June 30, 2011

We eat like a bunch of scavengers

After looking around the table in distain tonight, my sister Jane suddenly announced with slight disgust, “Look at our family – we eat like a bunch of scavengers!” My spoonful of shredded cheese scrapings stalled midair, and I looked around with curiosity.

On the surface, my family appeared to be relaxed, just joking around and making fun of at least one person to his or her face. But there was a fierce and slightly frenzied undercurrent of scavenging not apparent to the casual observer. I glanced around. There sat my mom, finally abandoning scooped fingerfuls of bottom-of-the-bag chip flecks and turning to the sautéed onion chunks from the bottom of the skillet. And Kendra picking through the leftover fajita meat bits with her fingers. And Jesse licking the sour cream spoon. And Kendall using his finger to get the last of the avocado goo off the toppings platter.

I chewed my spoonful of cheese thoughtfully. I suppose this is what happens when you grow up in a large household – you eat what you can, when you can, and as fast as you can.

Yes, my shredded cheese eating may have appeared somewhat uncouth (although highly practical – I mean, who wants to return warm, oily cheese back to the bag to reuse again), and I had to laugh sheepishly at Jane’s penetrating glare. I was saved, oddly enough, by Kendall, who right then finished licking his avocado fingers with appalling flourish.

And then Jane and I watched as he turned and picked up the black olive bowl, which turned out to be empty. Not to be deterred, however, Kendall hesitated for just a moment, looking deep into the dark olive juice pooled at the bottom, and without another thought, drank it. Case closed.

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