Writer at Large by Bob Karolevitz Phyllis doesn't like me to go grocery shopping � and there's a reason.
When I do, I come home with pickled pigs' feet, smoked oysters, pistachio nuts and other delicacies which were not on the list.
When she goes, she buys mundane, unimaginative things like bread, milk and stuff like that. And she says:
"You can't make a healthful meal out of sour swine hooves. You've got to have fruits and vegetables to make you big and strong."
I could tell that she'd been reading her women's magazines again. They're full of food pyramids and eating ideas guaranteed to make you live longer and feel better.
"But I like pickled pigs' feet," I argued. "They may contain too much sodium, so I'll just cut back on salt for awhile if that will make you happy."
Happiness, I quickly learned, was not what she had in mind. Reality was!
"It's a wife's job to provide you with sensible meals, and you don't help me at all with your pickled pigs' feet," she continued. "Besides that, you don't know what that porker had stepped in before they stuffed his feet in the jar."
She really knows how to hurt a guy!
I agreed with her that "the other white meat" was nutritionally all right if one watched how much he ate. Then she said something about a balanced diet which didn't include any of my purchases.
After that I got a lecture on obesity, trans-fatty acids and the difference between poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats in our bread spread, all because I went down the wrong aisle at the supermart.
I began to think that if you liked it, it was bad for you. Gone are the malted milks and French fries; in their place are unsugared tea and carrot sticks.
In my feeble rebuttal, I told Phyllis about Diamond Jim Brady who lived to eat and eat and eat. For breakfast alone he had eggs, hominy grits, corn bread, a half dozen pancakes with syrup, fried potatoes, beefsteak, chops and a gallon of orange juice.
Her answer was: "Yes, and he died at 61 of diabetes, ulcers, heart disese and other complications. They even had to build an extra large box to bury him in."
I could see immediately that that argument was getting me nowhere, and my pickled pigs' feet was a dietetic culprit. I had sinned gastronomically when all I did was take a macho thing off the shelf at the grocer's because it looked good to me.
Of course she had all the points on her side, so I did the husbandly thing and held my tongue. There was no use getting confrontational when she was right, as usual.
That's when she handed me the list and told me that she was too busy to go shopping. Once again I could go to the store.
I looked at what she had written down for me. Sure enough, there was milk, bread, some oranges, celery stalks and lots of other stuff which didn't include any gourmet items.
And just to make sure, there was a line on the list which read "? and NO pickled pigs' feet either!"
© 2003 Robert F. Karolevitz