Dinner at the folks tonight. It can be comical, and tonight was one of those nights.
I was driving home from work today wondering what I was gonna do for dinner. David went up to the cottage in Michigan. Heather went down to Athens to move from one house to another. And Joe is never around. I loved that I was going to have an evening where I wasn't expected to prepare dinner. So I got home and my dad had left a message on my machine: "We have leftovers from a tray from Corky's. You must come for dinner. Call when you get this."
Corky and Lenny's is a well known deli in Cleveland. My dad was in a fraternity in college and at age 86, he still gets together with his fraternity brothers. The guys and their wives spend New Years Eve together and gather for dinners throughout the year. There have been deaths, illnesses and remarriages, and they are all going strong.
I will also add that my mother has the same "disease" that my sister and I have. It gets worse as we get older. The disease is that we always use the wrong word when we are telling a story. Our families are used to it, and they usually know what we mean.
So I called my dad back and said it's only me, but I'll come. I asked what time. He said I don't know - it's just 3 of us - you decide. I said ok, 5:45. He said 5:46. I said ok.
And I arrived at 5:46, cause that's how I was raised.
The table was set for 3 - me, dad (Art) and mom (Lenore). We all sat down and my mother looked at the tray and this is how the conversation went:
Lenore: "Oh look, there are sweet potatoes on the tray!"
Me: thinking, but not saying "huh?"
Art: "What do you mean there are sweet potatoes on the tray?"
Lenore: "What are you talking about? I never said there were sweet potatoes on the tray."
Art: "Bonnie, did she just say there were sweet potatoes on the tray?"
Me: (laughing) "yes."
Lenore: "Well I can't believe I said that."
So I went to help my dad, who can't see, with his sandwich.
Me: "What do you want on your sandwich?"
Art: "Steak pastrami."
Me: (looking at the tray with similar looking meats) "Which is the steak pastrami?"
Art: "What, have you become a goy? It looks different than the corned beef!"
Me: "OK, what else?"
I put some mustard on the bread.
Art: "That is not enough mustard! Even I can see that there's not enough mustard!"
Me: (looking at the tray) "Oh, I see sweet pickles. That must be what mom meant by sweet potatoes.*
Art: "You didn't know that? Of course that's what she meant. You think I could be married to her for 63 years and not know what she meant?"
Lenore: "Have some fruit. I cut up some fresh fruit today."
Art: "I'll have fruit."
Lenore dishes out a few pieces of cantaloupe.
Art: "That's enough."
Lenore keeps dishing out more fruit. Art and Lenore start talking to each other. Lenore keeps dishing out more fruit. Art keeps eating more fruit.
Me: "What are you gonna do with all this meat?"
Lenore: "Sam's coming for lunch tomorrow. I think I'll freeze the rest."
Me: "I don't think cold cuts freeze very well."
Art: "We don't want to freeze it. Call Bernice and invite her over for dinner tomorrow. We won't tell her we got the tray today."
Someone said my family is like a Seinfeld episode. Too bad the show went off the air. I would have plenty of material to submit.