I love peas. I love them so much. Now, let’s be clear: I love sugar snap peas. Not that cooked crap. If this comes as a surprise to any of you, you need to look the fuck up at the name of my blog. I bet you all think to yourselves, “what’s up with the pea thing?” Am I right? I’m going to pretend I’m right. You can thank me later.
I’m not sure when it began. One day it just occurred to me that I love peas. Actually, that isn’t right. One day I realized that I needed peas. It was an overwhelming need for peas. For me, the things I love are bigger than the thing and more about the ritual and perfection that I’ve achieved with the thing. A perfect example of this would be coffee. I love coffee as much as I love peas, and you may ask yourself, well, why isn’t the name of all of her activities related to her love of coffee? It’s because everybody loves coffee. If you don’t, you’re probably a sad, lonely creature with no joy in your life. My love of coffee goes way beyond the coffee. It’s the mug, the sugar, the heat, the smell, the ritual, the sound of percolation, and the fact that I make really good freaking coffee.
I used to be a smoker, and the same rule applied to that habit. You don’t just smoke, you get your brand, tap the box, pop it out in a fancy and annoying fashion, light it, inhale . . . you get the picture. Even the way you tap the ash off of your cigarette holds pleasure! And you get attached to the habit in relation to your other habits, like having an after-dinner cigarette . . . or a talking-on-the-phone-to-an-old-friend cigarette. And the lung cancer! It’s awesome!
It’s totally unfair of me to compare the habit of smoking to my love of peas. It almost does peas an injustice, but since peas aren’t actually going to be upset at me for using that comparison, I’m keeping it. I love the whole process involved in my pea habit. For me, it’s like all of my other habits in the sense that I have my own unique way of doing it. Many, many people give me a hard time for always shelling my peas and tossing the pods, but I don’t give a shit. I love me some peas, I don’t love me some pods.
Plus, shelling is part of the love of the habit for me. In fact, I can shell so fast, it’s almost a skill. Seriously. I have mad shelling skills.
I love the search for peas, although, living in the desert, it can be tough. The season is short, and I usually find myself disappointed for 7 months out of the year. I used to go to the same grocery store here every season where the produce guy would see me coming, walk right into the back, grab the refill box of peas and bring it out to me. He used to call me the “pea lady,” which I liked at the time—it made me feel all special—but in retrospect, I have a feeling he thought of me a little like the log lady from Twin Peaks.
That’s cool, though. As long as I get my peas, man. When they are in season, I eat about 2 pounds a day. Really.
I’ve successfully trained my boys to love peas too. If I’m going to keep it real, I should admit that I both love and despise that my boys eat peas with me, mostly because I am a terrible, terrible sharer. That is not my skill. I find myself rushing to pick out the biggest and eat them without them seeing me, because they too love the big peas. It’s charming. In order to counteract that, I have begun buying twice as many peas so I don’t end up resenting my children.
One day I was working at Bookman’s, answering phones in the super-cool glass box above the store, and slowly working on my daily bag of peas because I was pretty bored, and, like most humans, I eat when I’m bored. Without really meaning to, I ate the entire bag. That’s 3 or 4 pounds of peas, people! And let me tell you . . . I hit my limit. I was so sick, I had to leave work early. It’s the only time in my life that peas betrayed me.
But it didn’t hurt our relationship.
And then, a couple of years ago, the heavens opened up and shined a light down upon the produce section of Trader Joe’s. I’m pretty sure that on the eighth day, after God took a nap, he created Trader Joe’s. (By the way, as a side note, I know nothing about God. When I asked John how many days it supposedly took to “create the universe” he replied, “Seven. Well, actually six, because on the seventh day he rested. He was all, ‘whew!’”)
They have peas! In the pod! Good ones! Like, all year! And it’s amazing! It’s so nice that I can pretty much count on it!
And, not for nothing, they have really good cheap, sweet wine. In fact, they have all sorts of cheap booze. Cheap booze, people! And peas! Oh my god, and the most delicious maple leaf cookies that have ever graced my lips. Just sayin’.
So now I can have my peas almost every day . And my life is fuller because of it.
And so is my belly.