I eat grandpa food


One time earlier this year I found myself in the possession of an immersion blender. I had heard, from the internet, that they are especially good for making homemade mayonnaise, and that homemade mayonnaise is the real deal. So I got together some oil, an egg, a squeeze of mustard, and some lemon juice, and I blended hard. The result was some pretty darn good mayo! Still, I felt like it needed an application. You don’t just eat mayo with a spoon. I saw in the cabinet that I had some Trader Joe’s canned trout with smoke flavor, which I had recently bought thinking “I should do more fish”. Combining the mayo and the trout, I beheld a mass of oily white fishy goop. It looked like the kind of substance you’d see in the back corner of Zabar’s, requested once per day, every day since the 70s by the same hunched octogenarian rando in a leather jacket. It looked like what Bernie Sanders coughs up when he goes too hard in an argument. This stuff was pre-war. So anyway, I ate it with some bread and it was so good I really almost cried. It was so good that, a couple months later when I was living in a new place and no longer had the immersion blender, I decided to buy an immersion blender on a whim. I had a bad day at work, and I got the idea that the only possible thing that could cheer me up is if I went to Target and bought an immersion blender and made the goop. I dropped one hundred dollars on this grandpa food and it was worth every damn cent. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the grandpa aesthetic. Not so much like I want to look like a grandpa, but there’s something about being in the world like a grandpa that I like a lot. I want to be able to look at someone while they’re talking to me and just start smacking my lips. I want to stare at someone, smack my lips, and feel perfectly confident. Grandpas can just aggregate with other grandpas, play games no young person has ever heard of, and make funny faces. Grandpas just kind of do what they feel like they want to do, which begs me to make the distinction between grandpa and elderly new yorker curmudgeon. Fran Lebowitz is probably not a grandpa: she is too in control of herself and of her schtick. I don’t mean to say that Fran Lebowitz is calculating her persona, it’s just that she certainly has free will at the least. Liza Minelli, as a counter example, totally seems like a grandpa. She’s just out there doing show tunes and getting into trouble. There’s no agency there, she just goes and does it. I think about being a grandpa when I’m really busy with work, or when I’m having to think hard about something, having to feel like I need to be important, or fast, or critical. And when I think about being a grandpa I’m not even thinking about my kids or my grandkids (though children are not a requirement for being a grandpa), I’m just thinking about what mild hijinks I could find myself in without noticing. I had a version of this “I want to be a grandpa” thought during my sophomore year of college, though I didn’t phrase it like that at the time. I had an intense finals week I was prepping for, and I had this fantasy that I could just get up from my desk, leave the library, walk over to Panera bread and order a bread bowl. When telling other people about this fantasy I would do it like some kind of long-form bit where I’m telling the story of a guy named “Mlark” who has a bunch of finals to study for and instead goes to Panera bread and eats bread bowls. The day arrives that he must take his final and he’s nowhere to be found, he’s just at Panera eating bread bowls and asking for new bread bowls when he’s finished. Day in and day out he eats his bread bowls without a care in the world. He stops showing up to school entirely, is completely missing from any relevant location except the Panera, his funds run out, he starts working at a Panera, they pay him in bread bowls, etc. The punchline of this bit was that there’s an epilogue to the story: Mlark ends up super happy and successful. No other details. Today I walked out of work and passed this old grandpa-ass diner in the upper east side called the Ritz diner. They had a red neon sign that said “hot soup”. I considered it!