Tuesday, April 29, 2008

How to make a meal from a snack


Or a mountain out of a molehill. Here's my favorite conversation that I had with my MIL during my visit home. (background info: I have a wheat allergy. It's been 5 years since I've eaten wheat. I have to remind my in-laws of this EVERY time I see them. And it's not like they have a trillion daughters-in-law with special things to remember. Uhhh, I am the only one. Some credit given to them for their forgetful old age...but still.)

MIL: "Here...have some pizza!" (produces plate with 3 slices)
Me: (here we go again-I don't want to remind them again and make it awkward) "No thank you, I'm ok right now"
MIL: "Oh have some pizza, it's the best pizza"
Me: "No really, thanks, but I'm not hungry right now."
MIL: (in a sterner voice now)"Have some pizza. It's delicious"
Me: (sigh) "No, I'm sorry, but remember I have the wheat allergy? Yeah, so thank you, but I just can't have pizza. Thanks though!"
MIL: "Right. Oh well, this is the PERFECT pizza for someone who can't eat the crust!" (you
have to hear the tone of voice used here-like "oh yeah that wheat allergy garbage again, but I'll show her!"
Me: "Really? What do you mean?" (I'm confused? How can pizza be perfect for someone who can't eat bread?)
MIL: " These toppings are just gorgeous! They are delicious. Just slide off the toppings and eat them!"
Me: (uhhh I'm not that picky of an eater besides my allergy, but this does not appeal to me in the least. Greasy cheese with some veggies?) "Oh, no thank you..."
MIL: (getting frantic) "But they are delicious!!! Just eat the toppings! They are so good for you
if you can't eat the crust!"
Me: "No, no...thanks, but I'll pass..."
MIL: "Why won't you eat them?!?!? They are so good!" (This continues for many more rounds with me trying to politely decline each time...but MIL is getting more frustrated with me like
I am an insolent child. She is holding the plate out still with two hands and jabbing it towards me).

Finally-Me: "No really...thank you. But I just don't want to eat the toppings. I'm not trying to be mean...really I'm not. I just don't want the toppings. Besides they were baked on the crust and there could be some bread mixed in with them...so I don't want to get sick. I'm sorry." (here I am apologizing, for what, I don't know.) "Maybe someone else here (looking around at the group of people present for this weird interchange) would like to have the full piece to themselves!"

MIL: (In a whiny, depressed, almost sobbing voice) "But we ordered it for you!"

Here's where I finally lost my cool a little.
Me: "Well I'm sorry but that was silly, because you know I don't eat wheat."

At this point she tosses the plate of pizza down and walks away, miffed. My husband's friend, sitting next to me jumps right in-he looks at me and goes "So...heard you went to New York in October! How was that!?". See, it's not just me. The whole situation was awkward and strange...but this is how it always is with her and I. So I am glad that someone else finally witnessed it.

Then all of a sudden she comes back toward me wielding a bowl of chili. She looks at me with venom in her eyes and puts, not places gently, the bowl in front of me and says:

"Here is a bowl of your father-in-law's famous chili. If you are interested."

It is the tone of voice that she used that really sent the shivers down my spine. I ate the chili up, yum, yum! And smacked my lips. Delicious! I was scared she may next come at me with a carving knife.

Funniest part is...in telling my husband the story later he is laughing at the ridiculousness of it all, but most of all, the fact that he has never heard of, nor had, his dad's "famous" chili.

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