I was talking with a friend of mine about my weekend and that I made pizza. He asked if I made the dough from scratch (yes) and the sauce (no). I told him that I can't seem to make a good tomato sauce. The only period in my life in which I did was before I went away to college and lived at home. Back then, my sauce was so good that tasting it while cooking put the entire sauce in danger of being eaten before mixing it with the pasta. I said to him, "well then I went away to college and by the time I was able to cook for real again, I forgot what I put in it. Now, it's always too acidic. I can never get it right."
He says, "Maybe it's your pans."
"Well, before I went away to college I cooked in really nice pans and since graduating, I've had these shitty pans. I really want new pans, especially All-Clad, but I've put it off..." and as I tell him this it hits me why I've had shitty ass pans all of these years and I yell, "Holy crap! I haven't bought good pans because it's something I've expected to get as a wedding gift! I haven't bought good pans because it's what you get when you're settled!"
I have unconsciously not bought good pans and have used bad pans for oh, 11 years because somewhere, buried in my subconscious, I have associated good pans with marriage. Marriage equals registry equals high-end kitchenware from Williams-Sonoma. And I never even believed in registries! How on Earth did that happen? Well, I guess since I've deconstructed every wedding/marriage belief and fantasy I've ever had growing up, one was bound to get missed.
My friend then says, "You're settled. Get your All-Clad. Make the sauce."
Absolutely right. I'm so totally getting a new set of awesome pans!