My dad used to make fried chicken wings all the time.
He was trying to turn the simple meal we could afford into a celebratory family feast.
The smell of steamy rice permeated the air. The sound of the chicken wings crackling in the oil caressed our ear drums with promises of joy around the dinning room table.
The thought of satisfying my salivating pallet made me anxious, but the knowledge that at the proper time I would enjoy the presence of family around the table- gave pause to my younger impulses, teaching me patience.
The meal was simple… rice, fried chicken, some avocado slices and a glass of lemon water. But when we sat around the table, it felt like home.
Home is the place where you can be in a relaxed state of mind and share your intimate personhood with people you love and trust. -jcr
When reading the news today, I discovered that a Father-Son team were arrested for being involved in a chicken-wing scam.
I pondered on the psychological reasons that would lead this Father and Son team to be engaged in such a petty profiteering racket.
Chicken wings are a symbol of the poor man’s food…the laborer who after working all day at the factory, rewards himself with the feeling of coming “home,” celebrating with the family the day’s end over a simple, tasty meal.
One of the main reasons why chicken wings are a staple food at most bars, is because it invites people to relax as if they were at home.-jcr
Perhaps the Father and Son team blamed life’s financial obstacles for stripping them from opportunities to enjoy being at home with family. Perhaps they fell into the trap of thievery by thinking that if they made extra profit, that they would have more time to be at home with family. The human psyche can be simultaneously simple and complex.
Ironically, now every time the Father and Son eat chicken wings in jail, they will yearn for homeliness even more- which in turn will serve as their psychological punishment for the crime.
Our cultural craving for chicken wings succinctly communicates a deeper, psychological need in our society for family and homeliness. We desire to let our guards down, to relax with family and feel surrounded by unconditional love and acceptance- without having to keep appearances.
Chicken wings teach us that human beings instinctively crave for the feeling of homeliness and the simplicity that comes with it.
Chicken wings remind us that the best meals are the simple dishes that are prepared after a hard day of work.
Chicken wings remind us that homeliness feels best when it is experienced as a reward.
Chicken wings remind us that what the human heart enjoys the most is not the amount of physical wealth we can accrue, but the comfort and homeliness that we can feel through the fellowship of a harmonious family- regardless of what’s for dinner.
But Chicken wings… Taste just like home.