Wednesday, January 2, 2013

don't order the eggplant

I am in the car driving to my father's townhouse. We will be traveling across the river to a small town in Illinois where Lincoln once gave a speech from the balcony of a Main street hotel. We are joining my brother and his family for lunch in a popular Italian ristorante. My father has already indicated he does not like this restaurant. "Their raspberry vinaigrette is too salty and I got diarrhea after eating the eggplant Parmesan." Sonny makes this announcement with a tone that suggests we will change our minds and dine elsewhere because of that eggplant problem. This is not to be the case and my brother after hearing the same tired old story said to him, "you know what you learn from this, Dad? Don't order the eggplant."

the dreaded dish

My hands are gripping the steering wheel too tightly and my father has pointed out  three driving errors in less than six blocks. "You speed up just to slow down" has always been one of my favorites and "you shouldn't have to brake here" and "there is a faster way than this."  Dad, my goal is to avoid traffic lights, I hate traffic lights.  "Yes, but you had two stop signs."  Dad, I was able to drive right through those stop signs, no waiting. "Well, maybe this time."  I sigh and now I realize why my mother sighed so much. "Do you want to drive?" The words come out of my mouth carefully and I have never been more serious.

My father orders vegetable primavera and he draws an imaginary line down the middle of the dish. Half will be eaten and the rest will be boxed for a future meal. Do you ever think about taking a forkful from that other side and upsetting the symmetry of your meal division plan? Sometimes I think the guy is wound way too tight but perhaps I am dreading the ride home. And besides, that deplorable trait of his I just mentioned, I've got more than a touch myself.

I love this man intensely and fervently although he makes me crazy. This has been the case with all the men I have loved. If they created no inspiration or headache in my daily routine they would be useless to me. Not the best plan, but there you have it. On the way home he reminds me about the saltiness of the dressing and the pooled butter (he shudders) in the bottom of the bread basket. I embraced both of those delights and I dipped my crusts in that same butter and hoped he did not see. We try to be perfect for our parents, we think they deserve that much.

gimme butter

1 comment:

Arizaphale said...

I wish they would try to be perfect for us.