An Ode to Popcorn

I am recovering from a popcorn bender this morning.

When I first met my husband, he didn’t fully appreciate or understand the phenomenon of casual popcorn eating. Sitting in a bar down in New Orleans a few years back, I was thrilled to see that they offered endless FREE popcorn to their guests. I positioned myself eagerly next to an especially full bowl, and settled down for the long haul.

At the time, my partner and I were just getting to know each other. As is typical of me, I was oversharing, pouring my heart out with lots of intense feelings about one thing or another, all the while trying to cram as many fistfuls of popcorn into my mouth as physically possible. My mouth and heart full, he looked at me perplexed as he took in one kernel at a time and looked around the bar.

This reaction utterly confused me at the time as I have never met a bigger food enthusiast than my husband; he generally eats with such gusto and passion that all bystanders admire his fervor. But as a Dutch man who had recently moved to America, he had not yet learned of the passionate popcorn eating tradition. Dutch popcorn was part of school science experiments or at movie theaters, but rarely at home.

Today, I am happy to report that my husband and I eat popcorn with the same reckless abandon; I have taught him my ways. In this otherwise dark time of year, there is nothing that makes me happier than waking up to popcorn for breakfast, popcorn for snack, planting secret popcorn in between the couch cushions to be re-discovered all year long. In an otherwise lonely holiday season, popcorn keeps me company, an old friend, a visitor from back home when none are allowed.

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