The title does not belong to me.  It belongs to friends of mine who recently shared a story about how things began to make sense to them over a couple of crepes. It got me to thinking about the correlation between pivotal life moments and food. I realized that, more often than not, my epiphanies, major choices, or painful moments were often accompanied by a meal that I remember in excruciating detail.

For my friends, these crepes gave them a chance to breathe and sort out their next steps. Sometimes they can mark something sad, like the chicken dinner eaten silently because it just became clear that a divorce was imminent. Sometimes these meals can solidify a fantastic experience, the French baguettes that preceded a proposal. Or they can punctuate an already traumatic moment, like the cinnamon buns in our hands at the second the world realized a building was about to crumble under the weight of an airplane.

In thinking back, I don’t remember what I was wearing, what the weather was like, or what I did with the rest of my day, but I remember everything about those meals. I wonder if food anchors us to a moment, or maybe stops us just long enough to make us notice what is happening around us.

In other cultures, food is an important social and cultural tool. It is not unusual to spend hours savoring a meal with friends, and the food becomes a jumping off point for memory. Maybe we are missing out by living a fast-food lifestyle. Maybe we are missing important moments of making sense of things, or we aren’t connecting with people that matter to us the way we could be. Perhaps by rushing this aspect of our lives we are robbing ourselves of a vital part of our human experience.

Maybe we could all use a few “life-changing crepes”.