Eating My Salad Upside Down and Other Reflections on Adulthood

Sometime in the last year I decided to start making my salads upside down.

Some of you might get this immediately, especially if you’re not a huge fan of lettuce, spinach, kale, arugula, or any of those other leafy greens that always seem to form the base of any salad you’ve seen. That bed of green stuff is covered with cucumbers or tomatoes or something mildly interesting, and then those items are garnished with cheese, olives, peppers, and things that actually stimulate your taste buds.

I frickin’ hate salad because eventually, once I get through the interesting stuff on top, I’m left with lettuce. And like I said, I’m not a fan.

So earlier this year, being the only grownup in my home, I made the unilateral decision to put the interesting stuff into the salad bowl first: cheese, peppers, olives, marinated artichokes, what have you. Then the tomatoes go in, then cucumbers and, occasionally, the stupid lettuce. No, it won’t win any aesthetic or culinary awards, but it’s finally in a form I don’t mind eating because the good stuff comes at the end.

I work and pay my bills this way, too, so I guess that’s where it started. I try to do the big, ugly, un-fun projects (editing or re-editing large documents, for example) first so I can savor the time doing things that I enjoy, like creative copy or maybe even fiction. I pay the big, scary bills (rent, credit card, utilities, car payment) before I set aside money to go out later in the week.

The logic to this approach, is that I need to do the boring, unglamorous stuff first so I have something to look forward to at the end of it. Consume all that interesting stuff up front and you’re left with a long, hard slog afterward.

Next step: eating ice cream sundaes upside down. Anyone with me?

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