The smell drew her to the kitchen. The Engineer and I had been out for dinner, and picked up pizza slices for the Teenager. As she opened the plain white box on the counter, she scowled.
“Why did you bring me pizza with vegetables? This is awful.” Thick pause. “Why would you DO that?”
I am big on gratitude. She was playing with me, but still, I would have prefered a different response. As I typed this, I hit the wrong key: it came out “bratitude.” I think there is something to that. ;-)
“I’m sorry, Mama. This slice is good,” pointing to the plain cheese. “This one is not,” pointing to, well, the other one. “I already ate a salad today.”
“That’s all well and good,” I said. “You need more than that. How many vegetables did you eat this week?”
“Not as many as you would like me to. That number is… UNREACHABLE.”
She has a point.
Teenager’s boyfriend has visited our house several times now, and I always feed him/them something.
The first time he was here, I started getting out food. Teenager declared she wasn’t hungry. I carried on with what I was doing, saying something about teenage boys being hollow and always being hungry.
Right then, Boyfriend decided he liked me.
Yesterday I asked Kristina, “Is Boyfriend okay with the food I give him?”
Shrug. “Yeah, why?”
“He doesn’t say much. Other than thank you, which is a good thing to say when someone feeds you.”
She sighs. “Mama, for you food is an experience. For him, food is something to tide him over until the next time he has food.”
I think she must be right, but this baffles me. How can anyone be so casual about food?
I like him anyway.
Teenager has Nutrition and Wellness 6th period, followed by Math. Because of her AP schedule, she has room for only one or two electives a year, and nearly no choice what they will be. This year, the elective that fit for second semester was the foods course.
Teenager already knows her way around the kitchen, and has been very creative in the class. She modifies recipes to make them more interesting, alternately impressing and frustrating the teacher with her improvisation.
Boyfriend also has (a higher level) Math during 7th period, so he meets Teenager outside the kitchen lab, and walks her to her Math classroom, across the hall from his.
Last week, the foods class made cinnamon rolls: great doughy confections, dripping with sweet icing.
She came out of class, and handed the yummy-fest sample of her work to Boyfriend, who responded, “You are the BEST girlfriend in the world.”
At least someone’s getting feedback.
listening to: Paul Simon, You Can Call Me Al