Moments ago, I was reading an article for my World War II class, and in it they mention Butterbrot-- Bread and butter. Immediately, the image of white bread with smooth yellow butter came to mind and it reminded me of home.
There are certain foods that I will forever associate with home (and when I use the word "home" I am also placing a time period on it, namely, my 8-16 year old youth). Bread and butter is one of them. It's the kind of thing I would never order in a restaurant or make for myself at my flat. It's too bland, too boring, too unhealthy. But, it holds a special place for me. It is my youth. I can see it and taste it right now: A piece of white bread, slathered in soft butter (sometimes margarine), folded in half (that's the way we ate it). I never really enjoyed the fabric-like ribbon of crust, but our family wasn't one of those "cut off the crust" families. I had it rough. I ate that charred and thoroughly unappetizing protective shield so that I could get to the best part: that first bite of pure white bread. My teeth would sink easily through the fluffy whiteness and finally hit the cool, salty butter that resided inside. I distinctly remember that when I took the bite and looked back at the piece of bread, I could see the row of impressions my little teeth left in the butter. At this point, I would probably dip the bread and butter into a big plate of spaghetti-- actually, we usually ate penne-- with "meat sauce" as we called it (looking back, that sounds like such a 1930's Depression Era way of describing/naming the sauce my father made [it was a "let's not discuss this" point in my family that Dad made better "meat sauce" than Mom]. "Meat sauce". It's funny that we called it that), to mop up the tomato and chop meat goodness.
Amazing how a simple passing reference to a German worker's lunch snack brings back so many vivid personal memories.
It's for this reason that I am deathly afraid of having children of my own. I feel like I would warp them, or try so hard not to warp them that, inevitably, I would end up warping them even more. I am fully aware that I would try to control these types of memory associations-- or at least be deathly paranoid about them. For example, God forbid I give the kid a kiwi and he/she doesn't like it. I'd be like "Oh great. Now the kid is gonna have a kiwi-complex for the rest of its life. Great job Matt, you fucked up this kid's childhood."
Pity be the child who gets half my genes.