I’m A Deli Menu (A List)

There’s a particular type of writing that’s incredibly prevalent on the internet. A type that I’ve never attempted. It’s divisive to say the least. This is the infamous list.

There’s a lot of hate speech about lists. People say it’s lazy entertainment, it’s quickly digested and forgotten. There’s some truth to this, but I personally don’t think this is such a horrible thing. Not everything needs to be life affirming or changing. With that being said, I’m going to write a list, but since I can’t help but write about myself this list is going to get personal.

Jonathan’s Top Five Sandwiches

5. Meatball Sub

I didn’t grow up in a privileged world. My parents both worked and most of their paychecks were devoted to bills and necessities. But, there were times when we could splurge. When we could dive into the funds and find a little bit extra. Of course I didn’t understand budgets or savings back then, but I did know that when we hopped into the car around dinner time and drove past the various fast food burger joints, I was in for a treat.

Looking back now, it seems silly to think of a trip to Subway as a treat. Yet, when I was a kid, there was just something about the weird old timey photo wallpaper and the yellow and green color scheme that lit me up. My sandwich, as you might’ve guessed, was the meatball sub. I remember the way my dad would shake his head at me as the sauce would fall out of it’s bread container onto whatever shirt I was wearing. Somehow it was always a white one.

My ability to eat a meatball sub without making a mess of myself has improved over the years. Yet, every once in awhile a stray meatball will roll out onto my shirt and pants. Since my dad generally isn’t eating with me, it’s up to me to provide the head shake.

4. Patty Melt

This probably should be higher on my list, since it’s become my “Test meal”. For those who don’t know what a “test meal” is, it’s a menu item that you use to determine if you like a restaurant. It didn’t always hold such a prestigious position though.

It all started the first week I moved into the dorms of my first college. It was my first time not living with my mother and I was hellbound to find my way and experience things I felt I couldn’t when I lived at home. I was fueled with some misguided belief that everything I did at that point tipped a nonexistent scale in favor of adulthood.  So, one of the first things I wanted to do was find some place that I could call mine. A haven where I could go and show everyone just how adult I was. I found that place and once there, I ordered a patty melt.

I utilized that place many times during my days in the dorms. To escape the cold, to escape my ramen supply, to escape homework, to escape my homesickness. How very adult of me. I haven’t been back to that place in years, but I still will order a patty melt when I find a new restaurant, hoping each time that I will find my new hideout.

3. Grilled PB&J

It’s now been a few years since the glorious dorm days, of which I never want to return. I have my own little apartment tucked away in my own little neighborhood. Liberty pulses through my veins, I’m free to do what I want within these walls. Independence is a truly sweet taste. It’s horrifically disfigured cousin, boredom, is another story.

I’ve come to believe that necessity is not the mother of all invention, it’s boredom. I’m not going to say that I invented this sandwich. I know I didn’t. But, this sandwich came to my rescue when I needed it. It disguised itself as an original thought. It pushed it’s way through, the eventless haze and found me: lost and slackjawed.

I’ve come to understand from various sources that bored eating isn’t healthy. To them I say, eat a grilled PB&J, then tell me that. They probably would, but they should still eat the sandwich.

2.Turkey Club Sandwich

To be fair, this isn’t really my sandwich. I don’t like them. I don’t really like cold sandwiches as the rest of this list shows. This sandwich is the personal favorite of my girlfriend actually. I can’t even count how many of these she’s eaten in my presence. It’s almost become a guarantee that if a turkey club is on the menu, she’s going to order it.

I have to admit, when we first started dating, this annoyed me to no end. It’s always been my philosophy to enjoy variety. To seek out things that i wouldn’t normally try, and then try them. So watching someone else order the same thing over and over and over was hard to swallow. But as time has gone on, I’ve come to accept it. I think I’m growing up.

All in all I’ve become a more accepting individual. As excruciating as it can be sometimes, I’m doing my best to walk the bridge to other people’s views on things. The black inky spider-like beast that used to hover over anything that wasn’t mine is retreating. All in all I’m more willing to allow the world their turkey clubs.

1. Dollar Cheeseburgers

I’ve eaten them all. McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Hardee’s, if there was a drive-thru and it was only a buck, I ate it. The important part of that is actually the drive-thru caveat though. The burger was only a stop on my way to whatever destination my eyes had fallen on.

I’ve long wished that I could’ve been alive and of driving age when Bruce Springsteen’s “Born To Run” was released. I want that spirit of freedom, rebellion, and wildness to pour from my mouth and skin. I always believed that I missed my opportunity at this feeling. I feared that I missed the teenage dream.

Yet, as I look back, as I often do, I see midnights in the backseat of a girls car who I was trying to scam for alcohol. I see sand on floormats, removed from its beach homeland. I hear laughter, arguments, screams, swears, and thoughts of life bouncing off the windshield and coursing over the dash. But most of all, I see the lit up menu of some fast food joint. I feel the thinness of my wallet and I now recognize their place in the dream.

So there ya go. My top five sandwiches, in an order that will only make sense to me. But that’s okay, we should all have our own personal grading scale. I’d like to see yours though, what are your favorite sandwiches?

Also, quick note, I’ve now decided that my google+ account will be my writer’s page. So if you want to interact with me there, feel free. I’ll be posting some smaller things there that don’t quite warrant a whole post here and as always follow me on twitter @joncperson

Now go get yourself a sandwich.

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