My wife refuses to eat white chicken meat without BBQ sauce. For seven years now I’ve made space on her dinner plate for the customary pour of sauce, regardless of what else might be served along with her meat. The smile that stretches across her face every time she dips her bite ensures I’ll be doing this routine well into old age. Our list of tried and yet-to-be-tasted BBQ sauces is long, mostly due to our son’s love for dark chicken meat… no sauce. While our little family does its bit to keep the poultry and BBQ sauce markets humming, I can’t help but wonder about the sauce. Her stubborn sauce.
What is stubborn sauce? When the extra that is supposed to compliment the main becomes more important than the main itself, that is stubborn sauce. It’s easy to see how silly stubborn sauce is when we witness a child reject their hamburger because it doesn’t have ketchup or toss a piece of toast because it doesn’t have jam. But the truth is that the impact of stubborn sauce goes far beyond our plates and stomachs.
My stubborn sauce is not edible. For me, it is a part of my history; the part that describes how and why relationships and dialogue became so important to me. I have been so concerned about sharing those details that I end up undermining the power of my story as a whole. The more I insist on having my stubborn sauce, the less I get to enjoy sharing my story. It is no different than my wife and her healthy white meat. The photographer who never submits a photo because it isn’t perfect knows stubborn sauce. The blogger who fills their DRAFTs folder but not their live blog knows stubborn sauce also. Anyone who ‘would have’, ‘could have’, ‘should have’ or ‘may have’ has stood in line with me, hungry for our portion of stubborn sauce.
Yet like every good bottle of BBQ sauce, stubborn sauce can run out – if you let it. The only thing standing between white chicken meat and my wife’s digestive system is her. It is her choice. The only thing standing between me and the full potential of my story is the same… me.
Me.Now. is not about what was, but rather what can be. It is about realizing that stubborn sauce does nothing except take away the opportunity for each of us to enjoy something great. One day somebody made a hamburger for dinner and imagined a wonderful quiet evening with a beer, a burger and their favorite TV show. When they opened the fridge, imagine their disappointment when they discovered there was no ketchup. Rather than give up on the night, that person reached across the mayo, mustard and relish to grab a tall red bottle with SRIRACHA on the side. Did they know how it would turn out? Nope. But trying a new sauce is always better than losing a hamburger.