The Spaghetti Incident

More than twenty years ago, I was in high school at that time, I told my mom that the spaghetti with meat sauce at our home was not as good as the one over at my classmate’s house.  It’s not everyday that a kid can say that about the cooking at home.  I am not too sure if I hurt my mom’s feelings that day.  Hey, I was just a dumb kid at that time.


Looking back, I didn’t realize that I had always been brutally honest since I was a kid.  I always thought that it was a quality that evolved after high school and college.   A “concerned citizen” once recommended that I should try to shut up from time to time because I tend to get too hurtful once I get carried away.

Dissonance, that was how Mr. Kong called it in his article today at the Philippine Star.  I might love to think that I am honest and will speak my mind freely but some might think that I’m just being a major asshole.  That’s dissonance for you.


My mom told me to tell our cook/maid about the spaghetti.  An obedient kid I was, I did what my mom told me.  So what did I get out of it?  Well, I can sum up how the cook reacted in series.   She was shocked, probably angry, and ended up giving me a blank stare.  Hey, I was just a dumb kid following orders.


Giving and following orders.  Today as a slightly less dumb adult, I can just say that we should be careful in giving out instructions.  Sometimes, that delightful smile and nod of approval you get out of someone after talking to them can also mean “WTF are you asking me to do again?”  In extreme cases, one will have to do something the subordinate was supposed to do.  You’ll end up doing that task instead.


So, I explained to our household staff what I wanted.  I guess she wasn’t prepared for all the suggestions.  I can’t say she didn’t try hard.  She just didn’t understand what I wanted at that time.  From then on, I decided that I should learn to cook.  I also embarked on my series of experiments to duplicate the experience but I couldn’t really get it exactly right.

Honestly, twenty years after, I think I’ve already forgotten how the spaghetti at my friend’s house tasted.  The important takeaway from that is that it fueled my desire to learn a new skill — cooking.  At least today, my wallet does not have to suffer much trauma from paying for too much takeaway food.  Even eating out today is more of an educational experience rather than just for the sole purpose of tummy filling.


We shouldn’t be just content to copy the experience or duplicate something.  We can always try to go for improvement.


I cooked spaghetti for the family last night.  I used crumbled Vigan longanisa, peppers, black olives and diced tomatoes.



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