All of you who are reading this have one unfortunate thing in common. You have parents. They may no longer be alive or just no longer part of your daily life, but you have them nonetheless. At one time or another, they probably made your life completely unbearable – multiple times if you were highly unfortunate. And some of the really mean ones might have told you not to use your fingers when eating.
In my family, that’s the way it was. I loved food – I still do. And no matter what I did, I could never get that last delicious morsel off of my plate – without using my fingers, of course. Inevitably a parent would catch me doing it, and then I’d be made to wash my hands and then go back to my seat. Because not only were my hands ‘dirty’ when I’d touched the food I was actually going to eat, contaminating it, but the act of actually touching food made them more dirty.
Looking back now, it makes less and less sense. Sure, I get the basic ‘manners’ concept, that touching food is ‘rude’, but beyond that, there’s not much reason not to touch your food. I can even understand that others might be grossed out by food touching, giving the possible reason behind that politeness. But still, why did I have to wash my hands? If they’re physically messy, isn’t a napkin enough?
For those of you who fear to become your parents, dictators of hand-washing and food manners, there is another option, which I discovered here. Who knows what wonders of eating I could have accomplished with the bulldozer food ‘pusher’?