Years ago—and I'm sure that my Dad won't remember saying this, and that's ok—I asked my Dad what he'd think if I became a vegetarian.
"I'd disown you, honey." He said it with love, of course, but I detected absolutely no sarcasm in his voice.
I laughed it off, as the possibility of me becoming vegetarian was so out there that it didn't matter anyway.
But imagine my trepidation when I did in fact decide that I'd be embarking on this journey? All of a sudden, I felt like I was going to have to have The Talk with my father. That I'd have to come out to him as One Who Will Henceforward Revoke Meat.
It went over pretty smoothly, though (she said, disappointment looming in her voice). Ryan and I went to my dad's house to watch the football game, and around halftime, when everyone was getting hungry, the topic of lunch came up.
"Well, I guess we can't do Louie Mueller, since you're a vegetarian now."
WHAT!? How did he know? Who told him? I needed to have the discussion with him face-to-face and here, he already knew?
"Well, um, who, um--how, um... Huh?"
"Margaret is on your facebook and she said you mentioned something about going vegetarian. I guess you can just eat the beans, though, right?"
Well, now that was easy. Granted, I was stricken with the idea of not touching any jalapeno links from my favorite BBQ joint. Le sigh.
Other family members have made jokes that me and the other cousins who set dietary restrictions should sign "Dietary Treaties," and friends have asked if I'm going to have to take a lot of supplements to make up for not eating meat.
Some people have acknowledged the decision as a tough one and wish me luck; others flat out say I'm crazy, and don't I like bacon?
The last time I had meat was exactly two weeks ago; as a start to the meal, I had a sweet potato bisque with a maple reduction and topped with Nueske bacon. The piece of meat for saying goodbye was a perfect 8-ounce filet mignon from a very happily raised Wisconsin cow. It was one helluva way to say au revoir, that's for sure.
Image: Flickr member uberculture, licensed under Creative Commons.