“So that’s why?”
Do you ever wonder how stuff gets started? I do. I’m not obsessed about it, you understand; just concerned. This morning I took advantage of an opportunity to voice my concern, and, boy, did I come close to getting in trouble.
The morning started similar to one I wrote about last week. Remember? I was, again, sitting at the table looking at a big Kroger ad. And, yes, that odd behavior of mine is beginning to worry me. I’m focusing entirely too much attention on the price of food.
So, I’m studying the picture of a head of lettuce while Kay is reading an article to me. Kay has started reading to me more and more. Not just a sentence or two. She’ll read an entire article. Some of the stuff is interesting, but after three paragraphs, I’m usually way past caring.
My psychiatrist, Bernie, says I have “an inordinate need for conversational significance.” I don’t know what that means, but it sounds pretty smart. Unfortunately, knowing the name of my problem has yet to rid me of it.
When Kay finished her read, I said, “Sweetpea, tell me again why we don’t buy iceberg lettuce.” -- We don’t, you know? We moved away from head lettuce about 30 years ago. Started getting Romaine. The stuff comes in packs of three to 6 stalks, and each requires a lot more maintenance than iceberg. Romaine is hard to wash, impossible to dry and it has the rotting rate of a banana on a tarred roof.
Begs the question – “Why did we quit getting head lettuce?” -- Kay was a little miffed at the question, seeing how it had nothing to do with the article she had just read me. (Bears in the city of Fairbanks. I think that was it.) Kay said, “Head lettuce has no nutritional value, and it doesn’t taste like anything.”
That’s it? I spent the best part of my life wrestling with Romaine because head lettuce is not nourishing enough and has no taste? “Kay, it’s lettuce! People eat it for the crunch! If you’re looking for taste, eat a corn dog.” I went a bit overboard with that, but that’s pretty much what I do.
Unfortunately, I didn’t stop there. I asked her to quit buying the giant plastic container of cherry tomatoes from Sam’s. I told her that I don’t like the oblong cherry tomatoes. They’re not even shaped like cherries. And, they taste… wrong. Just wrong. And, do you know how many cherry tomatoes you have to slice to put on a sandwich? Kay didn’t. Didn’t even come close.
She did apologize and asked me how long the oblong tomato purchases had been eating at me. She said she would compromise. She’d buy normal tomatoes, but continue with the Romaine lettuce. We would revisit the situation in ten years. She is such a diplomat.
I then told her that jumbo farm-raised shrimp was on sale at Kroger for five dollars a pound. We have never bought farm-raised shrimp, and I wanted to know why. What was the reasoning behind our buying habits?
Kay said that farm-raised shrimp doesn’t taste like shrimp. Of course, I wouldn’t know ‘cause we never get farm-raised shrimp. She informed me that I eat farm-raised at some of the restaurants. When I asked how she knew, she said, “Because - it - doesn’t - taste - like - shrimp. My words are coming out, but they’re apparently not landing anywhere!” I had to laugh at that, ‘cause it sounded like something I would’ve said.
“Is there anything else, O’ love of my life?” she said. – I really hated to push, but didn’t know when I’d ever get another chance. “Yes, there is one other thing, Sugar Plum. Hardly worth mentioning. The, uh, Duke’s Mayonnaise? How did that happen? Three years ago you switched us from Kraft to Hellman’s, and now you’re toying with something called Duke’s. Duke’s is too white and it tastes like Miracle Whip with a hint of raisin vinegar.”
Kay told me she bought it on impulse. Said she saw it advertised and was curious. Didn’t consult with me; just did it. I told her that we can afford to be curious about a new-flavored soft drink or a sea-salted tuna chip, but not mayonnaise. You don’t play around with mayonnaise any more than you do with toilet paper.
Kay went on to say that the Duke’s Mayonnaise tastes different because it was Duke’s Lite. -- What’s this world coming to? Do you have any idea how much Lite Mayonnaise you’d have to eat to lose one pound? It’s like five gallons.
So, you can see that this morning I learned a lot about the origin of stuff. I didn’t like any of the revelations that Kay shared with me, but I needed to know. I wanted to know. I regret coming across like I was griping, ‘cause I wasn’t, you understand? Bernie, says I need to meditate so as not to aggravate. Just makes me want to slap him.