Friday, February 10, 2006

meditations on tofu and the single life

I love tofu. I'm a vegetarian, but even before I became a vegetarian, I loved to eat tofu. That's not to say I don't like meat. There are some days when I think I would give anything for those good ol' Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets or a pork-filled tamale. But I don't.

I occasionally have arguments with a vegan friend of mine regarding the merits of fake meat. He says seitan "pork" or whatever else is good for when he's craving meat. I say, it's just not good enough. When I sink my teeth into a juicy piece of seitan chicken, all I can think is how it's like meat... only not quite.

When I eat, I don't want to think about how this is almost like something I love eating. I want to truly enjoy my food for what it is. Living as a single woman is the same way for me. I can't seek a relationship that's almost like love. I can't seek a man that's kind of like the one that God has for me.

It's tough. When my roommate's sitting at the table eating her salmon, sometimes my tofu or lentils just don't seem quite satisfying, but I'm not going to settle for just the best imitation of meat that I can find. I need food that's enjoyable in and of itself.

I've wondered what it is in our situations that made the difference between my feelings on fake meat and my friend's. The truth is, I don't know if I'll always be a vegetarian. I don't need to settle for the closest imitation of meat I can get, because I feel that there's still a chance that I may decide to have the real thing at some point.

Perhaps in the same way, it's the hope I have in finding the right man for me that allows me to enjoy the single life. I don't enjoy it as a substitute for marriage. I don't enjoy it as making do with what I have. I cherish each minute of it, because I know that I won't live this way forever. By God's grace, I have come a long way from where I was a year ago, and so, despite all my cravings for a relationship, I
enjoy my life now exactly for what it is. I love being single.

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