I am home for Christmas Break and currently sitting in my parents room while my mom watches “Desperate Housewives.”
“Mom,” I say, “I am going to interview you about food for my website.”
“Shhh,” she says, “I’m trying to watch my show.”
And so the interview begins:
AG (Amateur Gourmet): What was the first thing you ever cooked?
Mom: Cooked cooked? Spaghetti and meatballs. Oh, wait. Chicken. And dad told me it’s not supposed to be pink inside–it was raw. I didn’t know but I’d never cooked a chicken before: I was 18.
AG: What was the first fancy dinner dad took you to?
Mom: How about the first dinner?
Mom: Steve’s–that was our first date. Dad said, “You’re not thirsty right? You don’t want a Coke.” It was a luncheonette by the dental school. [NOTE: My dad’s a dentist.]
AG: But what about your first really fancy dinner?
Mom: BRAAAD! WHERE WAS OUR VERY FIRST FANCY DINNER WE EVER ATE!
Dad (from the other room): What do you want to know?
Mom: WHAT WAS THE FIRST FANCY DINNER WE EVER ATE?
Dad: Why do you want to know that?
Mom: We have to think about.
Dad: Lincoln Inn?
Mom: Shhh, I have to watch my show.
[Pause while the show continues. Lynette sees the babysitter gets along better with her own kids than she does. “I told Zach he could trust you and you turned him in.” – Julie to Teri Hatcher.]
[The interview continues.]
AG: What is your favorite vegetable?
Mom: (She snorts) Hmmm… I hate vegetables. I don’t know, what do I like? String beans.
AG: You don’t hate vegetables.
Mom: I do. How about Caesar Salad.
AG: What was your most successful diet? (Mom’s been on many diets.)
Mom: I guess Diet Center after I had Michael.
AG: How come?
Mom: Because I gained 75 pounds when I was pregannt with him.
AG: How was it successful?
Mom: I don’t know–you really want to know?
Mom: Ok–it was eggs in the morning with wassa bread
AG: Wassa bread can you spell that?
Mom: W-A-S-S-A- B-R-E-A-D
Mom: Then it was 3 oz of protein with either a salad or a cooked vegetable and whatever you didn’t have for lunch you would have for dinner—you couldn’t have a cooked vegetable and a salad together. Two fruits a day. They dot their “I” with the apple symbol, one of them being an apple. That’s about it. And water.
AG: Who was the best cook in our family?
Mom: Nobody. Well, grandma Elsie. Dad’s mother. This is my interview? She never cooked for me.
AG: So no one in your family.
Mom: My mother and grandmother maybe? Nobody really excelled. My mother, I guess. [Show turns back on.] Ok, bye.
AG: What is your favorite food city?
Mom: New York City.
AG: What is your favorite restaurant in New York?
Mom: I don’t know, it’s a good question. I forget, what do I like?
AG: Jean-Georges? Daniel?
Mom: Oh, Jean-Georges–that was the best meal. BRAD, WHAT’S MY FAVORITE RESTAURANT IN NEW YORK CITY?
Dad: I’d say the River Cafe.
Mom: Yes, The River Cafe. I really can’t remember things.
Me: What is your daily breakfast routine?
Mom: Lately, the last few weeks, I have coffee, then I have low-carb Special K. A half a cup. With green milk.
Me: Green milk?
Mom: I forget the name of the milk but it’s in a green container. It’s low-carb milk.
Me: Who is your favorite TV Chef?
Mom: I don’t have any.
Me: Make one up.
Mom: Emeril Lagasse–bam bam bam.
Mom: Oh, I know, the people who own Fresco on the Morning Show. The Scotto Family?
Mom: Shhh, the show’s back.
Lady on TV: You should know that Rex still loves you. Very much.
Redhead: He said that?
AG: Any other comments you’d like to make?
Mom: BRAD BOSTON LEGAL’S STARTING YOU WANT TO WATCH IT? MICHAEL, YOU WANT TO WATCH IT?
AG: Any final thoughts?
Mom: About WHAT? WHAT’S THE SUBJECT?
Mom: I think food is very overrated. Don’t write that.
Dad: What’s he writing?
Mom: I don’t want that going out on the internet. Look at what he’s writing, Brad.
Dad: I can’t I have to pee.