The Formality of Pork Chops

Some girls commit carbicides. But I prefer to cook pork chops after the end of a relationship, no matter how brief, short, natal or ‘unborn’ it may be.

Things are usually fairly stable but due to a twisted fate, I have faced the ending of not one, not two, but THREE romances in a matter of the past five months. I must have outdone myself this time around.  At this point, a set of protocols that are associated with “The End” have already been established. These rituals are usually three-fold, and of course all of them involve self-pampering.

Self-pampering is the key. This summer, for instance, the very day my three-year long relationship ended, I cut my hair short, had my nails done, and received a facial treatment. Or last month, I got myself two purple dresses from Brickdale.

But purple dresses and pretty nails aren’t enough. The second part involves a little more fulfilling experience, which usually means indulging myself in things I have always wanted to do but never had a chance, such as traveling to another town, painting or reading an extra-curricular book despite encroaching deadlines.

Finally, pork chops. Yesterday was one of those days I had to make my pork chops. Since the Eco-House has slaughtered a whole pig and kept it in the deep-freezer, pork chops are the easy, readily-available choice. I went to my morning classes, sat on the Chamber lawn to think, and came back home for the meal. There is something inherently therapeutic about kitchens. The comforting touch of the wooden cutting board. The yellow flowers on the windowsill. Above all, the sense of action and accomplishment after a successful meal. It’s a perfect closure activity.

Enjoying a dish of meaty pork chops is probably not what most girls do after an emotionally-disrupting experience. A high intake of sugar or binge-eating junk food, also known as, “carbicide” is usually the case. It’s also arguably a uniquely American phenomenon. The concept of “self-harm” is foreign enough to me, but “self-harm through food”? How is that even possible?

It makes sense once you consider the backdrop of Farm-Bill-infested American industrial food culture, where cheaper food contains more calories and less nutrition. Regarding food as something pathological, instead of pleasurable, comes with self-pity and guilt. But I feel neither self-pity nor guilt from break-ups – especially not self-pity.

Being on the “attached” end of a failing romance doesn’t scare me. In fact, I am only scared of “what-could-have-beens.” At one point along the interactions, after conceiving a blurry notion of a contested future, I hang on to this work of imagination, until one day, like yesterday, I realize that the road doesn’t lead there. This moment of realization…the sense of certainty, and the knowledge that I won’t be missing out anything calms me down.

This ultra-utilitarian, pragmatic approach does serve me well. The feelings are still there – it’s not necessarily love – and they may incrementally be gone. But the fact that I can never “capitalize” on these emotions stop me from taking any substantive action and before I know, I have already moved on. Thank you pork chops.


2 pork chops
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
Some buttermilk

Apply the spices over the pork chops. Preheat the oven to 350. Place the pork chops and bake them for an hour. Right before they are done, take them out of the oven and fry them on a pan with buttermilk.

One thought on “The Formality of Pork Chops

  1. Pingback: Hpaan Retreating | A YANGON WOMAN

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