Friday, May 11, 2012

Meat Loaf as Metaphor

Last night I arrived home with a profound sense of gratitude.  We've been having day after day of scary storms, the kind of storm with dramatic lightning and wind howling around the buildings and rattling the doors, the kind of storm where I wonder if I should go to a windowless room closer to the center of the building.

Yesterday was also a day where there was some kind of horrific crime, officers shot, the Florida Turnpike shut down in both directions.  I was grateful to scoot home before the traffic problems in the west of the county spread across the whole tri-county area.

My spouse had made meatloaf.  It was delicious!  I say this with surprise because I've always thought that a dish like meatloaf or sloppy joes was a terrible thing to do to meat that could be grilled as burgers. 

My views on meatloaf were formed during my childhood in the 1970's, a time of incredibly high meat prices, where my mom would have made meatloaf with more filler than meat.

We also opened a yummy bottle of wine, which would not have been served with the meatloaf of my childhood.

We've been watching the best TV of the 1970's too, MASH and the Mary Tyler Moore show and the Bob Newhart show.  The writing holds up, as do the characters, even if the sets, hairstyles, and clothes look dated.

I wonder about the TV of the youth of today.  What will bring them nostalgic happiness as adults?

I'd probably vote for shows like Parks and Rec, The Office, and 30 RockModern Family also has the qualities I look for in a show, whether or not it's one being aired today or one from my childhood:  good writing, interesting characters, humor that makes me laugh out loud, a sense that order and love will be restored. 

In some ways, that's what I want for dinner too:  something that's interesting to see and taste, something that makes me feel that order and love will win the fight over chaos.  For many people, that's meatloaf. 

That's what I want in my reading and writing too.  Hmm.  I'm seeing meatloaf as an even larger metaphor.  I know that there are edgier literary critics who would sneer at my love of literary meatloaf.  Let them read their disturbing tales exploring the minds of child molesters and murderers.  Give me my spunky heroines who defy the odds and restore order when chaos threatens.

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