So I'm standing at the deli counter at a grocery store in Provincetown silently waiting my turn.
The woman before me places her order. She is blond, ivory white, in a crisp summer outfit.
And then she spoke....
"Yes, could you please give me a half pound of the chicken breast or the turkey breast please. What's most important is that it should be extremely dry. That's how we like it. Which would you suggest to be the driest of the white meats?"
My jaw dropped. Having been raised by an Italian mother that request is tantamount to saying "please direct me to your most burned piece of toast, the more charred the better."
I knew that voice. She was the replica of my mother in law only forty years younger.
Do you know how much time I spent in therapy discussing the "food issues" around WASP family gatherings during the holidays? I'll never forget when my mother in law put a three pound roasted chicken down on the table to feed five people. My husband could have eaten the whole thing! At first I thought she was angry at us but then I came to understand that what she hated was the need to eat food. I took my wonderful therapist's advice -eat before you get there and there won't be any more tears of confusion or hunger.
Of course if I wanted a martini, they would gladly hand me a Methuselah sized bottle of gin and send me on my way - - no questions asked.