Dear Chinese People,
For most of my life, your fine Chinese cuisine has been there for me. No matter where I went, I always found the comfort of your Kung Pao chicken and Hunan Beef. I’ve feasted in some of your fancier establishments. I’ve slurped down your food in your cheaper ones. I’ve enjoyed your $4.99 lunch specials that come with wonton soup and eggroll. I’ve frequently answered my door to find your smiling delivery man standing there with outstretched arms.
I love you, Chinese food. You have been my favorite for as long as I remember. I used to dream about you and your lo mein.
But lately, I feel as if we’ve grown apart. Although I still enjoy our dates, I feel unfulfilled with your sauces. Your old standards seem a bit boring. I’ve tried every dish on your menu. Every combination platter. And my eyes have begun to wander.
Last night, I was hungry, so I drove to my local restaurant, "Hunan Cafe." But as I was about to pull into the parking lot, I could smell something sensual drawing me elsewhere — to "Chili Thai House" across the street.
I know this is hard to hear, but over the past year, I’ve found myself thinking more and more about your two beautiful cousins — Japanese food and Thai food. While I love your Chinese "earthiness," there is a certain elegance to these other cuisines that you seem to lack. I ‘m not sure I even think of you as my "favorite" anymore. At night, rather than dream about lo mein, I dream about the slender curves of the sashimi at "Tokyo Fish."
I’ve tried to keep our relationship going. My Jewish family is much more comfortable with me going out to be with you than with these more "exotic" Asians. I’ve tried to add spice to our relationship by doing it in different ways — Cantonese, Hunan, and Szechuan. I’ve even gone to Chinatown to eat in restaurants that cater to real Chinese customers, but some of those weird-looking dishes were just too kinky for me.
Sometimes, we need to —
"Let go of the past and be grateful for what we had."
I read that on a fortune cookie from a Chinese Restaurant in Sacramento. And the cookie is very wise. We both need to learn from our experiences and move on.
You will never be lonely. Everyone loves you. And so do I — just not the same way as I used to. I wish you all the happiness in the world. In fact, Double Happiness. Although I am currently very attracted to the gentle allure of sushi and the complexity of Tum Kha Gai, I will always remember you as my first love.