I am (still) a vegetarian.

Some people ask, as if they expect me to change. I suppose they might expect that considering I married a meat eater.

Three months or so ago I was quite scandalized when I was chowing down on my Thai sweet and sour tofu and realized it was chicken. I lost my appetite after that and felt a bit of revulsion. Whether the revulsion was toward the chicken or myself for having eaten it is still to be determined.

I kept quiet about it to my friends, because the embarrassment would have mortified me. I did tell my husband though, who was quick to tease me. He mentioned it to his family while we ate lunch together. His parents eat meat, his younger brother, Tim, does not. Tim looked at me with astonishment. "you did what?" Tim said. "As soon as I realized--I didn't eat anymore" I said placating him. "I felt sick to my stomach." After that, I think Nick realized it wasn't something I wanted to be teased about, and he didn't mention it again.

There is an inconvenience factor to being a vegetarian. I hate being an inconvenience to people. Folks not accustomed to people who don't eat meat, feel like they have to make special accommodations. Aunts and uncles make special visits to the grocery store when we visit. In China, our host for a special dinner, felt she was not giving us the type of meal she really wanted, because "cooking vegetables was so easy, so simple." Going to restaurants with friends revolves around "Did you see anything on the menu you can eat?"

Nick likes to tease me that I am a very picky eater. This is in spite of the fact that I eat avocado, and he does not. (They have the wrong texture.) I eat squash, and he does not. (The texture again.) I eat eggplant, and he does not. (Too slimy he says.) I eat beets and he does not. (Just plain bad.) I eat artichoke and he does not. (How can you eat something with the word "choke" in its name?) Then he pulls out his trump card, "You don't eat a whole food group. You don't eat meat. You are way more of a picky eater than I am."

I watch, fascinated by the cooks on television as they prepare their meals. Open eyed wonder at the intricacies in preparing meat. Intrigued by the taboos about what can and can't be eaten. Eating and preparing meat is another culture I don't quite understand. I wondered once to Nick what was the attraction in a disposable cutting board. He replied, "You are such a vegetarian."

I am not out to convince anyone else to be a vegetarian. I am not about to quote a list of vegetarian celebrities. (That methodology goes south when you realize that some believe Hitler was a vegetarian.) I don't pass judgment on you because you are or are not a carnivore.

I just don't eat meat. I'm not planning on changing.