Explaining Dinner

Dinner: Madras Lentils, with Monterey Jack Cheese and sour cream.

My kids tend toward the P word, which is not a word I like to use, because I think it gives them a label that’s stupid. They are NOT the P word. They have certain preferences — but I encourage them to continue to try different foods.

“What do you mean, it’s a vegetarian dish that’s SPICY?!?!?!”

Mineral, suspiciously: “What’s IN this?”

Me, slurping: “Madras Lentils.” Hoping this ends the discussion.

Of course it does not.

The Informant: “What ARE Madras Lentils?”

My Chemical Romance, eyeing me: “They’re lentils, made with madras.”

Silence. Maybe they were all hungry, because they all ate without much complaints.

Mineral, again: “What exactly are lentils?”

Me: “They’re… legumes.” (Triumphant. Bigger word trumps smaller word, right?)

That seemed to appease them for a while. Still, The Informant would not be completely dissuaded from knowing the TRUTH.

The Informant: “What are legumes?”

Me, deciding to use reverse psychology: “They are NOT pork brains or anything like that. They’re legumes. They’re not frogs. They’re not squirrel meat. I wouldn’t serve that to you.”

And thus we all survived a gluten-free, meat-free dinner THAT INCLUDED A LOT OF BEANS, of which my children still have no knowledge.

Now, for a brief letter to Sophie Kinsella/Madeline Wickham,

I’m sorry. I often speak of your books disparagingly under the label Chick Lit, and after reading your most recent work, I’ve Got Your Number, I realized that I’m wrong. Yes, it’s Chick Lit. But I will no longer disparage them. You see, while some of your earlier books (written under your given name, Madeline Wickham) were not fantastic, your writing continues to improve and your plots continue to twist in unexpected ways. I initially read I’ve Got Your Number quickly, not giving it much thought, relegating it to the role of brief interlude between amazing works of literature. (On the Island; A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard; another round of 50 Shades.) And yet, somewhere around page 100, I’ve Got Your Number really grabbed my attention and held on. And then I remembered, Twenties Girl was a fantastic read. As was Remember Me! The Undomestic Goddess was alright. Meanwhile, what I’m saying, Sophie/Madeline is, I was wrong. I will no longer roll my eyes while I recommend your books. I will no longer be embarrassed to admit that I’ve read them and enjoyed them. You go, with your awesome Chick Lit self!


Erika (and Cousin It)

We loves you, SK/MW!


2 Responses

  1. I love Sophie Kinesella (although it is very much chick lit, but that’s okay — great for the beach). I see lots of similarities in Can You Keep a Secret and 50 Shades of Crazy… younger girl hooks up with rich CEO of her company, she gets mad at him and breaks it off, they get back together and all is peachy. It’s all there except the borderline abuse! But Can You Keep a Secret is old, so perhaps the writing is bad, I am not known for my taste in literature.

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