By Erica H.
As you may recall, I will eat eggs in any form or fashion, in combination with a wide variety of other foods (any time of day, all day long, forever and ever amen). I am not picky about eggs. But when I have a specifically breakfasty-type egg, particularly one accompanied by potatoes of some sort, I find that I need a tomato-based condiment in the mix in order to properly enjoy it. Being in Austin, this tends to be salsa, and I usually don't need to specially request it because this combination is a given. But occasionally I find myself facing, say, a Western Scramble at the House of Pancakes and Flags, tomatoless. At which point I want some ketchup.
But for some reason I am extremely embarrassed by this. Why is that? "Could I get some ketchup?" I ask the server quietly, wincing a bit in an effort to convey, "I know. I know." My mother, sitting across from me at the Breakfast and Patriotism Hut this morning, didn't understand my condiment shame. "Why are you embarrassed to eat ketchup with your eggs?" she asked me, continuing in the same breath, "your grandmother considers it very low class." Yes, well. I suppose it's something along those lines. I just felt...tacky. And keep in mind I was sitting in an establishment whose motto is "We Really Love Flags."
A few possibilities: 1) There are certain regions of the country where ketchup is very popular, and mine is not one of them, making me feel like an outlier, 2) Pouring ketchup on something is soooo uncooly American, just like stomping around Europe in sneakers and jeans, 3) I am actually embarrassed any time I request something "special" in a restaurant because it requires a) drawing attention to myself and b) speaking to humans, or 4) Putting ketchup on eggs is insanely and objectivey trashy.
So what do we think? Is this feeling justified? Are you all horrified by me and my vulgar breakfast heap, smothered in sugary tomato sauce? Does it make it better or worse that I will also dip almost anything in ranch dressing if given the chance?