I am almost done with maybe half a dozen posts, but I am tired and haven’t finished any of them, so you get a Christmas vignette instead.
We were up at my father’s house for Christmas, which is about a 3 hour drive away, which is part of why I didn’t finish anything. Six hours in the car will do that. Also, I started playing RimWorld when we got home. That will eat up time. So here I am writing this on Boxing Day, with the cat watching me… from a box… I am serious.
Christmas dinner is a pretty stock standard tradition there, and the menu never varies. My step-mother does the most well-done prime rib possible every year. And by well-done I mean cooked so that the colors red or pink are nowhere visible. The president would approve. Whatever. She’s coming up on 80 and will do what she damn well pleases. The meat was still tender and enough horseradish sauce makes up for most sins.
Anyway, after dinner I was sitting at the kids table with my daughter and a few of my nieces to avoid the determined clean up operation that gets set in motion the moment it appears people are done eating. All evidence that there was ever a meal must be eliminated. The first time my wife ever came to Christmas we went up the street for about 45 minutes to visit my grandmother and by the time we got back both dinner and desert had been served and cleaned away to oblivion. We ended up eating Christmas cookies in the car on the way home we were so hungry.
My daughter and nieces range from 13 to 24, and two of them are involved in Hollywood so often have interesting tales. But in the midst of a discussion which involved season five of BoJack Horseman and Ted Danson’s folding straw, my 19 year old nieces saw that desert was being put out on the counter and felt the need to point out that there were two chocolate pies.
Let me make that clear. There were TWO chocolate pies. This was significant.
This was important to her because last year, unbeknownst to me, she did not get ANY chocolate pie. All of the chocolate pie had been eaten before she went to get any, so her chocolate pie aspirations had been thwarted. Her brother, who has the last piece, declined to share his pie with her, which was no doubt the shocker of the century.
This situation last year was apparently intolerable because there were TWO chocolate pies on the counter. I imagine my sister had heard enough of this that she just made sure nobody would lack for chocolate pie.
And we are not talking about any sort of extra special chocolate pie here. This looked to be the stock standard, no-bake, pudding in a pie crust desert that is out every year with its siblings, the pumpkin and coconut pies. Chocolate was just now 50% of the “pies currently on the counter” demographic.
My sister confirmed that there were a pair of chocolate pies for the reason stated, and did so with a weariness that comes from trying to balance the demands of three teens under her roof.
So when the time came to serve up some pie, I got up and got myself a slice of chocolate pie, just on the off chance there would be a rush for that particular flavor. I mean, last year we ran out before my niece even got a slice.
I actually had two slices, and managed to get them both without depriving my niece of her slice. I must admit that my sudden lust for chocolate pie was, in part, to see if we could eat it all again before she got any. But there would be no pie denial melt-down of any sort.
There was enough chocolate pie for all who desired any.
As I stood in the kitchen by the trash, helping to hide all evidence that there was any desert served after the meal we had so successfully disappeared, my niece walked up to scrape the remains of her pie into the trash. In her hands I saw a paper plate with a huge glop of chocolate pie filling, missing really only the crust. The main essence of the chocolate pie, the actual chocolate bit, appeared mostly untouched and she was happily dumping it into the trash.
So I called out in a loud voice, “After all of that talk about chocolate pie, are you telling me that you don’t actually like chocolate pie? That all you really wanted was the crust?”
My niece confirmed this in a mildly embarrassed voice. I turned towards my sister and called to her, even louder, so that everybody in the room could clearly head, “Did you see your daughter’s plate? She was so anxious that she get some chocolate pie that we have TWO chocolate pies, and she is even now scooping almost all of the chocolate from her slice into the trash, having only eaten the crust?”
My sister was willing to play along in some public shaming, but the look in her eyes was, “Welcome to my life.”
In the end, nobody even took a slice from the second chocolate pie. All of the chocolate pie related needs, including my second slice, were met by the first pie. The second pie was entirely superfluous. But at least it got a mention here. They also serve, who only sit and wait.