Because it sure is surreal sometimes

Because it sure is surreal sometimes

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ironic Reactions and Ravioli Season

I’ve noticed lately that when I read certain stories in the news, my first reaction isn’t always…typical. In fact, I guess it could be called ironic. Like, for instance, the other day I read a story about a dad who kidnapped his 9-year old son in Seattle instead of returning him to his ex-wife, and then sailed away for a tiny atoll off the coast of New Zealand.

As I read the story, I thought, “Some people get all the luck.” (Note: The kid was eventually found unharmed and having a great time.)

That story reminded me of another ironic-ish reaction I had recently. My ex-husband told me that he wanted to get passports made for our kids. Later, I mentioned it to a friend.

“My ex wants to get passports made for the kids.”

“Oh, ok. How come?”

It then occurred to me that I hadn’t asked my ex what his intentions were.

“Not sure. Hopefully he’ll kidnap them.”

T-minus 12 Days to T-Day
My yard is full of turkeys this time of year. I keep telling my kids to come in and get out of the cold, but they never listen. They’re teenagers. My yard also has hens now, thanks to four little ladies we adopted recently. We are all waiting patiently for eggs (well, except for my husband, who was against the idea of having chickens for years, until the moment we got them, when he began calling them “my chickens”). He can’t wait for the day he can fetch an egg and cook it up for his breakfast. On the bright side, at least I’ve finally figured out the answer to the age old question, what came first, the chicken or the egg?

Speaking of turkeys, we’re at my parents’ house for Thanksgiveit this year, which means the day will be steeped in tradition, including setting the table three days prior, and homemade ravioli with Italian gravy the day of. Other traditions include unsuccessfully avoiding political discussions and never, ever running out of wine.

My mom makes hundreds of ravioli this time of year and freezes them, to get the family through ravioli season. We’ll also have pumpkin pie made from my Great-grandmother Boitano’s recipe, with its super-secret ingredient (brandy). I’m not a big fan of pumpkin pie. To me, it tastes like brandy-laced baby food, and I’m not sure why anyone would want to do that to brandy. I also don’t care for turkey, no matter how perfectly it’s cooked. I typically eat just a few bites strictly for its protein properties, drench it in gravy, and load up on my favorites: potatoes, stuffing, and ravs. Oh, another tradition: certain family members judging other family members for the amount of food on their plate. Before you assume that we shame fat people at our table, kindly recall one important detail: We’re Italian. At our dinner table, if you don’t sit down with a mountain range of food on your plate, or god forbid pass on a second helping the size of a Volkswagen, or shun dessert, you will be treated to a delightful interrogation game I like to call, “Whatsa matter with you?” It goes like this, and it happens as the offender tries to slide into his or her seat at the dinner table, unnoticed:

“Is that all you’re eating?”

“Um, yeah.”

“How come? You on a diet?”

“No. Because that’s how much fits in my stomach.”


Then, fifteen minutes later, it’s the Lightning Round:

“I guess you’re done eating.”


“What’s the matter? You afraid you’ll get fat?”


“Boy, wish I had your willpower.”

“It has nothing to do with willpower. I stop eating when I’m full.”

The stare I get back is so blank, so devoid of any understanding of what I’ve just said, it’s as if I’ve suggested that we engage in a new Thanksgiving tradition consisting of spraying gravy and whipped cream around the room and throwing the plates in the garbage instead of washing them.

At the end of a nice evening, we all end up disgustingly full of something, whether it’s food, wine, dessert or hot air, which, after all, is the American way. 

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