This I Believe

Rebekah - State College, Pennsylvania
Entered on May 11, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

“You don’t need Ketchup with this meal!” This line was a common exclamation uttered on numerous occasions by both my parents in my childhood. I don’t know what made that sweet tomatoey paste so darn appealing but I was along with the rest of the “weird” American children who would refuse to eat her meal without the companionship of a friendly bottle of Heinz Ketchup. Macaroni, mashed potatoes, toast, quesadillas, waffles, and any type of meat, you name it; these meals without ketchup were about as undesirable as a turtleneck sweater on a hot Atlanta summer day. Tomato ketchup adds a contrast of flavor and texture to chewy bland meat. Even macaroni and cheese which is an exciting meal by itself, lacks a contrasting partner to add excitement and variety to its life. Just add Ketchup and a bland gray dinner becomes a contrasting flavorful adventure; like in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy steps into a world of color.

Ketchup is kind of like how a solidly made bad mistake can add dimension and humor to ones life.

You know when there is that time when you just make a mistake so obvious that your face turns red and you feel as if the whole world’s watching? Well, I love making mistakes like that. Making bold but obvious mistakes can add the necessary flavor that makes life so worth living. How boring and bland would life be if no one made mistakes? Ever?

Being Blond probably doesn’t help, but I can say and do plenty of dumb things. But mistakes can be fun when you cover them up with sweet tomato ketchup. Laughter and perspective make mistakes a learning part of life’s journey instead of something to painfully remember. Sometimes I have difficulty finding a balance between the valuable ideologies of common sense and Hakuna Matata (no worries).

In the rain I will dance without thought of catching a cold. In the street I will skate without a thought towards cars. I will ask the questions others would be too proud or embarrassed to ask. I have miss thought the location of Las Vegas. Gotten a concussion from a light. Pulled an all-nighter before finals. Ran into a sliding glass door. Drank sulfur ridden creek water. Ran on open hunting grounds. Put my hand in a mousetrap. I’ve been burned by boiling tea. Pushed on a pull door. Ate a pinecone. Approached a bear. Jumped off a cliff. Miss told time. Touched an electric fence. I guess I live on my own proverbial edge… keeping things real. Dumb mistakes can keep my world on its toes adding entertainment when no one knows what is going to come next.

Now you may think this sounds stupid and ridicules, as it very well is. But this is just one glimpse into my life. So called “blond moments” paired with down right bad decisions create a certain irremovable element of my life. I can do a lot of stupid moves or at least ask some stupid questions. It’s awesome though, once you get past the, I- just- did- or- said- the- dumbest- thing -I’m -so -embarrassed- moments. It is so good to just look at your self and say “wow, did I just do that.” These moments add flavor to the bland monotony of life. It all comes down to one thing… Ketchup.

Ketchup is awesome. The flavor and dimension it adds are unopposed by mustard, salt and mayonnaise. Eww… no competition. With a downward shake and a squeeze, dimension and excitement are suddenly an irremovable part of your meal. Your meal is now your life. Ketchup is the dimension of dumb mistakes, questions and moves. It is good perfection isn’t something that happens here on earth through humans because I would sure miss making mistakes.

So are Buffalo wings actually made of Buffalo?