For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a very dedicated, obsessive relationship with Italian food. Every holiday I look forward to what classic pasta dish my Nonna will cook for the family; on the weekends when my father wasn’t working my favorite dish that he’d cook me as a kid was simply pasta with refrigerated tomato sauce. My friends to this day make fun of how I constantly crave it, but I feel no ounce of guilt at all.
Perhaps that’s the key word to why food means a lot to me- when my father wasn’t working. When my family wasn’t preoccupied with working and taking care of children, whenever we got together no matter if it was just my father and I or my entire family, food was involved. Food was conditioned into my mind to symbolize celebration, and togetherness. I never expected to get together with my family and not have some sort of meal to celebrate, nor do I ever. I like to believe food makes everything better.
When I came to college, I learned my lesson that I cannot blow through all my graduation money just by going out to eat. I learned that I can’t afford to share meals with my friends every week, and that sometimes the best meal on a college budget is just ramen noodles and water from the sink. And I guess I’m okay with that when there’s a friend or roommate to share it with.