Monday, August 15, 2005

Starving Kids In China

You know how it is when you're a kid and your parents have friends who have kids so when they're invited to their friends' house for dinner or whatever, you HAVE to go, too, because they have kids and you're supposed to play with the kids, even though you don't know them?

Sure you do.

This happened a lot when Derek & I were growing up. Dad's good friend Bert the plumber (that's his full name, I swear! It's never "Bert came over today" or "I'm going to Cripple Creek with Bert" it's "I'm going to dinner with Bert the plumber.") & his wife Nancy had 2 boys Chad & Jeremy (not the 60's singing group... I don't think they were named for them, either. Just a happy coincidence). We got to be fairly good friends with them - at least I did: Jeremy was my age & Chad was a year younger.

Then there was Dave. Dave was 7 feet tall and an artist. If any of you reading this are from Colorado Springs or have visited here and eaten at Gunther Toody's on Academy, he painted the old car that used to be on the wall on the north end. Anyway...

Dave & his wife Sharisse had a son about my age named Travis so when Mom & Dad were invited over for dinner, Derek & I were dragged along. This was the first time we did anything with this family and we weren't sure what to expect. Dad had met Dave through his job at the theatre somehow & had never met his wife or son. Derek was only 3 or 4 and a picky eater. On the way to their house, Mom told us "Just eat what they put in front of you and be quiet."

Okay. No problem.

We got there and Sharisse turned out to be nice if not a little odd. She was making goulash for dinner... whole potatoes, big hunks of meat, half a carrot here, half an onion there. At the end, right before serving it, she dumped in a whole tub of sour cream. My mother was mortified - you could see on her face that she so did not want to eat it but she had to be polite.

While she was trying to choke it down, Derek leaned over to Mom, lifted her hair up and whispered in her ear: "Just eat it and be quiet."

We stopped at McDonalds on the way home that night. And I don't ever remember going back there for dinner. Ever.

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