will deliver Lean Cuisines.
Their prices are cheaper than Walmart
or Jewel or Walgreens. Whole Foods
doesn’t even sell Lean Cuisine. They’ll
also deliver Ben and Jerry’s Banana Split
ice cream.

 

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